The Communitarian Update
July 10, 2001
Diversity within Unity
We are starting a project on national identity and immigration. We seek to sort
out how societies could come to embrace immigrants from different cultures, without
a sense that these immigrants endanger the core values of the existing society,
recognizing that these values themselves are subject to change. As a first step,
we are seeking names of seminal books, scholars, and public intellectuals from
different cultures who have worked on this issue or are currently working on this
issue. Please send information, including about your own work, to Mackenzie Baris
at email@example.com with "DWU" in the subject line.
Attention Political Scientists:
Short Course on New Communitarian Thinking
by Philip Selznick and Amitai Etzioni
Date: Wednesday, 8/29,01, Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: APSA meeting, San Francisco, San Francisco Hilton& Towers.
A review of recent works in political theory and macrosociology concerning new
(or responsive) communitarian thinking. Special focus on the tension between
liberty and social order, the relationship between social norms or mores and
laws, the role of moral dialogue versus reasoned deliberations, and ways to
exit out of cultural relativism. Course to be conducted in the form of a seminar.
Space is limited, please register with Joanna Cohn at firstname.lastname@example.org with "short
course" in the subject line.
A Communitarian Influence?
In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Harvard Law professor Mary Ann
Glendon discussed the role played by Charles Malik, a philosophy professor from
Lebanon, in helping the United Nations Human Rights Commission draft the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. She explained: "In Article I of the declaration,
which reads, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit
of brotherhood," there was a great argument among the members of the commission about
what exactly is the nature of the human person whose rights are being protected here.
The Soviets, for example, wanted to submerge the person in the collective. Mrs. Roosevelt
and the English representative had a highly individualistic idea of the person. And it
was Malik who was able to bring these people together with an understanding of the person
as uniquely valuable in and of him or herself, but also as a social being, constituted in
part by and through relationships with others. And that was the position that was accepted
by the group and that infuses the entire declaration. It's an important point because it
kept the declaration from becoming either a highly collectivist or a highly individualistic
New Issue of The Responsive Community!
(Free sample issues available)
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Volume 11, Issue 3, Summer 2001
Reflections on European Unification -- Simon Serfaty
Value in Variety -- Harvey B. Feigenbaum
Our Monochrome Values -- Amitai Etzioni
Neutrality, Autonomy, and the Liberal State - Emily R. Gill
If the liberal state cannot and should not be completely neutral, what should determine
the limits of its nonneutrality? According to Gill, a liberal polity's nonneutral stance
can be justified if it promotes its citizens' capacity for autonomy--that is, their ability
to think critically about their goals and desires.
In Response: Maintaining Minimal Commitment - William A. Galston
To Galston, though, Gill's allegiance to autonomy goes much too far.
The Unappreciated Virtue - Alan Wolfe
In America, the Left, the Right, and the millions of Americans in the middle valorize
justice, compassion, diligence, and a host of other virtues. But have they all forgotten
The Culture of Political Avoidance - Nina Eliasoph
Voluntary groups enable citizens to establish and articulate their values, right?
Not necessarily. Find out how civic groups can actually stunt civic growth.
Black, White, and Green: A Tale of Integration - Jonathan Eig
Twenty years ago, black and white residents in a Chicago neighborhood were given a
financial incentive to live together. Looking at the result, some see a loss of community;
others see a model of progress.
Among Friends: An Interracial Dialogue
Addressing issues of racial discrimination, segregation, and identity, the participants
defy the notion that honest interracial conversations are impossible.
The Community Bookshelf
Human Nature Fights Back - Paul Lichterman
Review of Francis Fukuyama's The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order
Fear and Loathing in the United States - Joseph Romance
Review of Garry Wills's A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government
The Community's Pulse
Libertarians, Authoritarians, Communitarians
Uniting Unlikely Company - Susan Parker
Commentary - Richard Dagger, Noah M.J. Pickus
Visit The Responsive Community on our web:
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for yourself or your organization, please let us know at email@example.com, or call (800) 245-7460.
We gratefully acknowledge two generous and substantial donations made by Norton
Garfinkle and David Myers for the work of The Communitarian Network, a 501(c)(3)
organization. 100% of these and all funds received are dedicated to our work projects;
the director draws no salary or fees of any kind.
Read and endorse the communitarian platform at: http://www.communitariannetwork.org.
Join other recent endorsers like Professor Reba Carruth of Washington, DC, Robert
Kapaska a business owner from El Cajon, CA and Marilyn Brenneman an attorney from
Bainbridge Island, WA who recently endorsed the platform.