Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Simplified, Current Communitarian News

Every time I publish a new article about communitarianism, I get all sorts of emails asking me to explain it in simpler terms. Our book, 2020, was written to fulfill that need, and not only will book sales help me to eat while I study and write, it's also a very short introduction to how I found and identified communitarian law, policies, and programs in the U.S. 2020 introduces the reader to the basic concepts of communitarian global-to-local governance, and it has a long appendix that includes a glossary of double-speak terms. There are solution oriented pages that show how to identify local Local Agenda 21 planning and visionings and how to obtain govt planning notes. We designed 2020 to be an easy toolbook for average people. But, I obviously haven't promoted it enough; I have even forgotten to mention it during radio interviews.

(Speaking of interviews, I'll be on Jeff Rense.com again December 3, 2007 at 7pm Pacific time.)

What the American readers of my articles do not easily understand is what I have to read in order to write my articles. Let's not even bring up my neglect of my European integration and communiatarian law studies (or all the time I've spent online socializing with my wonderful new friends from leftrightunite). Communitarianism, broadly speaking, is socio-economics, a modern way of combining Marxist social theories with the global economy. Apparently now it's also called Behavioral Economics. (Who knew?) This theory for rebuilding a more just and moral world combines every opposite theory in the world into one, lovely, perfectly balanced theory... and it changes all the time. This lively, flowing Idea was introduced by globals experts Amitai Etzioni and Mikhail Gorbachev as a solution to..well...everything. Etzioni publishes a LOT of articles and books (here's a short list of his articles), and his office assistant confirmed our suspicion in 2003 that he does not write everything he puts his name on. This makes studying Etzioni's work even more difficult, since I'm probably studying more than one writer.

Besides Etzioni's interest in shoring up America, he's also heavily invested in establishing a global government order: Reforming World Government, A world-government solution to terrorism. By Amitai Etzioni http://www.wfs.org/trendnd04.htm

So I went poking around his blog tonight just to see if anything jumped off the pages that would show how convoluted his recent opinions can be. He supports many sides in many controversial dialectical arguments, from Intelligent Design to moral organ donarship. He pokes his nose into just about every subject out there, and his unsubstantiated claims to the "higher moral ground" pisses off scientists and professionals on a fairly regular basis (a group of ASA members in 1995 when he was president of the association called his ideas, among other things, "fascist," and the Darwinists had a heyday with his scientific argument for Intelligent Design.) His responses to their rage range from he's a Holocaust victim to at least he's polite and they're not.

When reading his work, the thing to remember is this: everything the "everything expert" says is "new," so don't ever go looking to see if anybody else (like Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Strauss, Kissinger, Meyer, Weishaupt, Ben Gurion, Mao, Castro, Wells, Russell, etc.) ever wrote about his original concept for establishing a more moral global government. Etzioni "invented" the term communitarianism, he didn't borrow it from the same guy who coined the phrase "communism" in 1848. His latest blog entry on Nov 19, 2007, about his new book, is called On Self Promotion:

"I have been subject to some criticism about ‘shamelessly’ promoting my book Security First – For a Muscular, Moral Foreign Policy so as to exalt myself rather than to propagate the new approach to foreign policy that it laid out."

He uses a colleague's difficulty with promoting a book in the internet age as an example of why he does it, and closes with this:

"If I would write about myself you would read about whom I meet for dinner, how I kayak at the age of 78, or about the great sons I reared. My promotion instead is focused on ideas. If this means, that I will be boxed around the ears, I guess, this is a price I will have to pay for trying to convince people in what I do believe in."

Hmm. I write in my blog about myself and how many people I can fit in my tent for dinner. I write about cooking bread on a wood stove, dog mushing, building yurts and life with my fantastic daughter and my new grandson. After years of only writing "boring political stuff," I finally agreed with my sister's request to share some of my "real" life with my readers. I've been fairly absorbed with my winter camping expedition and building my GerTee and was out of touch with my family and friends. So, actually, I'd really like to know whom Etzioni meets for dinner, and I'd love to see a photo of Etzioni kyaking or getting boxed around the ears.

It looks like part of the accusations of self-promotion are a result of a spam mail that went out advertising it. Very telling is the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies' official response to critisizm of unsolicited email spam... the more moral director of the Institute blamed his staff:

I should also note that now he refers to himself as a FORMER Senior White House adviser, I guess him and Robert Putnam writing G.W. Bush's acceptance speech doesn't count as advice.

On Nov 20, 2007 Etzioni blogged about his contribution at huffingtonpost.com

The comments at the bottom of his post indicate the depth of feeling his work provokes.

If we really want to get to the heart of U.S. foreign policy, we could start by reading this:


A Communitarian, Sociological Approach


After you read his idea for creating small Iraqi communities with their own laws, come back here and read what the French republicans think about that "Idea," it's in my last blog.

Keeping with his Fabian tradition of seeing "all sides," here's Etzioni's recent published pdf file of his Comparative Communitarian Perspective on the new American Citizenship Test starting in 2008: (on page 7 he explains the difference between a "neo-communitarian" and an "authoritarian communitarian." I think the French would agree with the first definition. The U.S. Americans hold no opinion on either definition because they still don't know what the hell it is.) http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps/etzioni/articles1.html

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