Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're all Communitarian Church members now

Lots of great articles coming in from all over. I'm very sorry I don't have the time to read and respond to everything right now. With all the attention on the economy, it's not suprising to see how many communitarian solutions are being presented. They all sound so good... don't they?

Bobby sent us this little goodie, and it almost looks like a spoof... almost:

The Company He Keeps

Published: January 17, 1993

We're in a reaching out sort of mood this Inauguration. We're connecting. We're opening up. We're celebrating diversity and embracing wholeness. We're on an odyssey of self-discovery. We're thinking communitarian, New Covenant, a Government that looks like America, inclusive not exclusive, omnicultural. We're having Renaissance Weekends, wearing our names strung around our necks on pieces of colored yarn and talking about renewal of nation and self. We've released our inner children and are looking for nannies for them. We're feeling a little weepy, but that's O.K. (and you're O.K., too, although your family's dysfunctional). We're wearing clothes that look like the Summer of Love, only a lot more expensive, and the designer gives part of the profit to Friends of the Earth. We're not buttoned down and monogrammed anymore: We have a President named Bill, a First Lady named Hillary, a First Daughter named Chelsea and an Attorney General named Zoe. We're hugging trees. We're hugging each other. We're hugging each other's trees.

This is a paper I just stumbled on, written by an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley in 2007 who has a website called The Michael Report. It has a lot of gramatical errors, much like most of my early writings (heh). Not much on his site, but he shares an interesting perspective on communitarianism, and I'm curious if this is what's normally taught in the state colleges these days. If so, this means a LOT more people know what communitarianism is than I previously thought.
Communist Manifesto Analysis: A Complete & Brief Understanding of Marxism

Here's an article in Time Magazine in 1970 that quotes Amitai Etzioni:

"Recently," says Columbia Sociologist Amitai Etzioni, "there has been almost unanimous agreement among newspaper commentators that the country is moving sharply to the right. These statements are far from accurate." In terms of philosophy, Etzioni observes, practically all Americans would call themselves conservatives, favoring more individualism, more freedom, less government power. But on an operational level, he insists, in terms of the specific Government policies it will accept, the country is liberal. According to a study that Etzioni completed last summer for the Office of Economic Opportunity, the nation, in operational terms is 65% liberal, 21% middle-of-the-road and only 14% conservative. (By "liberal, Etzioni means willing to accept government intervention for specific, progressive social programs.)

What was the Office of Economic Opportunity? It administered most of the programs for the War on Poverty. Wikipedia explains:

The Times article quoting Etzioni never uses the term communitarianism once. I guess after the War on Poverty was such a dismal failure Etzioni had to slip over to other departments to implement his programs. Looks like he used U.S. tax dollars to study us (for another twenty years!) and slowly slipped it into college curriculums before he was ready to introduce Marx's ultimate synthesis by name to U.S. taxpayers. How much of the national debt is because of these failed communitarian programs? Speaking of failed mortages, the housing bubble and the falling U.S. dollar, isn't affordable housing one of their other great ideas?

1 comment:

Bobby said...

Niki, I don't have time to do this justice right now, but if you follow the links on this page, they lead to many interesting places. You will quickly discover that Ingrid H. Shafer, Ph.D. is the personality behind all of these sites, but this is obviously not the work of one person.

I was searching for "New Covenant", president Clinton and this site was number one of 134,000.