It is quite possible that the United States' right-libertarian ideological underpinnings have suppressed major communitarian factions from emerging. Communitarian are often easily villainized as those seeking big governments and nanny states. President Bill Clinton was open about his support for much of Amitai Etzioni's philosophy (communtarism), though whether this reflected on his actual policy program is debatable. It has also been suggested that the "compassionate conservatism" (Marvin Olasky) espoused by President Bush during his 2000 presidential campaign was a form of conservative communitarian thinking, though he too did not implement it in his policy program
Marvin Olasky promoting communitarism on Amazon: Etzioni's book Next:
"For those of us bored by ponderous and predictable liberal treatises, Next is a succinct and creative pleasure. All those debating America's political future should think through its proposals."-Marvin Olasky, Senior Fellow, Action Institute and author of Compassionate Conservatism: What It Is, What It Does, and How It Can Transform America "
Interesting that Marvin Olasky denies that he flirts with communitarism. Probably depends on how you define communitarism.
I noticed that there is a PDFmeetup in Brussels tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM. As I am interested in meeting other bloggers in Brussels and in democratic development, it triggered my curiosity. And if I have time I will no doubt try to join. The meetup is promoting a video speech by this activist that sounded like a stealth campaign for the re-election of Barack Obama. Jim Gilliam, who grew up home-schooled and attended some Jerry Falwell school, now claims "that the internet is his religion". Obviously applauded by many non-believers seeking for guidance. In Dutch we would say the message is received as God's Word by an elder.
Harry Binswanger, long time Ayn Rand associate, said recently:
"To those who seek such a compromise, we say: if you think you can reconcile reason and faith in your personal life, go ahead and try. But we urge you not to base your support of freedom and capitalism on religion: to say freedom stems from faith is to say that reason is on the side of dictorship."To claim that freedom stems from reason is like an echo of the french revolution where the revolutionaries erected a statue for the god of reason. It's against this idea of putting reason at the center of everything that Groen van Prinsterer and Abraham Kuyper stood up. The history of the French revolution shows us that reason can quite well be put on the side of dictatorship.
However, Marvin Olasky's call on Republicans to disassociate themselves from Ayn Rand could well be an effort to disguise a more fundamental battle within American politics in favor or against communitarism.
The rise of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands can be seen as proof that commmunitarism, as promoted by Jan-Peter Balkenende for a decade, does not work. Marvin Olasky's attack against Ayn Rand , rather then a defense of christian engagement in politics, should be interpreted as a defense of his own communitarist tendencies.
So let's defeat communitarism and support Ron Paul. Let's defeat Michele Bachmann.