Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Communitarian Amitai Etzioni Attacks Ron Paul's Libertarian Teaparty

Amitai Etzioni's communitarianism has been the most dangerous parasyte of most political families on both sides of the Atlantic. The devestation his ideas have had on the political landscape should not be underestimated. Amitai Etzioni's communitarism is directly related to religieus socialist thought of Martin Buber and anarchistic socialist ideas of Gustav Landauer. For strategic reasons Amitai Etzioni has off course de-emphasized that.

Why has Christian democracy in Europe reached a dead end? Amitai Etzioni. Why are so many Americans fed up with both democrats and republicans? Amitai Etzioni. Tony Blair's New Labour? Amitai Etioni.Why has xenophobia been on the rise in Europe and the US? Amitai Etzioni. With the writer of this post I am  personally convinced Amitai Etzioni's communitarism is a sure path to totalitarian serfdom. In the Netherlands both CDA, through Balkenende, and PvdA, through Banning's personalistic socialism, have claimed Amitai's communitarism (as wrote Jet Bussemaker in 2004). Roel Kuiper, ChristenUnie, followed Amitai Etzioni's communitarism in it's analysis of the financial crisis (2009).

Niki Raapana makes the following observation in a post that has lots of information on communitarianism:
"With the demise of true socialism as a viable intellectual force, communitarianism is now the most active philosophical opposition to libertarianism."
David Henderon received an interesting email from Amitai Etzioni:
Like many in Washington, I go to a fair number of meetings conducted under the Chatham House Rule, which allows one to discuss what was said in the meeting, but prevents one from naming the speaker or venue. At one of those meetings in a private home (somewhat like the scene in Gertrude Stein's salon in Midnight in Paris), a leading Democratic Senator spoke. He stated that the deficit was a greater threat to our nation than terrorism. That once one could say that unless we deal with the deficit, we shall burden our grandchildren; then--after things got worse--burden our children. Now, the senator raised his voice, we are screwed! He also allowed that entitlements must be cut. (Note that using the term entitlements rather than social safety nets, is by itself ideological). He did not mention jobs during his half-hour presentation. When asked about them after, he said that once the deficit reduction legislation is enacted, and the uncertainty surrounding the issue is removed, corporations that have large hordes of cash would hire people. I could not imagine what a Republican who is not a card-carrying Tea Party member would have said differently. For a rather different view, see "A Moral Assessment of the Attack on Social Safety Nets" and this exchange with Daniel Callahan and the political use of moral language.
Interview in 1993 between David Boaz and Amitai Etzioni on the differences between libertarianism and communitarism. Amitai Etzioni claims (51:30):
 "if you want people to be civil you have to help them get a civil education"
As if civil education will solve rifts in society, it will only deepen these rifts. Aldous Huxley has a short answer to the communitarian circular logic:

"Civilization demands from the individual devoted self-identification with the highest of human causes. But if this self-identification with what is human is not accompanied by a conscious and consistent effort to achieve upward self-transcendence into the universal life of the Spirit, the goods achieved will allways be mingled with counterbalancing evils."

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