Furthest Right

The importance of communitarianism (C.G.)

The communitarians have formulated a powerful critique of liberalism (in all its forms). The fundamental goal of all of liberalism is to maximize individual freedom by constructing a neutral system in which no one or no group is favoured (by the government) over anyone else. The first sphere to be neutralized with respect to the state by liberals was that of religion. Over the centuries, however, as liberals began to work through the implications of their ideology they began to inject these neutralizations into all spheres of life, culminating in the pro-inmigrationism of modern European States that adopted a neutral attitude (“ethnic   indifferentism”) toward the continued historical existence of its own people.

Communitarianism is a reversal of liberalism in that it takes the common good of the community as its essential starting point as opposed to the freedom of the individual. Communitarians point out that social contract theory is utterly ahistorical. There was no point in the past where ‘individuals’ came together and agreed to be governed in the manner they are today. On the contrary, the community exists prior to the individual. The individual is born into a community at some specific point in time and socialized into its way of life. The individual is only able to construct his own identity by way of communities, through the concepts of his language provided to him by his culture. In this manner, communitarians agree with Aristotle that humans are social beings. Language is the sine qua non of any social order. This demonstrates that ‘individuals’ are hardly as isolated from one another as liberals make them out to be. We are immersed in the social world of our language. Only the most original thinkers of any period of time come up with original thoughts and concepts, very few of them at that.

For communitarians, individualism is nothing but atomization. Far from freeing the individual from tyranny, individualism only atomizes his communities and isolates him (e.g., from his contemporaries, his ancestors, and his descendants, taking a page from de Tocqueville). This isolation is what makes him so uniquely vulnerable, unlike his ancestors who lived within extended family networks, to despotism. Thus the rootless, disconnected, individuals of liberal capitalist democracies find themselves completely at the mercy of the most powerful organizations and groups that exist within their societies (e.g., in our case Jews and capitalists) and their agendas. Whereas human beings used to work to live, in liberal capitalist democracies, now they live to work.

Communitarians also take aim at other liberal sacred cows like ‘the neutral system’. Communitarians ask, who would want to live in such a cultureless society in the first place? Cultures and communities are the source of the common values we hold with our neighbours. These common social values are the frame of reference we use to give our lives and the world around us meaning. Why, pray tell, should we adopt a neutral attitude towards them? Liberals trivialize and relativize cultures and communities and in the process destroy the individual’s sense of place and meaning. The logical result is a disconnected mass of isolated and alienated human beings who miserably live in a spiritually impoverished world. This goes a long way in explaining why liberal capitalist democracies suffer from high suicide rates, drug abuse, low birthrates, schizophrenia and so on.

Thus the starting point of any communitarian prescriptive alternative to liberalism would be a society which cultivates and strengthens communal bonds as opposed to the paranoid liberal tendancy to constantly arm the individual with rights that exist only in opposition to his/her community. The freedom of the individual can only be maximized by strengthening his community his connectedness with his contemporaries. This is likewise in opposition to the liberal view of freedom which is solely defined in negative terms (e.g., against others). Alasdair MacIntyre is also interested in reviving much of classical political theory, specifically, Aristotelian Ethics. Individuals could be organized into social practices which would cultivate certain virtues for their own sake


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