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Unformatted text preview: Walzer Notes Communitarians: We have obligations to others whether we like it or not. (Aristotle, Burke) We are by nature political social animals. Aristotle said human beings are not beasts and are not Gods. We are encumbered and are related to other human beings, we are born into a family structure, we share mortality, and we all go through a culture. Generally, we all have some religious values. The communitarian says that is an important fact. We should understand and recognize our reciprocal obligation about others welfare. Our welfare is owed to others. They have a fear of excessive individualism, it moves down a road where it values just the individual and not others. I t is more of a perspective of human beings that shows that we have basic commitments and obligations, especially to those in our communities. This article is a response to the communitarian critique to liberalism. (Response to Sandel). 1. There are, claims Walzer two different, and deeply contradictory, [communitarian] arguments against liberalism. What is the first?- The first criticism is that Liberal/Political theory accurately describes very well how liberal society lives. We are a society of disassociated strangers. The emphasis on the individual, we are barely a community, an aggregation of folks. People are divided by their inalienable rights, they think of themselves absolutely free, unencumbered and on their own. People are isolated to one another and really do not care about one another, seek their own personal goals. We do not have t rue connections to one another. I t is an asocial society. People are apathetic, competitive, high rates of divorce, alienation in modern liberal societies. According to Walzer, if it is t rue that were are an asocial society and that we dont share a sense of solidarity with one another then we should adopt a procedural republic (what Sandel is strongly against, Sandel believes we should adopt a republican society).- Second criticism is that it does not describe that life, it misrepresents that life. Says that in fact, people are not strangers in liberal societies. We are in fact incumbent and not fully autonomous. Society is to connected to be autonomous to one another. We are social animals, then liberal/political theory is misinterpreting that we are isolated and individualistic. We are not and cannot be strangers to one another. Liberal societies are in a way communitarian but the Liberals do not see that....
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- Fall '10