Communitarianism and Individualism

Communitarianism and Individualism - Communitarianism and...

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Unformatted text preview: Communitarianism and Individualism Individualism Public Good vs. Private Gain Public Public Good vs. Private Gain Public What is a public good? A public good is a good that is non-rival and nonpublic excludable. This means that consumption of the good by excludable. one individual does not reduce the amount of the good available for consumption by others and no one can be effectively excluded from using that good. Collective goods (or social goods) are defined as public goods that could be delivered as private goods, but are usually delivered by the government for various reasons, including social policy, and financed from public funds like taxes. taxes Public good vs. Private Gain Public Excludable Excludable Rivalrous Non-Rivalrous Non-Excludable Private goods food, clothing, toys, food, furniture, cars Common-pool resources, or resources, Common good Common water, fish, hunting water, game Club goods Club cable television cable Public goods Public national defense, national free-to-air television, air Public good vs. Private Gain Public Group membership, then, falls into the “club goods” Group category category Group membership defined: “The political community, Group whose members distribute power to one another and avoid, if they possibly can, sharing it with anyone else (Avineri & de-Shalit). de-Shalit). Group membership refined: “[Group membership] Group determines with whom we make those choices, from whom we require obedience and collect taxes, to whom we allocate goods and services” (Avineri & de-Shalit). allocate Public Good vs. Private Gain Public The idea of nation vs. state: Nation: A group that shares a common cultural, Nation: religious, racial, ethnic, or linguistic, identity. religious, State: a political association with effective State: dominion over a geographic area. It usually includes the set of institutions that claim the sovereign authority to make the rules that govern the people of the society in that territory. the Public Good vs. Private Gain Public Ways of constructing membership in the political Ways communities: communities: The Neighborhood Model: No enforceable admissions policy Strangers can be welcomed, not welcomed, not admitted, or Strangers excluded excluded Voluntary movement into the neighborhood (market forces Voluntary determine this), thus, the state is only minimally involved in enforcing “restrictive covenants” enforcing The state, although it legally minimizes discrimination, may The engage in processes that segregate engage In this way, the “state” becomes a facilitator of neighborhoods in In that it guarantees the loyalty, security, and welfare of its citizens, thereby allowing neighborhoods to develop as “indifferent associations” (Avinieri & de-Shalit) associations” Public Good vs. Private Gain Public The Club Model: General qualifications for membership Varying degrees of administrative discretion The club takes on the characteristics that the members themselves The want it to accrue….public policy changes want The decision that determines with whom its members share and The exchange goods is political exchange The Family Model: The state as nation Feelings of obligations to groups of outsiders viewed as ethnic Feelings “relatives” “relatives” The “kinship principle”: Priority given to immigrants who are The relatives of citizens relatives Public Good vs. Private Gain Public Nationality vs. Nationalism: Nationality: Common characteristics Nationalism: Nations are distinct, immutable chunks of humanity National allegiances are to be fostered at the expense of all other National commitments commitments Nations may agress against each other (Avinieri & de-Shalit) (Avinieri Nations develop “myths of descent” that are useful (see p. Nations 91) 91) Citizenship, then is a result not just of a distribution of Citizenship, rights and obligations, but a pattern of beliefs and behaviors behaviors Public Good vs. Private Gain Public A variety of norms and values that are variety predetermined in the economic and political world operate separately world Nationality and citizenship are valuable in that Nationality they reinforce an equal set of political and legal rights Public Good vs. Private gain Public Some problems with this theory: The Feminist Perspective Neighborhoods, clubs, and families have all developed as models Neighborhoods, that have historically disenfranchised women that Women have to claim their individualistic “selves”; they cannot Women concern themselves with the communitarian “social self” concern What feminism requires is the opposite, the extension of liberal What individualism into the social relationships that have been typified as “private”, i.e. family, club membership, etc. as Feminism offers a fourth possibility, that of membership modeled Feminism after “friendship” (common needs, desires, attractions, fears, etc based on similar social circumstances) based ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2012 for the course POL 2 taught by Professor Robertbrown during the Fall '05 term at Riverside Community College.

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