Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Communitarian Network

An edited version of older post from The New Beginning.

Amitai Etzioni and the Communitarian Network were first brought to my attention by Dr. Jason West at the Garrigou-Lagrange group at Yahoo. Apparently Dr. Etzioni has a blog (which is no longer regularly updated). His biography and publications.

In an interview Dr. West also recommends the work of Louis Groarke at St. Francis Xavier University, especially The Good Rebel: Understanding Morality and Freedom.

I have not read any of these books--but I am interested in reading them, if only to see if I share anything in common with these writers, and if they have any practical recommendations. (How do they compare with the paleoconservatism/communitarianism of Dr. Thomas Fleming?) The problem with political philosophers is that they can be a bit too idealistic (in the popular sense of the word), and fail to appreciate the necessity of coercion because of man's fallen state. [Shades of the debate between the Confucians and the Legalists!] Dr. Etzioni also appears to be an internationalist, like many others (John Finnis, Robert George, Pope John Paul 2). What I mean by "internationalism" is this: the endorsement of international/transnational structures of authority, if not specifically some sort of world government.

Implications of new technologies for individual rights and public safety
Webcast for talk on privacy and surveillance
Key Interviews links
Critique by Roger Scruton; response by Etzioni, followed by Scruton's rejoinder

In the end, I'll take Catholic social teaching and political theology over any alternative...