Monday, October 02, 2006

What makes a community

Nice article by Sheldon Richman about community and coercion at the Foundation for Economic Education. His article brings to mind something I've thought about before- the fact that many statists, mostly but not exclusively those on the left, and especially the so-called "communitarians," seem to regard a social/community organization as legitimate or valuable only if it is state-created or enforced, usually because of the high school civics notion that the state represents "all of us" in a way that voluntary groups don't. Social organizations actually created by voluntary society don't seem to count, because they don't have the state's sanctifying touch.

For these people, their ideas seem to imply, all of my town's families, churches, clubs, unions, fraternal organizations, and charity events are less authentic expressions of community than, say, Joliet Prison (Such an awful blow to community and solidarity when that place was shut down!) Which, considering what the "communitarian" types seem to want to turn society into, seems fitting.

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