The Continuing Communitarian Problem of Individualism

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A communitarian view on society states that each individual is responsible for his status inside a given community; that such a community is equally responsible for the status of its individuals. It states that any law or practice should be based on a purely democratic and not a simple majoritarian perspective. Polities should be determined to foster participation and deliberation, not to dictate policies but rather mandate a collective perspective. Indeed all this must be done, and more, in an effort to regulate a healthy society in which all individuals are equal in the community and that contribute equally back to the community. However, how can a society be democratic without being majoritarian? How is a dictated policy not mandated? At what point do an individual’s needs outweigh the needs of the many. Communitarian views also hold to the beliefs that ‘exclusive pursuits of private interests’ is destructive to and erodes the experiment called democratic self-government. Further it contends that individual rights cannot remain intact without a communitarian perspective; that human dignity and the social dimension are recognized equally. How is this possible? Can a system exist in which an individual and society as a whole maintain a mutually acceptable symbiotic existence without infringing on opposing responsibilities? A democratic perspective by its very nature relies on a individuals view on how best to run his given society. A communitarian perspective insist that all members of a community act and react as one, each drawing the same conclusions as the next, and collectively moving towards a mutual goal. The idea of a collective community mind set is naïve at best. While two persons may be neighbors, have the same ideals, and the same moral codes, they will by law of nature have completely separate experiences. These two individuals, when faced with the
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