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This person is (1) the wrongiest guy around and (2) never shuts up

April 26, 2018

Tom Woods


Source …..

This guy has being wrong down to a science (and no, I don’t mean Bill Kristol, who’s in a league of his own).

I keep getting emails from something called the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. They are written by someone named Amitai Etzioni.

“Communitarianism” is supposed to represent a radical break from the current political spectrum.


Here are a few communitarian precepts, as I understand them:

(1) Rights do not exist in the absence of government. Therefore, when government expropriates you and transfers your property to someone else, you have no grounds for complaint. Had there been no government, you would have no rights at all. Be happy with what you are permitted to keep.

(2) In many areas of life, “public-private partnerships” are desirable.

(3) Communitarians believe in “community,” but by this they do not mean your town, your local civic group, or any of the local, flesh-and-blood institutions people associate with community. At least as articulated by Etzioni, the only “community” to which communitarianism makes reference in practice is the nonexistent “national community,” a soulless abstraction. In the name of this “community,” we ought to treat individuals’ property as if it is entirely at the disposal of the political class, so that we may promote the “common good.”

What brave pioneers these communitarians are! Take a moment to catch your breath, now that you’ve seen just how radical a departure this all is from conventional thought.

Although Etzioni flatters himself as being beyond the left-right spectrum, he is not quite correct: he is exactly in the middle. He is a “vital center” liberal of the Truman/Schlesinger variety. That means he is wrong on everything, both domestic and foreign.

One of his pieces is called “Soft Syria Response Worse Than Inaction,” which has nothing to do with preserving localism and community health, as one ought to expect from someone calling himself a communitarian.

Another is “Everything Libertarians and Liberals Get Wrong About Drones,” which are “the most effective counter-terrorism tool the United States has found thus far.” (Again, I hope the radical originality of Etzioni’s effusions will not lead any of my readers into cardiac arrest.)

During the Obama years he wrote an article on why impeachment of the president should be more difficult. More difficult! We’ve had a grand total of two impeachments in over 220 years, and this is just too darn many!

Etzioni fears that impeachment drama would “eat up much of whatever little political capital exists in Washington for bipartisan deals and constructive action.” So he’s a communitarian, but he looks to one city, in a country of over 300 million people, to direct the resources and energies of all American communities? This is someone who values community?

“Bipartisan deals and constructive action.” Yes, that sounds like our nation’s capital. The $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities for the major transfer programs is the result of decades of bipartisanship. The fiasco of a foreign policy the U.S. government has is the result of nearly 70 years of bipartisanship. Thanks to bipartisanship, lots of real-life communities in Iraq were reduced to rubble, and 2-4 million people were displaced from their communities.

If one were a genuine communitarian — in the sense of caring about actual communities that involve not some phony “national community” conjured out of thin air but real, face-to-face relationships between actual human beings — he should favor placing as many obstructions as possible before the community-destroying circus of sociopaths who rule over us.

Etzioni conceives of our Washington overlords as Platonic guardians. Not from him will we uncover the more prosaic reality: we are governed by self-centered cronies who rig rules and regulations in favor of the powerful and who never saw a war or a bailout they didn’t like.

Up with community, down with communitarianism.


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