Stegerwald wrote:It is true that Giddens embraces individualism, but he also advocates a number of communitarian policies. Moreover, somewhere on PoFo you mentioned Etzioni, who believes that ethics has priority over individualism. It appears that he has been identified with the Third Way.
Indeed this is food for thought. The radical centre is liberal with regard to the economy, but it tends to conservatism with respect to social values and institutions. However, this is not conservatism in the traditional sense, which engages in the glorification of the past. The communitarian orientation is a reaction to the New Left movement of the sixties, which created a form of individualism without responsibilities. The radical centre believes that autonomy has been somewhat perverted. A typical critic of our present morals is the political scientist Robert Putnam, who states that the decay of social associations undermines the social and political participation. Associations make people more able-bodied, and provide them with information and sound values.
Also the stimulation of social associations helps to make individuals less dependent on the state. Associations can express the needs of the people, and thus contribute to social reforms. For instance, New Labour has promoted new public management, which tries to improve efficiency. It must create more diversity, which increases the choice that is available to the citizens. The citizens can even challenge the provision of public services, and found their own voluntary and private supply.
Besides, although Etzioni is a communitarian, his I&We paradigm still includes individualism. He argues that nowadays the personal interests grow over the general interest.
Stegerwald wrote:At least classical liberalism condemns both duties (social responsibilities) and positive rights.
Yes, and therefore Giddens advocates civic liberalism
, that is to say, the recapturing of the public space by the citizens themselves.
Snoopy: Here's the WWI flying ace posing beside his sopwith camel. My mission is to seek out the Red Baron, and to bring him down! Contact!