In The Spirit of Community, how does Etzioni appeal to individuals unsure of their political stance?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Amitai Etzioni's The Spirit of Community argues for a new society of communitarians, focusing on collective needs.

Etzioni's basic philosophy is one that would appeal most to American Center-Left politics; he sees the need for communities to act as a whole to better all in the group, rather than allowing individuals to act alone, bettering only themselves. To make this point, Etzioni says:

By the early nineties the waning of community, which had long concerned sociologists, became more pronounced and drew more attention... George Bush evoked the image of a "kinder, gentler" society as a central theme for his first presidential campaign in 1988... Bill Clinton made the spirit of community a theme of his 1992 campaign.
(Etzioni, The Spirit of Community, Google Books)

Here, Etzioni uses two U.S. Presidents, on opposite sides of U.S. politics, to show how community is universal in every political opinion. Although the two sides are publicly opposed, Etzioni argues that they share more inherent values than common thought admits. In adopting a Communitarian stance, Etzioni wants the two-party political system to relax its fundamental differences and focus on the important issues.


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