communitarian

not finished with my “ma’at is sj, sj is ma’at” masterpost yet but quick reminder:

ma’at is communitarian. ma’at requires learning and humility. ma’at requires consideration of others and careful consideration of one’s speech and actions. ma’at requires not just an avoidance of evil action but active pursuit of righteousness and justice. 

ignoring racism and other -isms is not ma’at.

associating with racists and antisemites, even casually, teaches them and others that their behavior is acceptable and invites more. this is not ma’at.

refusing to acknowledge your own wrongdoing is not ma’at.

becoming complacent in the pursuit of righteousness is not ma’at.

thank you for your time.

The economy should not be a mechanism for accumulating goods, but rather the proper administration of our common home. This entails a commitment to care for that home and to the fitting distribution of its goods among all. It is not only about ensuring a supply of food or “decent sustenance”. Nor, although this is already a great step forward, is it to guarantee the three “L’s” of land, lodging and labor for which you are working. A truly communitarian economy, one might say an economy of Christian inspiration, must ensure peoples’ dignity and their “general, temporal welfare and prosperity”.  All of this includes the three “L’s”, but also access to education, health care, new technologies, artistic and cultural manifestations, communications, sports and recreation. A just economy must create the conditions for everyone to be able to enjoy a childhood without want, to develop their talents when young, to work with full rights during their active years and to enjoy a dignified retirement as they grow older. It is an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.

Proponents of the welfare state — egalitarians, communitarians, and liberals alike — have misunderstood the implications of their own principles, which in fact support more market-based or libertarian institutional conclusions than most people realize.

I'm taking political surveys online for my government class.

Survey #1 says I’m a Communitarian… I’ve never heard of this before so I don’t have much to say.

Survey #2 says I’m a Disaffected. Makes me sound like I’m immune to a disease. But This had more info than the other survey. I’m apparently critical of gov’t and buisness (my dad owns a buisness… huh.) and i’m stressed with my finance. Also, 23% of us disaffecteds watch NASCAR racing. They got me right on that at least.

Survey #3 says I’m a Republican, but barely. I was one point away from being in the middle. But finally, a survey where Undecided is a choice.

Survey #4 says I’m an Independant.

So…. I guess I’m a political mutt? 

Social security

While I know it is a contested subject, the system needs to change. The prefunded system is a responsible way to go, however the attitude needs to be adjusted in the way we think of supporting our elderly community. There are no simple solutions. Prefunded is flawed in the sense that you are still allowing a 3rd party to invest your retirement savings for you, in a system that is incredibly flawed. There is no sense in allowing your future to be speculated on, by allowing a 3rd party to invest your money (i.e. the stock market i.e. a system that is akin to playing with monopoly money) you are removing the control from you to someone else. There is no place for personal responsibility. It should still, I merely suggest, be a governmental system whereas you work and have a percentage of your wages collect in an account (earning interest) that your employer also contibutes to (on a percentage basis which would adjust for length of time employed - this would be the same for your personal contribution as this would encourage job longevity) so that upon retirement (and not at any time before, except in cases of diability where you are never going to be able to work again) you would collect monthly allotments. This also gives the individual the ability to choose when they retire and not anyone else. (I should add that at any point in time you would be able to add to your retirement balance out of pocket)

So the question that comes into play is how would we adjust for the deficiet resutling from the change over? This is more specifically where the attitude adjustment comes into play (and while this is a communitarian view, it is still valid). Our population needs to realize that the elderly (or retired, disabled) are still vital and important parts of our communities. We need to realize that it is everyones responsiblity to care for each other - we need to abandon our insular and atomistic concepts of ‘individual’ and realign ourselves with morals and compassion. By being willing to accept a higher tax for a period of 30 years that would help fund those who would otherwise be cheated, yes I said cheated (because you helping them should not be viewed as you personally being cheated but being a caring member of society, one of those 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ moments), we can eliminate the 'buldge’ and move forward into a sustainable pattern of treating everyone with equal respect.

Granted, this isn’t perfect… but I am still evolving in my political education and learning to schuck the liberal ideology that has pervaded my life as a United States citizen.

While my tumblr is a representation of who I am and what I believe, I don’t think I have truly explained myself to my followers. I have in brief posts about my life and my hobbies, however, the very core being of who I am, what I want to do, and how I want to do it have remained a mystery. Lately, I have been more vocal about my beliefs on tumblr; albeit they are brief glimpses of my beliefs jumbled within my pictures of attractive men, tattoos, food, music, etc. But I am much more than other people’s pictures and reblogs. I am a person who deeply feels committed to connecting myself to a core mission and seeing that mission carried out. Now, what do I mean by that? I am glad you asked.

First and foremost, my goals lie within the realm of the environment. Slowly, over time, I have developed a strong passion for the environment. I love not only spending time in the environment, but learning and understanding the environment and ways in which humans can coexist with nature. I was born into a world that has little time and effort for understanding every aspect of life’s connection and impact on the environment. And what began as an understanding of Environmental Ethic developed into a desire to understand the science and politics surrounding the environment. In order to establish an ethic, I first had to understand the value of the environment in a personal way.

In my senior year of high school almost four years ago, I became immersed in the world of electoral politics. While electoral politics is not my passion, the work I did on President Obama’s 2008 campaign led to an alteration in my worldview and brought out what was truly in my heart: a passion to change the world. That was a very tall order. My initial goals of going into music production were placed on the back burner as I immersed myself in classes on international and national politics. I transferred colleges to pursue Political Communications and fell in love with organized movements, particularly grassroots organizing.

Slowly, my study of politics shaped my understanding of science, art, literature, food, language, economics, and all other aspects of life. My life was and is constantly immersed in politics and grassroots organizing. My goals and ambitions were and are to understand my beliefs and apply them to my life. My beliefs dominantly are shaped by my study of history, philosophy, political science, communications, grassroots organizing, science, and the environment and my understanding of society. I have dedicated my life to not only something that I love but something that I understand and have a natural talent for.

But what are my beliefs? I do very rarely share something so personal on my tumblr. While I am an amalgamation of different ideas of what the world should be, I do not wish to pigeonhole myself to one set ideology. I consider myself to be dominantly a Communitarian. What is Communitarianism? Communitarianism is an understanding that until we place emphasis on the value of individuals living within a community and their value within a community, we cannot value each other. When we live within communities of peoples who bring different skills to the community, thus causing it to thrive where it otherwise would flounder, we value them for their skills. These skills lead to the success of the community and ultimately the individual. These communities could be family units, but frequently they are individuals who have connected through personal interaction, shared history, or shared geography. Regardless of how the community came to be, what is most important is a sense of connection between these people and a sense of commitment to self and community success.

These ideas fuel my understanding of education, housing, health care, jobs and the economy and their relevance to communities and their governments. My communitarian ethic fuels my ideas surrounding humanitarianism, equality, positive rights, and social capital. My goals and ambitions are driven by the understanding that communities that work together to shape the landscape politically, socially, and economically, will build communities that fit the individual community’s needs. Communitarianism is neither a right nor left belief, but rather their leanings are dictated by the communities themselves. All of this is fueled by my understanding of the environment and how we need to care for it and my belief that grassroots organizing can change the political, social, and economic landscape of this world.

Ultimately, all of this is derived from my sense of purpose. Where this sense comes from, I have no idea. But I do not need to know where this sense comes from, merely that I feel this way. I have never felt so strongly about something in my entire life. At my very core is where all of these beliefs lay. This is who I am as a person, this is how I view the world, this is what leads me to act the way I do. The environment is my heart and politics are my hands.

Aiwha Ong critiques the barrier between the "liberal" West with the "illiberal" East:

I know it’s super long, but it’s really good. I would type up the whole chapter if I could. If politics and anthropology interest you, definitely have a read. Also, it highlights the age-old anthropological debate “does complete objectiveness ever actually exist?” Many of the ideas we hold will always influence our perspective in seeing the “Other.”

“On a visit to South-East Asia, Huntington calls Asian democracies like Singapore, Malaysia, and so on ‘illiberal systems,’ contrasting them with American democracy. He claims that 'free, fair and competitive elections are only possible of there is some measure of freedom of speech, assembly, and press, and if opposition candidates and parties are able to criticize incumbents without fear of retaliation. Democracy is thus not only a means of constituting authority, it is also a means of limiting authority.’ While Huntington recognizes that Malaysia and Singapore are parliamentary democracies, he is critical of their political culture that puts limits on the capacity of citizens to express their views without fear of state retaliation. 

Huntington’s concern is part of his overall clash-of-civilizations thesis, which is a global version of the liberalism-communitarian debate about fundamental Western and non-Western cultural differences. In the West, the debate assesses the pros and cons of the eighteenth-centruy view that citizens’ allegiance could be grounded on enlightened self-interest, versus the republican ideal of community grounded on citizens’ alliance to pursue common action for the common good. The ideals of the unencumbered self (individualism) and of the situated self (communalism) are linked and form the dynamic tension in democratic societies. The liberalism-communitarian debate seeks to weigh how the democratic government should respond to the range of citizens’ demands for individual rights and for the good of collectiviities. Charles Taylor notes that the body of liberal theory dominant in the Anglophone world sees the goal of society as to help citizens realize their life-plans 'as much as possible and following some principle of equality.’

But when the debate expands to include Asian nations, the tendency is to lump them under the communitarian camp, since non-Western societies are viewed as giving the highest priority to community life, often at the expense of individual freedom. For Western political theorists, the paradox presented by most Asian democracies is that the growth of market economies has not led to the growth of civil society, in particular the cherished Western ideals of full-fledged individual rights, and the freedom to check state power. Instead it seems to theorists like Huntington that economic growth has enabled Asian states to strengthen their ability to subordinate individual rights to the collective good. This underdeveloped nature of civil society in Asian countries has led Western observers to conclude that they lack political accountability to individuals to society. Huntington’s 'explanation for this paradox - representative democracy and capitalist economy coexisting with an authoritarian state (minus civil society) - lies in enduring Asian values, which have survived Western colonialism and become dominant in the post-colonial formations.’

But instead of resorting to cultural essentialism, it might be interesting to investigate the symbiosis between economic liberalism and political conservatism as characteristic of a different form of liberalism. After all, the most successful forms of Asian liberal economies - the so-called Asian tigers of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia - were colonies of Great Britain and inherited many institutions of government, law, and education associated with the Enlightenment values Huntington claims are missing in Asia. I discern that what appears particularly illiberal to Western observers is the fact that the Asian tiger state defines for the citizenry what is the public good. This flies in the face of Western assumptions that liberalism is fundamentally about rights rather than a particular vision of the good society; 'the principle of equality or nondiscrimination would be breached if society itself espoused one or another conception of the good life.’ Second, Asian tigers have a different conception of political accountability which is not immediately apparent to Western observers focused on the protection of individual rights according to principle of absolute equality. For these middle-range economies, political accountability tends to be measured in terms of the state ability to sustain economic growth for society as a whole. 

Thus, if one considers liberalism not as political philosophy, but as an 'art of government,’ it may be possible to discover that the particular features of Asian political culture are rooted not in some timeless cultural values but in the logic of late-developing liberal economy.”

Aiwha Ong. Clash of Civilizations of Asian Liberalism? An Anthropology of the State and Citizenship.

French whites hate to see minorities organizing by themselves. So they use the most convenient excuse to dismiss this kind of things by accusing those minorities of  "communitarianism" (communautarisme in French) and as being opposed to the French ideals of “universalism” because their white islamophobic “Left” is universal apparently.