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Anurag Gangal, Communitarianism 1

Racial Communitarianism

Pejorative and positive are both its connotations. Racial Communitarianism is

also an ages old phenomenon dating back to Plato’s and Aristotelian ideas where
economic well being, opportunities, political power and justice (or rights) flow from
virtue and philosophy. Though their concept slightly differs from what we have especially
after the beginning of the disintegration of socialism in the last quarter of twentieth
In the present-day context, questions of ethnicity, identity and an individual’s
rights vis-à-vis the institution of democratic State are the core issues of
Communitarianism and Racial Communitarianism both.
This is a post-post-modernist development in the sense that it engulfs not only
traditions of libertarianism, modernity of civil society and peculiar amalgamation of both
these to bring forth something anew as good governance but also its quest for a balanced
form of State and social ethos.
Racial Communitarianism thus reflects a search and global movement for equal
respect and opportunities to people of all races in the pursuance of their duties as human
beings and citizens of a global civil society. Rights will then be natural corollary of duties
so performed professionally.
On the pejorative side, racial communitarianism depicts and highlights racial
exploitation, alienation and impropriety of balance between rights and duties of citizens.
Communitarianism is also an attempt to work towards fighting various apparently
fascist tendencies of libertarianism such as overarching power channels and structures
like the Security Council of the United Nations and the all powerful stature of the
President of United States despite inherent checks and balances in the political system.
Communitarianism is, indeed, an emerging movement to go beyond the shackles
of a sovereign nation-state. It is moving ahead into the realms of a global civil society
tackling a number of its issues and problems on its own without always looking up to the
State for all its solution.
Standing on one’s own feet, preserving one’s self-respect, economic and
multicultural empowerment alongwith individual based and logically viable social and
strategic security network are major issues and challenges of communitarianism.
Anurag Gangal, Communitarianism 2

There are also anti-communitarians. For them communitarian movement is for

further curtailing individual’s rights vis-à-vis community rights. This is not the reality of
communitarianism because the main issue of communitarianism is to secure a balanced
approach to rights, duties and justice (Raapana and Friedrich, 2008, see website).
Communitarians take issue with the idea that the
individual stands and should stand in direct unmediated
relationship with the state and with society. This is an idea that
flows through a great deal of contemporary legal and political
thought in northern countries. Communitarians argue for the
continuing significance of status and local networks, and the
potential of other intermediate institutions (Frazer, 1999, 21-
Communitarianism as such has several strands and directions. Only posterity will
tell which way communitarianism goes!
Anurag Gangal, Communitarianism 3

Frazer, E. (1999) The Problem of Communitarian Politics. Unity and conflict,
Oxford: Oxford University Press.