Sunday, March 14, 2010

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Communities

Ophelia Benson has been doing yeoman service lately over at her blog trying to defend true liberalism against communitarian claims (my link is to one of a long series of posts, all worth reading in my view, since I find it very difficult to disagree with her). She argues against the notion of mediating individual rights though the concerns of the 'communities' they belong to, and I am pleased to see she hits on exactly the key question - who decides who gets to leave a community?
This is crucial. Any state that allows the 'community' to define its membership against a claim from a putative member who prefers not to be deemed a member is deeply illiberal and not a state I want ruling my life.
Go read Ophelia's posts. I have a small fear that we in Canada are slipping in the direction of her opponents in the discussion but I hope it is too early for panic.


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