Originally Published at Conspiracy Archive on 2009/02/06

Obama and Etzioni

Obama and Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni, the high priest of communitarianism, was in Israel recently and was interviewed by the Jerusalem Post.

Here’s a short, but revealing excerpt:

Why did you call your movement “Communitarianism”?

That’s actually an interesting story. I started a little group in 1990, and I tried to find a word to counter excessive individualism. Communitarianism is actually associated with…

Communism?

Well, yes, when it first came up in the mid-19th century, it was associated with communism in East Asia. So we had a very long debate about whether to use it or not. But we just couldn’t come up with another term that would speak for community and common good. And we hoped that our kind of neo-communitarianism would succeed in becoming a kind of a symbol for this other approach. It’s a particularly key point at the moment, because there is no philosophy that better describes Obama’s position than communitarianism. But nobody wants him to label it thus, because it immediately evokes the image of East Asia, Singapore and Japan. So, it may have been an imperfect choice of a term, but now we’re kind of stuck with it.

1) He admits that Communitarianism is traditionally associated with Communism; and 2) he specifically identifies Obama’s ideology as that of Communitarianism.

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