TITLE

Etzioni's new theory: a synthesis of liberal and communitarian views

AUTHOR(S)
Schilcher, Bernd
PUB. DATE
August 1999
SOURCE
Journal of Socio-Economics;1999, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p429
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
There has always been a rather strong contrast between liberal and communitarian views. The liberal doctrine of "irreversible plurality of philosophical and moral ideas" for instance does not only mean that consensus about social values is difficult. "A public consensus about the necessary conception of the good cannot be obtained," says Rawls. On the other hand, communitarians such as MacIntyre, Sandel, and Walzer, are deeply convinced by the idea of an "immanent telos" of societies, which in their opinion have the utmost influence on the development of individuals. A similar strong contrast exists between the liberal universalism of values and the communitarian particularism. Etzioni's New Theory now tries to overcome these unsatisfactory "tyrannies of dualism" (A. Gutmann) Instead of the traditional and hostile either- or, Etzioni puts a reconciliatory as well as. "As many other dichotomies the dualism between universalism and particularism stands in the way of the development of a social Paradigm," he regrets. Therefore Etzioni wants to combine instead of dividing. For example, social order (communitarian value) and personal autonomy (liberal value). So he proposes to install more personal autonomy in states with strong social order, as for instance Japan, and he demands more social order in traditional individualistic states like the United States ("Inverse Symbiosis"). Such "combining and balancing solutions" coincide with the theory of a "Flexible System of Private Rights" created and proposed by the famous Austrian Legal Scholar Walter Wilburg. On the level of "value principles" in the sense of Ronald Dworkin (instead of "rules" of law), Wilburg combines the differing "weights and strengths" of values (elements). An example of this is negligence, dangerous behavior, and economic capacity of risk spreading to more or less far reaching compensations of private damages, instead of the traditional either-or. The underlying idea is that of proportion. In term...
ACCESSION #
2748015

 

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