The value of social cohesion and equity is one of the theory’s benefits (Selznick 445). Other modern cultural practices, such as liberalism, capitalism, and enlightenment, have resulted in wealth disparities. Disparities between rich and poor people create divisions, which lead to social issues like crime. The poor performance of American schools in poor neighborhoods is a good example. Regardless of social class, communitarianism advocates for equal access to education, health care, and a living wage (Selznick 452). As a result, it is beneficial because it gives people the right to basics, regardless of their social status unlike in liberal and capitalistic societies. It promotes the preservation of cultural values and morals. It recognizes the importance of the family and the need for individual contribution to the community. It fosters group responsibility in the society (Selznick 463).
One of the drawbacks of the theory is the likelihood of infringing on individual rights for the sake of common good. It may increase levels of dependency where some people will want to take advantage of the existing laws requiring access to basic rights and avoid working. It may encourage laziness among people who wait to benefit from the principle of equality and the common good. Hence, it may reduce country’s productivity.
I would recommend the ideology as the basis for determining whether an act is ethical or not as long as the communitarian decision is not made at the expense of individual rights. It is true that modern culture stemming from enlightenment merits threatens the relevance of communitarianism and at the same time can be a compliment. Modern cultural values are more focused on individualistic approaches. Thus, people are encouraged to use their understanding to do what is best without guidance from the others which threatens the theory. On the other hand, up-to-date custom practices such as intellectual progress can help improve the human society which is a compliment to it.
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Selznick, Philip. “The Idea of a Communitarian Morality.” California Law Review, vol. 75, no. 1, 1987, pp. 445-463.