Monday, May 21, 2012

State of Communitarianism

One of the things I don't have the privilege of doing is writing an optimistic blog, at least not honestly.  Communitarian ideas are pretty much at a low point.  Yet still they are managing to fall further.  Conservatism would seem its natural defender, but conservatism is very enamored in libertarianism right now.  At least from a policy standpoint, progressives are the alliance.  Progressives however are advocates of their positions for their own reasons and those reasons don't tend to be communitarian.

Where there is a glimpse of hope is in prison reform.  We have created a large and near permanent caste in this country.  Minorities in both the progressive and conservative camps are beginning to recognize this scandal for what it is.  Of course these advocates are overshadowed by larger groups who are just looking for drug legalization.  These larger groups will sometimes offer the scandal of our large prison population as an argument, but it is just an argument of convenience.  But there still remains those that believe that we simply can't label an element criminal and banish them from society.  There is a remnant who believe that we have moral responsibility to attempt and see that all people enjoy the dignity of life.

As to the drug war itself, I don't see the obvious arguments.  I simply do not buy the idea that legalization would cure all that many issues.  I also don't buy that it wouldn't cause any issues.  As it stands, I'm personally closer to the decriminalization side of the equation.  That doesn't mean legalization.  That means treating pot smoking like a parking ticket.  I do not see the merits of treating marijuana like alcohol.  Of course, these positions come down to mere prudential reasonings.  The principled position is simply that the state can and should regulate substances that are deleterious to society.  The extent any substance is so is a debate to be had.

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