Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Dangers of Localism

To be a born-again communitarian is widely considered today as the sign of a critical standpoint, leftism, and progress. Come back community, from the exile to which the modern State confined you; all is forgiven and forgotten--the oppressiveness of parochiality, the genocidal propensity of collective narcissism, the tyranny of communal pressures and the pugnacity and despotism of communal discipline. It is, of course, a nuisance that one finds in this bed some unwelcome and thoroughly repulsive fellows. How to keep the bed to oneself, how to prove that the unwelcome fellows have no right to be in it--this seems to be the problem.

Zygmunt Bauman, "The Making and Unmaking of Strangers," in Debating Cultural Hybridity, 56.

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