THIRD WAY POLITICS AND COMMUNITARIAN IDEAS: TIME TO TAKE A STAND
Many in the UK and the US, and increasingly in Germany and other countries too, are becoming acquainted with the notion of the " Third Way ". Politicians such as Clinton, Blair and Schröder are positioning the Third Way as their new way of practicing politics.
But what exactly is the Third Way ? Many commentators have observed that Third Way politics is derived from communitarian ideas. This article looks at the relevance of communitarian thinking to evaluating Third Way politics and puts forward a progressive communitarian approach to politics. This approach focuses on 5 principles : opposition to power inequalities - taxation as a civic virtue - the state as the guarantor of dignity for all - support for lifelong learning - democratic participation.
The article concludes that from a communitarian point of view, there is definitely a distinct way to practice politics, but that it differs from what currently goes by the name of the Third Way. Third Way Governments will have to take on board many progressive communitarian reforms if it is to stand any chance of effectively tackling the social inequalities and the civic apathy reinforced by the current developments.
European Union - EMU - Euro - Monetary Policy - Economic Policy - Ruling Class - State Power
Henry TAM is Chair of the UK Communitarian Forum.
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