Author Topic: Liberalism and Community  (Read 3122 times)

Jubal

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Liberalism and Community
« on: February 04, 2016, 03:54:23 PM »
Latest piece I wrote for Lib Dem Voice - check out the unsubtle near-mention of Exilian:

http://www.libdemvoice.org/community-a-liberal-value-in-a-changing-world-49229.html

:P
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Clockwork

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Re: Liberalism and Community
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 05:18:06 PM »
It's a great piece mate. I like it a lot.


Personally I take the stance that community is not directly linked with a liberal society. To me anyway, a liberal society is one where anyone can choose who with and how much they form communities and more community doesn't mean more liberty. As a small aside, I feel like community is an effect of being human and is not intrinsically tied to anything.  I don't think any particular political or social bent can claim community as it's own thing. But that's by the by really :)

"Communities of interest are now an extremely important part of many people’s lives, perhaps more so than ever. Conventions – whether the Bird Fair for natural history enthusiasts, conventions for fans of popular TV shows, or something else entirely, we now form more social connections than ever through these means, and that creates a community. We need to be engaging with these communities as such, treating them as what communities have always been – groups of people with certain shared features of their lives and social links, and thus certain specific political needs that can be addressed to help create supportive, liberating environments."


I question this paragraph though, cons are getting larger and larger, more of them are cropping up all over the place, do they really need help? I would say no. People who want to engage with these communities already do, it's not like they hide or are particularly exclusive (unless you're trying to get into the masons or various darknet cons or something). But that's the same old gripe I always have with your commentaries where you want pro-active action and I like to let things be and see what happens, it can almost be taken as a given :P

Also I've never  heard of tabloids demonising online communities tbh but then again I don't really read them anyway. Like I said at the start though, I liked it and makes good points on (paraphrasing) the value of internet communities and how local communities aren't always
convenient.
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Jubal

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Re: Liberalism and Community
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 10:51:30 PM »
Thankyou :)

Yes, I guess two points - one, I agree that you can have a very communal authoritarian society, this was more a case of "Lib Dems ought to think about community more and in different ways" than "nobody else can think about it". Two, I guess one thing that you might not know is that the LD constitution states that the party must "balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality, and community", so that's why it's to some extent a specifically Lib Dem thing even if not a specifically liberal thing, it's something the party is officially dedicated to promoting!

I think broadly speaking some of these things are thriving, yes, but there are still difficulties. Access is one, a lot of people who would benefit from access to these communities may need more support to be able to engage with them. I'm not sure everyone who wants to engage does by a long shot, and if we take the assumption that it's healthy for people to do so then we should think about what the pressures are that stop them doing so. It's something that happens already on an organising level, and we thought about it for ExiliCon for example, but I think it's an issue that should be on politicians' radars as well.

Another issue, especially outside the huge commercial cons, is just the pressure on organisers and volunteers, who have to take on not just the direct organising but also community and social leadership positions. Sure, people are managing, but I think that more could be done in public advice and helping people know how to do these sorts of things well, how to deal with certain problems/situations involved. I think local government could also think more about provision of spaces for community groups, which is often a difficult issue, and possibly encouraging banks to be a bit less totally armadillo for societies might be nice.

But yeah - the broad point is something that I don't feel any political parties are picking up very well, partly because our political system is based on the premise that communities are physically defined local entities so breaking out and looking at other definitions of community is kind of discouraged I guess.
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