The Future of Community: Reports of a death greatly exaggerated?
We are constantly being told that we are losing a ‘sense of community’. But is the notion of community actually under threat from the very thing supposed to protect it: relentless government intervention?
The family and collective institutions have certainly suffered in the face of market forces and moralising. But arguably a far bigger threat to social solidarities comes from the crisis of political confidence. Has replacing a political vision for society with instrumental attempts to create ‘community’ not only given rise to unelected ‘community leaders’, but also formalised community relationships to the detriment of traditional freedoms?
If genuine communities are to flourish do we need a space, free from official intervention, where people can confidently negotiate their own relations?
The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated (Pluto Press, 2008)