Single Idea 7492

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 7. Communitarianism / a. Communitarianism]

Full Idea

Pre-modern societies are based on community (Gemeinschaft), whereas modern societies are based on association (Gesellschaft).

Gist of Idea

Early societies are based on community, and modern societies on association


report of Ferdinand Tönnies (Community and Association [1887]) by Peter Watson - Ideas Ch.32

Book Reference

Watson,Peter: 'Ideas: from fire to Freud' [Phoenix 2006], p.888

A Reaction

A very interesting distinction. The modern term implies contracts, and it strikes me as an extremely accurate description of modern liberal democracies. There is very little sense of community, but a strong sense of innumerable contracts that bind us.