chapter  3
24 Pages

THE POLITICS OF COMMUNITY

This chapter considers critical theories of law that are focused on the idea of community. In the context of promoting the good of the community, slavery is a good thing. It might not be much fun for slaves, but cheap labour is vital for maximising the wellbeing of the community and maintaining social order. The particular idiosyncrasies which pervade Aristotle's ideal community, the products of his particular historical context, should not detract from the enduring influence of the basic idea of a politics defined in terms of communities. Classicism and godliness were elided, and, at the more puritan Calvinist extremes, government became the duty of every Christian citizen, and the determination to govern the ambition of the protestant crusade. One of the most strident modern defences of a distinctive politics of communal solidarity has been presented by the critical legal scholar Roberto Unger. The complementary politics is characterised by the pervasive demand for mechanisms of participatory government.