Second Thoughts On Civil Society

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. "Second Thoughts On Civil Society." The Weekly Standard, September 8, 1996.


I would think that it is not just contrariness on my part that makes me wince, these days, on hearing talk of civil society. Liberals and conservatives, communitarians and libertarians, Democrats and Republicans, academics and politicians appeal to civil society as the remedy for our dire condition. They agree upon little else but this, that mediating structures, voluntary associations, families, communities, churches, and workplaces are the corrective to an inordinate individualism and an overweening state.


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