The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society

The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society

The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society

The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society

Synopsis

One of the world's most quoted intellectuals, university professor, and founding president of the Communitarian Network explores how a good society should operate and what values we must bring to our social interactions if we are to achieve stronger community ties. The subject of numerous media profiles, Amitai Etzioni has worked with both the Clinton administration and Republican senators on social policy.

Excerpt

In 1992, Antioch College issued a lengthy, detailed, written list of instructions that students, faculty, and staff are expected to follow when they proposition one another. Members of the Antioch community are required to ask permission explicitly from their prospective partners at every step and move of courtship, and are warned not to proceed until and unless explicit and unambiguous consent to advance has been granted. Antioch explains the policy to incoming students (who are required to participate in sexual consent workshops) as follows: "Each step of the way, you have to ask. . . . If you want to take her blouse off, you have to ask. If you want to touch her breast, you have to ask. If you want to move your hand down to her genitals, you have to ask. If you want to put your finger. . . ." All students are warned that if they violate the code, they will be subject to significant penalties, including expulsion from the college.

The popular press had a field day with these guidelines. They were considered "a menace to spontaneity," political correctness gone mad, and were otherwise widely derided. However, to this sociologist they represent a near-desperate attempt to restore rules of conduct to an . . .

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