Letter: Philosophical approach to communitarianism

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The Independent Online
Sir: "Communities" in the industrial era, writes Anna Coote, "were fashioned to a large extent by the capital system of the time". They were also fashioned by the influence of unions on employment structures and working conditions, and by opening up public education in forms which permitted the growth of liberalism.

But Tony Blair would have to be blind not to have seen that the main area of interaction between capital and community, that of employment and its supporting structures, including the unions, has ceased to be compelling. If Labour ignores the need to replenish and protect family and community values and structures, it risks being party to a new capitalism, all too evident in the policies of the present government, which accepts high prison populations, the growth of an underclass and social conflict as the price of a spurious liberty.

Yours faithfully,

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