Communities, by definition are closed. The reason for that is a community is a group of similar people with reciprocal responsibilities and duties. If you are outside of that community, it means you are not like the people inside and you do not share their duties and responsibilities. In order to gain entry to the community, you therefore must be invited into it by the people inside it. The community has the sole right to add new members, so the very definition of a community means it is closed.
Think of it this way. Imagine a community organized around a hobby like collecting and admiring something, a pop culture item maybe. Each individual, in pursuing his interest in the hobby runs into others with the same interest. They begin to form social bonds like shared experiences and shared relationships with others, who they have met while pursuing their hobby. They eventually begin to socialize in more formal settings like swap meets and collectors’ conventions.
What all of these people have in common is an interest in the subject matter, but what makes them a community is they have developed a shared interest in enjoying the hobby together. It is these social connections around their shared interest that makes them a community. In other words, what makes them a community is the shared social bonds around the hobby. It’s not just the transaction of participating in the hobby, but the invisible human connections that defines the community.
In order to join that community, you must have more than just an interest in the hobby, but also be invited into the social group. You start showing up at their public events and talking with the members. Over time, your interest in the hobby helps you make regular acquaintance with some of the members. In time, they bring you into the community and you begin to build social bonds. At some point, you go from being someone who shares their interests to a member of their community.
In theory, an open community is one that allows anyone to just walk in and claim membership, as long as they tick some boxes on a form. In reality, this is not a community at all, as the members have no control of membership, because they have no control of what defines the community. The new members can come in and agree to change the terms of entry, for example. This is because their duty to the community ends with the last tick on the admission form.
The same logic applies to a society or any human organization. The New York Yankees get to decide who is and who is not a Yankee. They not only have rules for membership, but they alone decide membership. A political or cultural movement follows the same logic. You can be in agreement or supportive, but you are not a member of it until you are included in it by the people inside the movement. This is why the Tea Party movement failed. It had no barriers to entry.
This conflict between open and closed community is at the heart of the current crisis in the Western world. After the Second World War, it was argued that a moral society must be tolerant of dissimilar people. Tolerance for different races, ethnic groups, religions and cultures slowly became the definition of the moral society. The “open society” was the goal of social reformers. This explicitly meant that the people in Western societies no longer had the right to determine membership in their society.
This is why private discrimination and free association are now forbidden. If a group of left-handed gingers, with an interest in Anglo-Saxon poetry, were to form a community around these traits and interests, they must get permission from the state. That would mean allowing in girls, non-gingers and maybe even people not suffering the defect of left-handedness. Otherwise, they’d risk litigation. You see, in an open society, there can never be barriers to entry. Everything is open to everyone.
The people who promoted the open society in the last century, and continue to promote it today, do so as outsiders. They look at the organic communities and societies of the West and simply see collections of people. The alien cannot see or understand the reciprocal obligations and duties that hold the community together. These are only obvious to the people inside, because it is what holds them together. The outsider only sees the benefits of membership, not what defines it.
This is the heart of the problem in America. The people with the greatest influence in the country, the ruling class, are not part of the communities and cultures that have defined the country. They just see people, not the many invisible connections that define local community. For them, the peculiarities that are the outward facing aspects of community are just items on the cultural buffet. They can sample what they like, because they have no meaning beyond the superficial.
The result of this is the slow erosion of the social capital that defines and holds together a community. It is also eroding the invisible bonds that hold communities together around a shared public culture. When the public space is made open to everyone, everyone shows up. The shared reality of public life in America looks like a park after an open-air concert or a leftist demonstration. It is no longer part of our shared reality that we own in common. It is not ours.
Compounding the crisis is the fact that the people at the top, the managerial class, have become self-aware. They now have a sense of community. More important, their sense of community is the closed variety. They now think the only way to maintain their community is to maintain the open society over which they rule. In order for their community to be tolerated by the open society, they must foster an intolerance of those questioning the logic and consequences of the open society
This is how we find ourselves in a world where destructive degenerates are celebrated as the new cultural norm, but the natural bonds of organic community are demonized and anathematized as immoral. The only way for the closed community at the top to maintain the open society over which they rule is to systematically destroy the normal social bonds that make organic community possible. The open society is thus a war on the very conditions that make normal human society possible.
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