In the Vermont Burlington Free Press; May 3, 2005; page 8A; there is an editorial titled Ownership works with cooperation by Ronald Brownstein; reprinted from the Los Angeles Times; agreeing with a recent essay in the online journal Tom-Paine.com by Mark Winston Griffith.

The editorial criticizes President George W. Bush's ownership society proposals because "when a man's home is his castle, sometimes the first thing he builds is a moat" and "vouchers that allow parents to send their children to private school invite them to flee a shared invvestment in public schools". The editorial says that allowing people to own their own little piece of society destroys communities and promotes social isolation, while forcing people to participate in community institutions strengthens community.

Now suppose that I beat you up, threaten you, and force you to give me a large sum of money. I use the money to build a statue of myself. Since you paid for the statue, you have an incentive to take care of the statue and you would help prevent other people from vandalizing the statue, right? I say no. I think you be angry at me, and would be happy to see someone else vandalize the statue, and would probably vandalize the statue yourself.

When people are forced to participate in community institutions against their will, they will become angry and resentful. They will think that the community institutions are a symbol and form of oppression. They will hate their neighbors for collaborating with their oppressors. Forcing people to participate in community institutions weakens communities.

If we forbid school choice, then we are forcing people to attend schools which they do not want to attend. The school is the equivalent of a prison. People will feel powerless to control their own lives, and will make no effort to study because they feel nothing they do makes any difference, and will probably attack and vandalize the school because they are angry at how the school has enslaved them.

Community institutions need to be voluntary.

So called liberals like Ronald Brownstein and Mark Winston Griffith complain about the loss of community, but the loss of community is their fault, because they are in favor of forcing people to participate in community institutions. Their proposed solutions to the loss of community will result in more loss of community.