"Our society is neither without community nor sufficiently Communitarian; it is neither gemeinschaft nor gesellschaft, but a mixture of the two sociological conditions. America does not need a simple return to gemeinschaft, to the traditional community. Modern economic prerequisites preclude such a shift, but even if it were possible, such backpedaling would be undesirable because traditional communities have been too constraining and authoritarian. Such traditional communities were usually homogeneous. What we need now are communities that balance both diversity and unity. As John W. Gardner has noted: 'To prevent the wholeness from smothering diversity, there must be a philosophy of pluralism, an open climate for dissent, and an opportunity for subcommunities to retain their identity and share in the setting of larger group goals.' Thus, we need to strengthen the communitarian elements in the urban and suburban centers, to provide the social bonds that sustain the moral voice, but at the same time avoid tight networks that suppress pluralism and dissent. . . .
"What Can We Do?
"To strengthen the communitarian nexus requires four measures, each of which deserves some discussion: changing orientation, changing the 'habits of the heart'; working out conflicts between career needs and community bonds; redesigning our physical environment to render it more community-friendly; and fostering volunteer endeavors that do not trivialize and squander our commitments to the commons."