Checks and Balances vs. Communitarianism
In most of history, most of oppression was done by the governments. In America however that is not the case. The American government (at least under Obama and Clinton) is nowhere close to being a force of oppression. There are however entities in America that are oppressive, and they are not the government.
What am I talking about? I am of course talking about private power, such as is wielded by many communities. This power is distinguished from American government power by the fact that it is unelected, unofficial, unbalanced and unchecked. As such there is nothing to keep these entities from practicing tyranny and corruption. And many of these entities eagerly avail themselves of these potentials.
The American founders were right to see potentials for tyranny and corruption in governments and to create a system designed to correct for these potentials. They however failed to see these potentials in private power. So now, the real abuses in America come, not from the government, but from communities, churches, and societies. Being unofficial, unchecked and unbalanced, these entities have an endless potential for wrongdoing. And many of these entities do in fact become tyrannical and corrupt.
If anything, the American government is a balancing and modulating force to help correct the abuses of power by private entities. It is only the government's oversight for people's rights that keep many communities from lynching people. It is only the government's oversight for people's rights that keep many men from engaging in serious brutality against their wives and children. American government, at least in its present form, is a force for protection of people's rights and liberties; and without it the communities would be completely empowered in committing horrendous violations against people in them.
This is what's wrong with communitarianism. An entity that is unofficial, unaccountable, unchecked and unbalanced has nothing to keep it from becoming tyrannical and corrupt; and when these entities are given power, there is nothing to keep them from abusing that power. The only way to avoid these potentials is to apply upon communities checks and balances from within and from without: To create an internal ombudsman system to prevent abuses of power as well as an oversight system from without to ensure that the power that is wielded is wielded rightfully. The communities need to codify their practices exactly as they
are so that nobody would be fooled. And then there needs to be an enforcement mechanism in place in case that either the practices or their enforcement violates rights and freedoms.
The community is no more sacred than is the government. Any entity that is unchecked and unbalanced has a potential for limitless tyrannny and corruption; and that is as much the case with communities as it is with the federal government. The federal government in America is elected, official, accountable, balanced and checked. The communities are neither of these things.
And that makes communities a far more likely candidate for corruption and tyranny than the government and something that must be subjected to similar checks and balances.