Amitai Etzioni Obituary, Death – The father of communitarianism, a political philosophy that sits somewhere between the left and the right, he was a sociologist who provided advice to American presidents and other Western leaders. The Israeli-American sociologist Amitai Etzioni passed away on Wednesday at his home in Washington. Etzioni was the father of the Communitarian movement, a vision of society in which people are asked to care less about their own rights and more about one another and the common good. He was 94.
His son David verified his passing. Mr. Etzioni, who was born in Palestine to German Jews who had fled Nazi Germany, battled for Israeli independence before emigrating to the United States in 1957 and rising to prominence in academia and politics. He produced an enormous amount of writing, served as a professor at George Washington University, testified before Congress, and provided diplomatic and domestic policy advice to presidents, prime ministers, and other Western leaders.
Less than ten years after arriving in the country, Mr. Etzioni became well-known for his provocative commentary on topics such as the nuclear arms race, European security, the Vietnam War, American racial and educational issues, energy and inflation policies, student unrest, and topics like sex therapy and Hollywood hoopla. According to Time magazine, “Amitai Etzioni sometimes seems to be a one-man profession.”
He was given honorary degrees, fellowships, and appointments to commissions and advisory boards. He was also asked to participate in editorial boards and television discussions. He disagreed with Wernher von Braun about the Soviet-American space race, assisted Betty Friedan in founding the so-called Economic Think Tank for Women in 1974 to examine women’s “hidden economic power,” and was asked to head a state investigation into a scandal involving subpar conditions in a nursing home in New York.