Minority Cultures and the Cosmopolitan Alternative

I have chosen not to talk in this Article about the warning that Rushdie is sounding in his essay In Good Faith, but to discuss more affirmatively the image of the modern self that he conveys. Still, I hope that we do not lose sight of the warning. The communitarianism that can sound cozy and attractive in a book by Robert Bellah or Michael Sandel can be blinding, dangerous, and disruptive in the real world, where communities do not come ready-packaged and where communal allegiances are as much ancient hatreds of one’s neighbors as immemorial traditions of culture.