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What communitarianism advocates (and conservatism lacks), is open discourse and an emphasis on social responsibility (which liberalism lacks). One way of emphasizing the importance of society for individuals is through the recognition of individuals’ roles towards their society. For communitarians, the “preservation of individual liberty depends on the active maintenance of the institutions of civil society where citizens learn respect for others as well as self-respect.”This respect would lead to an “appreciation of our own rights and the rights of others.” Individuals will also obtain civic responsibilities and the development of “self-government skills,” as well as “the habit of governing ourselves, and learn to serve others– not just self.” Governments, too, will “have obligations–including the duty to be responsive to their members and to foster participation and deliberation in social and political life.” The communitarian perspective, in a sense, “mandates attention to what is often ignored in contemporary policy debates: the social side of human nature.” This social side shows how individuals and governments both have responsibilities towards each other. It does not only assume that individual rights are important, because as Scruton points out, “”by enlarging the space around one person it diminishes the space enjoyed by his neighbor.” It can be seen that communitarianism goes further than the conservative idea of following traditions; it emphasizes on the social aspect of the people and what the people want. It also criticizes the narrowness of liberalism by just assuming that only the individual matter and that the government is there to protect it from injustice only. However, it is not only a one way street; individuals have rights and responsibilities, which is important to realize. A focus is made on individual liberty, but that liberty is achieved with the society, not as liberalism promotes it of being just a focus on one individual.


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