The word community has been devalued.  Once upon a time it meant something specifically geographic—not unlike neighborhood—as in, “We live in a really nice little community.”

Then in the ’60s community was adopted as a synonym for people.  So instead of saying “black people believe,” you said “the black community believes.”  It betrayed the same prejudices but was acceptable because—and here’s the key—community referred only to those of approved politics and sensibilities.

That’s why the “black community” doesn’t include, say, Allen West; the “gay community” doesn’t include conservative gays; and, hilariously, the feminist community doesn’t include Sarah Palin.

Community usually corrupts the modifier that immediately precedes it, much the way People’s inverts the meaning of what follows in the names of countries and organizations.  For instance, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea.

Which has, it just so happens, launched a long-range rocket.  And what do you know, the “international community” is upset:

The move comes as a surprise to the international community, which has consistently called on North Korea to abandon its efforts….

National Security Council spokesman Tom Vietor called the launch a “highly provocative act that threatens regional security.”

Hey, Tom.  You know what threatens regional security—and, for that matter, world security?  The dangerous fiction that there is indeed such a thing as an “international community.”

There isn’t.  There are individual countries with competing self interests that have nothing to do with shared values.  So while the idea of an ICBM capable of reaching San Francisco from Pyongyang is scary to us, the Russians and Chinese probably see things differently.

For that matter, the “European community” may be rooting for any blow to the perception of America as superior.  Just last week at the United Nations, every European nation either abstained or voted in favor of granting elevated status to the Palestinians.

The only exception?  Courtesy of LukeHandCool:

The Czech Republic’s vote delighted and surprised Israeli officials: It was the only European country to vote against the Palestinian statehood bid. “They have been consistently one of our best friends in the EU,” the official told The Times of Israel.

Berlin actually tried to pressure Prague to at least abstain in Thursday’s vote, to present a more-or-less unified European position. “But they don’t care what anyone else says; they’re ballsy,” the official said.

Too bad one good country can’t heal the whole international barrel.

 
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