Wonderful thread. I consider myself a communitarian. There's also the related concept of Personalism, which I also adhere to.
Communitarianism is based upon the old Aristotle saying that man is a social animal. Whether we like it or not, we are forged by our relationship and interactions with other people. If it were not so, then society as we know it would not exist, much less even operate.
Comparing Communitarianism to Fascism is an asinine knee-jerk. It is true that the Fascists/Nazis borrowed certain terms and concept from Communitarianism, in actual fact they completely perverted them from their original contexts.
It should also be noted that many of the intellectual founders of Communitatrianism were very much opposed to the Fascist/Nazi regimes. This is especially true with Ferdinand Tönnies, whose study on the contrasts between "Community"(Gemeinschaft) and "Civil Society"(Gesellschaft) forged much of the foundation for this concept.
If we actually take Tönnies' argument as a basis for judging the Nazi/Fascist regimes; we can safely conclude that they were based upon a nationalistic-racialist form of Gesellschaft as opposed to Gemeinschaft; since the latter tends towards small-scale autonomous social entities, while the former tends towards large-scale mass-organized social entities.
Social cohesion in Gemeinschaft is based upon mores and customs; wheras in Gesellschaft it's based upon arbitrary legal means.
That's actually the irony I find of most peoples' critiques of Communitarism. They decry it for supposedly suppressing individual rights, when in fact it actually gurantees them(not to mention our concepts of individual rights were forged within Communitarian contexts to begin with. Outside of such contexts, individual rights have little if any meaning).
Otherwise with Gesellschaft you have a random assortment of people who come together now and then for self-serving purposes - and the only way one can make them get along is through legal means.
Alexis de Tocqueveille noted this back in the 1840s in Democracy in America, that the survival of freedom depends upon a strong sense of community. Otherwise, as community spirits declines, the more the government has to step in to replace its role. Social cohesion in such situations is dependent upon the use of common abstractions; wheras communitarianism depends upon concrete concepts. Communities are an important block on the rise of centralized governmental power, upon which individual rights depend for vital existence.
The French Anarchst Pierre-Joseph Proudhon put it wonderfully like this:
"Solicit men's view in the mass, and they will return stupid, fickle and violent answers; solicit their views as members of definite groups with real solidarity and a distinctive character, and their answers will be responsible and wise. Expose them to the political 'language' of mass democracy, which represents 'the people' as unitary and undivided and minorities as traitors, and they will give birth to tyranny; expose them to the political language of federalism, in which the people figures as a diversified aggregate of real associations, and they will resist tyranny to the end."Anyways....I'm getting slightly off topic here.
Another leading founder of modern Communitarianism, Martin Buber, also had many of his writings used by the Nazis to serve their ideological needs, despite the fact that Buber was Jewish.
I'll have to add more later.