Let’s back up the bus for a moment. Forget what the left or the right tells you about any issue the community faces and the purpose of government. While most politicians are good people, they do have their own agenda. They will attempt to move things in their own direction. Politicians are elected because in a free society like our own, we want them to just take care of things for us. Because of that, public opinion is swayed more by what the politicians say about the issues than what the facts are about an issue.
The time spend examining how problems should be solved will be a good exercise. The United States has a Presidential election cycle that is developing. (Are you ready?) All those that will be running for office will give you their advice on how to run the country. Unless we have set up our own standards, it will be impossible to examine each of the candidates and their proposals.
Most of the time, we can address on the problems a community faces. What is more difficult is finding agreement on how the problems are to be solved. It is believed that the left tells us that they should be solved by the community’s government. At the same time, critics of the right believe that the same problem should be solved by the individual. (Although, I am using a modern and popular definition of left and right in this case. The real definition of the two have nothing to do with government or individuals solving problems.) The practical answer to solutions is a balance between the two.
The individual can achieve great things for herself and her family. By working hard and making good decisions she is likely to succeed. But, she has little control over people outside of her sphere of influence.
A historical view of community makes it clear that the advancement of the human condition have come not just from the individual making good decisions independent of everyone around them. But, by working together in a community setting. Without community, the individual spends most of her time protecting her world. This provides little time for educating, innovating and building.
So what is the role of the individual and community in success?
The simple answer is to work together on four general issues. They are, protecting, educating, innovating and building. First, collectively, we can all protect each other better than we can individually. Second, we need to educate our children not only about the arts and sciences but also about our way of life and how to protect it. Next, is to innovate. With the freedom that a common defense provides and the knowledge that education provides we can develop improvements and advances in our environment. Finally, once we have developed the innovations we can then build them.
Everything we do as individuals and collectively as a community needs to be focused on the four pillars of any successful society; Protect, Educate, Innovate and Build. When one of them erodes, they all will begin to be washed away.
To follow, more on each pillar.