Sunday, March 29, 2009

Creating "Community"

Creating "Community"

Merriam-Webster recognizes the individual in its definition of community, showing such fellowship and organization as a reflection and manifestation of individuals’ needs, desires and interests. Accordingly, communities or groups should be created, sustained and thought of as an adjunct to the individual, rather than an entity maintained for its own purpose.

Merriam-Webster also describes community as “society at large” and, as such, calls to mind these historic words from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense ...

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one ...”

Ron Paul’s Freedom Principles also aid in the understanding of community and groups as they relate to the individual as well as Paine’s assessment of society vs. government.
* Rights belong to individuals, not groups.
* Property should be owned by people, not government.
* All voluntary associations should be permissible -- economic and social.
* The government’s monetary role is to maintain the integrity of the monetary unit, not participate in fraud.
* Government exists to protect liberty, not to redistribute wealth or to grant special privileges.
* The lives and actions of people are their own responsibility, not the government’s.

So what then is community ... family, neighbors, homeschooling groups, churches, political organizations, food co-ops, online forums, our Mothers for Liberty Meetup Groups? Yes to all of the above. And through such communities, we find common ground by way of our shared interests, experiences, goals, strengths, and even weaknesses.

We create community by first recognizing the need for and benefits of joint effort in a given arena and then by inviting like-minded individuals to share that effort and ultimately that reward with us. We build community by bringing the best of ourselves to the group, by giving and receiving resources, tools and talents which enhance the lives of those involved.

Historically, community has been at the heart of our nation’s success, and loosing touch with community has initiated problems that are now becoming evident. In the wake of that realization, Americans are establishing relationships and reconnecting with community on a local and national level. People turning to people for friendship, assistance, information and resources ... and in response people voluntarily offering the same, is as Paine points out, a blessing.

To quote Karl Hess, well known and beloved libertarian writer and activist, “The most revolutionary thing you can do is get to know your neighbors.” And to follow that thought with a quote by Mothers Institute Advisory Board member, Lori Loranger, “A free market in goodwill is the same as an economic free market - the more interconnected we become, the more we really can’t afford to be enemies.” we have a better understanding that through community, we can find solutions that better enable us - as individuals - to live the lives we choose.


Veda said...

Awesome! Couldn't have said it better! Love the quote from Mr. Paine!

Veda said...

May I repost with credit and link back?

Mom1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mom1 said...

Deleted my earlier comment as I had intended to not only say - feel free to repost with links/credit - but also say thanks for the thumbs up on the article.

And for more wisdom from Mr. Paine's Common Sense, visit: