Markets are located at the centre of community life, generating work and prosperity. They require regulation and protection from excesses and exploitation. Working this out, for the good of all, demands cooperation and collaboration.
However, work, money, markets and material things are just one aspect of a community. Many other communal goods are needed for an acceptable and enjoyable social life. Those who think like this are the modern-day inheritors and guardians of the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
Their recipe for success includes:
Get practical benefits for all
Accept everyone as they are
Cooperate and collaborate
Strive to reduce unfairness
Promote a sense of community
Share society’s resources
Seek equality of opportunity
Share feelings (within limits)
Experience collective guilt
Think of individuals you know who obviously exemplify the category. In doing so, remember that it is the overall pattern that counts—not any particular interaction.
Share the experience of collective guilt over the disadvantaged.
Try to please people.
Be liked—work for others and see potential in everyone.
Explore what things mean to different people.
Is helping noble, or an intrusion into a sphere of privacy and autonomy?
Do do-gooders cause more harm than good with impractical schemes?
How do you stop majority sentiment and consensus becoming a tyranny?
What about the dependency and insatiable demands that burn out helpers?
What use is democracy if it leads to avoidance of tough decisions?
The community-centred approach seems to minimize the importance of personal effectiveness and the deep differences that exist amongst people, even those of the same culture and living in the same community.
The community-centred image of people and social life is viewed by many as simply too rosy. Far more sensible and beneficial, they say, is to confine care and attention to those you can really trust: your own family.