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April 9, 2017 / Congau

Communal Responsibility

Do we have a responsibility toward society? Not really. We are all a part of a society, whether we like it or not, but that part is microscopic and disappears in the huge and faceless mass. No one cares about anyone in a society composed of statistical pieces that are counted, but count for nothing.

You can’t have a responsibility toward such an anonymous monster. You live there because you have to live somewhere. It may be true that you use the public roads and some other facilities, but that is just because you can’t avoid it and what is unavoidable can put no obligation on you.

We have a responsibility for what we do, but not for what we are forced to do. If society is forced upon us, it can’t demand any responsibility from us. There may be no realistic escape from society, but at least it could leave us alone if we want to.

It’s not that we want to be alone. We want people around us; real people, that is. We want to form a community with them; a real community, not a formal society.

A community is made up of active members who share their efforts with the others so that they really have it in common. The people around us who we actually communicate with and have as companions, they are the ones who belong to our community and toward them we have a genuine responsibility.

The grand society at work, the powerful state that makes its citizens labor for some idea of national greatness, that may cause emotions in times of crises and on national holidays, but as a community it is an illusion. The state has never done anything for you; it can’t because it doesn’t know you.

You are not even an insignificant pawn in the social game; you are a straw in the wind, for the state doesn’t know that you exist. It knows nothing and it certainly has no feelings since it is not human. A machine cannot impose duties on you. You are not responsible for it.

A community is different. It is made up of human beings. You talk to them and they know you. You co-operate with them, make plans and agreements and promise mutual assistance. You trust them and they trust you and they must not be betrayed: You have a responsibility.

We have a responsibility toward our community.

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