Community is neither good or bad

Community itself is often hailed as a remedy for the ailments of an oppressive, individualistic and consumer orientated society. And it can be. But is community, in and of itself, inherently good? Yeah it can do all those things, but it also has the exact same potential to be used as an organizing tool for manipulation and exploitation.

The very word corporation is a spin on cooperation. And, co-ops are something nobody I know would left wing American would stand against. But take gangs, for example -- from street thugs to police -- definitely use organization and community as a tool for exploitation, manipulation and even oppression. Following this, why would it be wise to merely organize community for the sake of community itself? Wouldn't there need to be an intention that defines the community, in order for well-intentioned members to truly trust that the community was fulfilling a constructive role compatible with their own standards of living?

Isn't that why progressive citizens of any nation protest actions of their government that they disagree with, because they want their "community" to reflect their good intentions, rather than making them feel like hypocrites for being a tax-paying member of a body that commits evils in their name? The only way to gauge if one is a member of a gang of manipulative thugs (be it police or a criminal street gang) or a group of compatible good intentioned individuals, is to sort out questions of philosophy, ethics, ritual, common law even.

Really, for anyone trying to build community, it's the pace at which this sorting out is done that's really all that matters.

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