The relationship between the state and the individual, as well as the structure and philosophy behind the state, has some similarities connecting it and nuances dividing it from a family. The state, as we understand it, exists to serve the good. We understand this good in four broad categories: the will of the people, the good of the people, the good of humanity, and the non-human good. These categories of good are not strictly ranked and some competition/struggle between them within the mechanisms of the state is expected and healthy.

Two key ideas in politics on this level are solidarity and identity. While we hold that any state or movement must not suggest things against an interpretation of the broader good they have (we consider states/movements which exist to serve narrower interests to be illegitimate), they may seek to correct things they consider unjust that result in shifts in privilege that in seeking to promote the good remove prior privilege from other groups. Political movements exist to bring into being a state of affairs particular to their ideology, while states exist as a broader state of affairs (that may or may not, depending on specifics, be compatible to varying degrees with a given movement). What is membership in a movement may be considered citizenship in a state - states which have little to say on members of value (or have very wide pluralism) have broad citizenship, while those who stand or act against the strongest values of society are considered criminal or otherwise unwanted (e.g. those who kill, neglect their society's notions of property, or otherwise violate norms). The relationship between action against and speech against society's values is a complex topic with much variation in relative concern throughout the history of governments, although we may consider that in most modern Western societies (the USA and Canada moreso than Europe), action has become much more of a concern than speech given the broad deire for autonomy in expression. The principles of a movement are normally more focused than that of a state, with strong pressures to condemn or expel those who act or speak in ways inconsistent with the movement regular. This expulsion serves to protect the focus (and sometimes the welfare) of the group - movements that do not regulate this don't have as strong a purpose as those that do. A group composed of people devoted equally to pacifism and environmentalism, for example, risks losing that joint identity if they permit militant environmentalists into their group (and vice versa), and a sufficiently large and immersive group eventually would come not to stand for anything. States solve this problem through laws and traditions, with those who step beyond the norms of society (beyond the pale) punished, expelled, or stripped of certain rights. We understand solidarity as a level of reciprocal care between individuals or groups, typically born of common purpose/values or a shared history. A healthy society has a certain level of solidarity between most people within it, although normally the term is used for the higher levels between narrower groups. For solidarity to be legitimate (in the sense mentioned above), it must not extend to actions or concern inconsistent with the greater good - if, for example, one were to imagine militant environmentalists who did some direct action, they would make strong efforts not to place anyone in their group in danger or to rescue them were they in such danger, out of solidarity because they believe the DA was part of serving their notion of the good, but they would not show such solidarity on matters if one of their members should do something not part of their ends that harms society by their estimation. Partial solidarities are common - various groups that exist to solve similar problems in different ways exhibit some form of solidarity with each other (e.g. between the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Earth First, and ELF, or between Anarchosocialists, Democratic Socialists, Social Democrats, and Communists) even when points of tension strain their relations.

Parallel in many ways to the question of structure of government is the matter of structure in political and ideological movements. These movements typically have a certain independence from the structures of the state, have more of an option to be restrictive about identity and solidarity, and suffer much more from a failure to police their identity/values. Movements also suffer more from being too restrictive on these matters as well - it is difficult in the general case for a movement to create change on its own should it not cooperate with other movements that share some of its goals (and possibly approaches) and competition between similar movements can become enough of a distraction to limit the effectiveness of a group. A number of groups decide on a charter or declaration of values (in ways that might come to resemble a form of government) to help them have structured discussion on both of these - groups and movements that do not, especially when struggling for members against opposing groups with a better-defined identity, have a disadvantage - sometimes a broad federation to oppose a certain agenda can be effective if that agenda is loathsome to enough of the population, although without another order into which society may settle, it can do little more than preserve a status quo.

As a proponent of certain values, approaches, and solutions, I offer the following approach to meaning in what I would like to see in a movement and solidarity towards other movements. My values, approaches, and solutions are classified by how defining they are for the commitments I hold (liberal-secular pluralist communism), and where relevant also how they relate to my value system. For the second, my metatheory of value conclusions is presented elsewhere, and for the first I offer a framework. We consider our strongest political values "strong general political values" - values that when not held we would not consider even limited solidarity with other groups under normal circumstances (from my perspective, strongly racially supremacist groups are an example of those which we should almost never exhibit even limited solidarity because of differences on this type of conclusion/value). Next, we recognise "general political values" - values/conclusions that when held in some recognisable form by other groups with which we don't disagree on any strong general political values, we would consider a limited solidarity with them on these matters (from my perspective, I recognise a certain solidarity with liberals in general on relevant topics). Next, we consider "central/strong dogma values" - matters that come to broadly define/describe our general political inclinations/approaches. These matters are for most people beliefs considerably more foundational than their faction, and represents their strongest cohesive values that they would not expect (even if they would hope) every person would hold. In my case, these represent my notions (together) of liberal-secular pluralist communism (I should note that my notion of the scope of communism includes more than Marxist Communism and is not terribly specific, including in it many-but-not-all politically mature forms of Anarchosocialism) - with those with whom we share these matters of dogma, we recognise a strong notion of solidarity, and in many cases would be basically comfortable/satisfied were their movements to reach fruition (from a more fun but less intellectually honest perspective, those in this category "get it"). Beyond this we have many potential layers of weaker dogma (that define a more precise grouping of values and approaches to problems, e.g. communism versus anarchosocialism versus democratic socialism) and factional matters (similar, but much more specific and with distinctions that tend not to divide as much unless actually at an implementation stage, e.g. Anarchosyndicalism versus Bakunists or Trotskyism versus Marxist-Leninism, or matters in which people might be expected to disagree without taking on any separate identity). We thus have:

All of which affect identity and solidarity to some extent.

See also:

Pat Gunn (aka Improv) <>