I was reminded of this by something that was said in the abortion thread, and was interested in getting some opinions on it.
America was certainly founded on promoting indvidual freedom. Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to waste hours watching dumb Youtube videos. The other side of this country is promoting a stable society that protects its citizens. Often these two aspects are at odds with one another, individual rights vs. what I would call community rights.
To better define what I mean by community rights, some examples might be in order. Security restrictions at airports, traffic laws, zoning laws, import/export regulations, libel and slander laws, and more in this vein. It's effectively the second half of "My right to swing my fist ends at your face", or protecting citizens from themselves. They're laws that keep our individual rights/freedoms (I'll use the words interchangeably) from destablizing society and infringing on other people's rights/freedoms.
The political side of this is that, on social issues, I usually think of the Left as erring on the side of expanding personal freedom, and the Right defaulting to protecting community rights. Abortion, gay marriage, and legalizing drugs all increase personal freedom, while many of the causes of the right are about perserving the community and protecting the citizens.
This is a generalization, but helps to quickly dump me into the mindset of both sides of an issue. It hasn't been very rigorously tested though, so I thought it would be fun to put it through the paces on D&D.
To that end:
1. Does the distinction between individual rights and community rights really exist, and does it already have a better name that I don't know about?
2. Is there a mapping between perferring one side or the other and social political ideology?
3. What are the downfalls of straying too far in one direction? For example, the extremes would be anarchy for the first, and totalitarian dictatorship for the second, but are there more subtle effects?
4. Does a similar trend exist in economics, or is it reversed? For example, the Right loves Free Market individual power, the Left protects the community through environmental action and social programs.
I'm still putting the idea through the paces, so any discussion is welcome.