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there is a superintendent. Each person has a part of the work to do in operating the organization so that community will have a good school.
Each of our government groups has an organization to carry out its objectives. Just as our school or our neighborhood bank or factory has some form of organization, so have all of our government groups. Each has its elected or appointed officers, certain committees and certain branches. All of these make up the organization.
Our Nation and all of the 48 States have written constitutions which outline a workable form of government organization and tell how it is to be operated. The cities have their charters, which do the same things for them that the constitutions do for the States.
In this country we like to put into writing the plan of our government organization. That is one reason why we have city charters, State constitutions, and a National Constitution. In some foreign countries the form of the government organization is not written down at all. Sometimes it isn't even very well understood, because it changes so often.
Just as objectives by themselves are worth very little, so also organization by itself is worth very little. The organization should at all times be working toward some objective. Our study group has a simple objective, to teach its members to be good citizens. It has an organization made up of the teacher, those who attend its meetings, and perhaps class committees. But this is not enough. Those in the organization (teacher, class members, and committees) must work together to reach the objective.
There are many differences in the organizations of our government groups. Our various government groups are not all organized alike. Even our cities do not all have exactly the same form of organization. Nor are all the towns, counties, or States organized exactly alike.
The organization of our town governments may differ according to (1) the size of the town, (2) its location, or (3) its special problems or objectives. A small town far
out in the country will not need the same kind of organization for its government as a large city needs. There will be fewer things for the small-town government to do, fewer services to give to the people. But the people of a small town lying near a large city will expect many of the same services from government as the people of the city get. Therefore, its organization will be different from that of a country town. If a city is located on an important harbor, one of its objectives may be to help its people handle foreign trade, and it may be organized to regulate shipping, to operate wharves and docks for loading and unloading vessels, which an inland city does not have to do. Towns in which main highways meet will need more traffic policemen than towns in narrow valleys where there are few cross streets. So we can only sum up by reminding you that (1) all of our government groups must have some form of organization, (2) the organization will not be exactly alike in many of them and (3) the organization, whatever it is, must be operated to carry out the objectives of the government group.
EACH GROUP MUST WORK WITH OTHER GROUPS
We have seen that there are thousands of groups in this country and that each of us is a member of a number of groups at the same time. While these groups may have different leaders, different purposes, and different organizations, the very fact that they have many members in common makes it necessary that they keep up a friendly relationship with one another. We have found that people form groups because they can do so many things better by doing them together. In the same way different groups are helped to reach their objectives by working in a friendly way with other groups. Neighborhood life is better if family groups do not quarrel but work together for the good of the neighborhood. Religious groups do not prosper if they waste their strength in opposing other religious groups. Your business group will be much stronger if it cooperates with other business groups for
the good of the community. Farm groups never succeed when they spend their time in finding fault with town or city groups, because, after all, they grow many things which city people need and they use many things which must be bought from city people.
Our government groups must work with other groups. They need the support of the people whom they serve, and the people, in turn, need the services and protection of the government. Government groups must pay their bills with money given to them by the people in the form of taxes. The people must have confidence in the government, or they will not be willing to go on delegating authority and power to it. A county must work out a peaceful relationship with other counties, with nearby cities, and with the State. The State, in turn, must live as a good neighbor with other States. It must live in friendly relationship with the cities which are within its borders. It must cooperate with the National Government. In turn, if the Nation does not carry on its dealings with other nations in a peaceful manner, we may be at war most of the time. So, just as private persons must learn to work together in a friendly and helpful manner, government groups must keep up friendly contacts with one another and with the other groups to which their members belong.
THE AUTHORITY IN EACH USEFUL GROUP, AND ITS OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATION, AND CONTACTS WITH OTHER GROUPS, MUST BE GOVERNED BY DEFINITE PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS AGREED UPON BY ITS MEMBERS
This may be a little hard to understand at first. We have discussed the authority in each group and understand about that. Also, about the group's objectives, and its organization and its contacts. Now we find that underneath all of these, like a foundation under a house, are certain agreements among the members of pro-social groups as to the true and fair ways of doing things-agreements as to how the members believe they can work out the greatest good for the greatest number.
In the past our parents and grandparents and those who
went before them-our ancestors-have worked out convenient ways of making life better for themselves and their communities. Whenever these ways of doing necessary things have worked out well and have built up in the group some real confidence that they are good honest ways, the group members have usually come to an agreement to keep on using these ways, until the ways have become customs. Some customs last for hundreds of years, while others become less useful as times change or as people invent something better. The customs which last a long time become standards (fixed rules or measures) and we can use them as measuring sticks for testing proposed new ways. Some of them become firmly fixed beliefs, or principles. (See Figure 6.)
On the foundation of these standards and principles are built up all the different factors of group living-its authority, objectives, organization, and the kind of contacts it makes. So the standards and principles of a group are important things for both its members and outsiders to understand. For example, in our government groups, the most important standard of all is the Constitution of the United States (about which you are going to learn a great deal through the rest of this book). It is the strong foundation on which all of our government groups are built.
We say that everything which a government group does must be constitutional. Please remember this word, for it will have a large part in your preparation for citizenship. It means that we Americans regulate our group activities according to the rules set down in a written constitution. The authority which we give our government groups, their objectives, their organization, and their contacts must be in agreement with the Constitution of the United States.
Our more everyday groups also have standards and principles which govern their actions. Perhaps you have a son who is a Boy Scout, or a daughter who belongs to the Girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts have the Scout Law, the Scout Oath, and the Scout Motto, and the Girl Scouts have their seven principles. Even in our homes we are gov