Being an individualist I believe that every individual has individual rights, and the government or community cannot force them to sacrifice for someone’s idea of the greater good. However, that does not at all mean that community is irrelevant to the individual or that we should be unconcerned with it. People should be willingly do for the community what they wish, and be convinced through persuasion, not force, to do what is right. To me, the equation of government with community is a similar fraud as that commonly made between government welfare programs and charity. Participating in the community is a virtue, and like every other virtue, exists in individuals not in collectives.
I will probably write more on this subject (As I am fairly sure the other contributors will as well.) but I wanted to just lay a little background here for a comparison between Big Government and Community at National Review Online using, of course, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
From Katrina Trinko: Opposing Big Government Isn’t the Same As Opposing Community
Liberals don’t own the idea of the importance of community, of how social institutions and personal relationships are vital to well-being, including at times economic well-being or success. The conservative argument is for freedom, not for all-around individualism. In fact, there’s a case to be made that communities are stronger under smaller government, when voluntary associations and cooperation are especially crucial for getting projects done and ensuring that all in the community (such as the poor and sick) are taken care of.