How do we head off potential superpower wars between the United States and Russia or China? Why is Germany, in particular, pushing back against the campaign to fully vaccinate? Today’s issue of The Christian Science Monitor Daily explores both of these questions.
Ned Temko looks at how President Joe Biden is trying to pivot from a recent go-it-alone ethos to reestablish alliances. Lenora Chu examines eastern Germany’s post-Soviet wariness against governments that say “you must do this.”
But beneath both stories is a larger issue: How do societies balance individual rights with efforts to act for the collective good? In some ways, the entire structure of Western political parties is aligned around the differing answers to this question.
Is there a “right” answer? Will one side ever be proven right – that their approach works best in every case? Probably not. More likely, societies will seek the best balance between personal and collective action. How do we maintain the benefits of both and find the path between them that has the most practical impact, whether on global peace or public health?
In that way, our stories are not about deciding what’s right. They’re about probing the question to the bottom to help us all find the best balance.