The Principle of Subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher level social authorities and calls on the same public figures and intermediate groups to make people not only exercise their rights but also to fulfill their duties as individuals, as members of society, as citizens of a country. This Principle is imperative because every human person, human family and human intermediate group have something original to offer to the community as a whole. Some of the more concrete indications – guides, indications, pointers – found in the truth, reality and significance of the said Principle of Subsidiarity are the following:
1. This Principle affirms the right of individuals, domestic communities and civic organizations to be served by public authorities for their common good – not to take over what they can do by and accomplish for themselves. This is the reality of self-reliance.
2. The Principle nevertheless also proclaims the mandate of public authorities to see to it that the same individuals, domestic communities and civic organizations comply with their duties, their obligations. This presumes that they are exercising their rights as a matter of course.
3. The Principle finally recognizes the capability or potential of the said individuals, domestic communities and civil organizations to bring about original and beneficial good in their own favour. The assumption is that they know what is good/best for them – likewise as a matter of course.
The observance of the “Principle of Subsidiarity” brings about the following more concrete positive consequences, all of which are ultimately pro-person, pro-society and pro-public authority as well:
1. There is respect for and promotion of the human person, the human family, and society together with all legitimate neighborhood associations and organizations.
2. There is encouragement of private initiatives, considering that individuals, families and societies are presumed to know what they need, what they have to do, and how to go about it.
3. There is genuine pluralism in society that brings about respect for and acceptance of the social particulars of minorities whose members have the same basic human rights as the majority.
4. There is effective decentralization of bureaucratic governance and administrative management that are wherefore free and able to attend to honest-to-goodness public welfare for the common good.
5. There is the discovery and recognition of the appropriate methodology in making the citizens more responsive to the need and call of being actively involved with the social and political concerns of their country.
Conclusion: Government – do not do everything, please!