Chapter 17 not only talked about the importance of having a family feeling for the migrants to survive and be successful in their travels but also introduced the concept of self-government. All of the people felt as though they were part of a whole; of one. They realized that equilibrium among the communities could be maintained by just following rules derived from common sense and respect. They could ultimately, adequately govern themselves.
The illustrated concept of self-government in chapter 17 was further established by the migrants realizing that people who use "I" thinking are static, while those who join together to create a "we" community are always shifting, always changing and advancing. Flexibility and adaptability were two major attributes which everyone in Grapes of Wrath needed to survive and flourish. With people possessing those characteristics, society can be both fair and efficient.