Responsibilty was a big part of everyones life. From the time each person turned 12, or became a 12 as the story states, they were given a certain job that they would perform for the rest of their lives. Such jobs as Laborers to Birthmothers, everything was taken care of. And if a certain someone couldnt perform that task, they could file for an appeal (which were rarely granted) or file for a release. All these things together made the town run, no matter how strangely it was.
Perfection also seemed to be an important part of the communities history. No mistakes could be tolerated, in everything from language to behavior. For example, Asher often screwed up the pronunciation of words during his young years, and often got smacked in the head and legs for it, which eventually made Asher cease talking for a year. Disciplining children for bad behavior and bad grammar was not too uncommon, and it was standard for the community.
Freedom was not really an issue here. The peoples in the community did have some privleges, but most of what the people did was tradition and they apparently didn't know any better. Everything everyone did was pretty much standard, nothing was unusual because it was expected of the person to do, this tended to make surprise a lost cause.
The community in "The Giver" would probably be called a success by the people in the stories minds, as everything was perfectly done. Maybe it was a form of brainwashing or just stupid people, but the leaders in "The Giver" made a perfect community, by their standards.