DL offered "general" in hints-on hover, so I used "general" and DL marked it wrong. I've seen "общее" used in a lot of ways, such that I'm completely confused by it. In addition to what DL offers in hints-on-hover, "общее" can seem to be used as "ordinary" "usual" "typical" "regular" and probably many more. DL says that, in this sentence, "общее дело" can be translated as "common cause." As does Google. "Common cause" in American English seems to be almost an idiom, probably because of the 1970 US political advocacy group named "Common Cause." Today, especially in the US, many advocacy and lobbying groups now claim to be formed to promote a "common cause." My question is, does "общее дело" have that same, idiom-like flavor, such that any time you see those two words together you know it somehow refers to an advocacy or lobbying effort of some kind?
"Our General Problem" either affects everybody, the society, or it is fundamental in the relationship of the people talking.
Common affects everybody involved. Its what the people talking have in common.
So both meanings are Kind of close, but General is too much here.
It would probably only apply without the наш. It's a General Problem...
"Cause" could be a goal or something to achieve. So a "common cause" could be a shared goal or objective.
Think of a football team in the World Cup. Every player in the team as well as the coaches have the same cause or objective to win the World Cup.
So winning the world cup is their common cause. Their "общее дело"