Reading someone make clear a philosophical point is akin to ecstasy. I’ve struggled long and hard to give a definition of the Common Good, but PJ Smith cuts right through the crap and presents it like it is:
Peace and good order, people. That’s goal.
One has to wonder if the real difficulty with understanding this isn’t so much the topic being “esoteric” (it isn’t), but our own personal desire to elevate our individual/personal good above the Common Good and thus finding ways to legitimize such desires.
I mean, every form of liberalism does it: Libertarians do it by diminishing the Common Good to simply the conditions which allow individuals to maximally exercise their own will (see Citizens United). Progressives do it by calling a “right” anything that maximizes self-definition (see Casey v Planned Parenthood and Ogberfell v Hodges). Conservatives do it by appealing to “Freedom” (see the rhetoric around the Cold War and “War” on Terror). And Marxists do it by appeals to strict equality (see… well, the only examples are failed states, but don’t let that stop you neo-Marxists!).
We need to stop that. The individual is only truly alive when participating in the Common Good and that, my friends, is peace and good order. If you aren’t ultimately aiming at that, then get out of the way.
And don’t give me that “but Nazis!” crap. We’ve allowed one horrific 20 year period event scare us from over 2000 years of healthy political thought (of which the Nazis weren’t even an heir, just looked like it to the liberally brainwashed). Seriously? Do we want to total the life loss under the liberal regimes in the past 300 years? One should have no problem both condemning the atrocity of the Shoah and calling the world to a more healthy political climate of peace and good order.
Alright, enough morning venting. Let’s go write something fun.