Notes on Authority VII – Common Good

  • Political authority is rooted in human nature as man is a social and political animal. As such he always attempts to form a society with his fellow men. The end pursued in such a society is the common good of society, it is a good participated in by all the members and consists in the peace and order of society. As common it is essentially a superior good to the proper good of any individual.
  • Authority proposes goods to people and constitutive or constructive of the common good. Since the common good is superior to proper goods, it proposes such goods as higher or superior, providing an ordering of goods of society and as morally obligatory as a higher good is to be pursued over a lesser one. Obedience to authority proceeds from the common good and the authority’s deliberation and apprehension of the means to achieve it.
  • This brings into focus another perspective on the problem of Liberalism taking Liberty as the end of politics. Liberty take as a capacity or power to choose indifferent between good and evil is a good in a sense. It is taking liberty abstracting from its proper perfection, namely the habitual choice of the good. It is neither good for others or good for the liberal as a mere potency. It is an entirely particularity good in that it is the good of existence of a power remaining as yet in potency.
  • The proper object of authority is the common good, that is a good shared by many, whereas liberty is an entirely singular and particular good as merely existing, more particular and less good than liberty considered as ordered to its proper end which is a proper good of a man. Liberalism then attempts to make the object of authority which is concerned with the common good to be an entirely singular and particular good.
  • Authority seeks unity whereas liberty considered this way is entirely segregated and particular existence apart from the unifying end of the good. Liberty taken as the object of authority therefore undermines the authority’s unifying end by proposing a divisive end.
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One Response to Notes on Authority VII – Common Good

  1. Pingback: Notes on the Common Good | Infinite Semiosis

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