This blog is dedicated to public discussion of the goods we hold in common. Our partisan politics sometimes mislead us into thinking that we are hopelessly fractured and divided. Although real disagreements persist, they shouldn’t overshadow the commonalities that make our disagreements possible. Goods such as language, culture, religion, education, and government makeup the common good. We hold these goods in common while vehemently disagreeing about them. This blog aspires to discuss these disagreements while refusing to believe that they are hopeless or essential to who we are as a nation.
Commonweal, commonwealth, republic, and related terms refer to political communities dedicated to the common good. The common good has been central to philosophy and theology since antiquity. From Aristotle and Cicero to Augustine and Aquinas, the common good has been the focal point of political life. Law and justice aimed at the good of the community rather than the private good of a few.
In the modern age, it’s assumed that such a politics is no longer possible due to the many conflicting notions of the common good. And yet, despite our conflicts, we still pursue laws and policies that, implicitly or explicitly, express a vision of the common good. Whether it be healthcare, immigration, taxation, national security, or religious freedom, our political stances convey ideas about the common good. It’s a mistake to think we can avoid discussing the common good.