The Common Good

Sunday, March 21, 2021 – The Common Good

The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community. ~ William James

Law is nothing other than a certain ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the person who has the care of the community. ~ Thomas Aquinas

Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community. ~ Andrew Carnegie

To tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection: it is plunder. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

In effect, to follow, not to force the public inclination, to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community, is the true end of legislature. ~ Edmund Burke

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. ~ John Stuart Mill

I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized. ~ John Stuart Mill

There is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits. ~ Thomas Babington

Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State’s failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community. ~ H. G. Wells

Any young man who is unmarried at the age of twenty-one is a menace to the community. ~ Brigham Young

In 1950, when the Giants signed me, they gave me $15,000. I bought a 1950 Mercury. I couldn’t drive, but I had it in the parking lot there, and everybody that could drive would drive the car. So it was like a community thing. ~ Willie Mays

We weren’t wealthy but we definitely weren’t poor. We were incredibly rich because there was a wonderful community in Shepherd’s Bush, where I grew up. All my friends were into villainy and crime. ~ Roger Daltrey

We started off trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn’t obey the rules. ~ Alan Bennett

What people say behind your back is your standing in the community. ~ Edward W. Howe

Few of us could bear to have ourselves for neighbors. ~ Mignon McLaughlin

The community of masses of human beings has produced an order of life in regulated channels which connects individuals in a technically functioning organisation, but not inwardly from the historicity of their souls. ~ Karl Jaspers

We see and hear and otherwise experience very largely as we do because the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation. ~ Edward Sapir

The Internet offers an interesting combination of advertising and community by participating in the community you can become an advertisement for yourself. ~ Walter Jon Williams

In response to the challenge of strangers, sport arose as a sublimated representation of a community’s armed might as well as its pride of place and clan. ~ John Thorn

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured. ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Independence is middle-class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. ~ George Bernard Shaw

It is a strange fact that freedom and equality, the two basic ideas of democracy, are to some extent contradictory. Logically considered, freedom and equality are mutually exclusive, just as society and the individual are mutually exclusive. ~ Thomas Mann

There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other. ~ Eric Hoffer

Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society. Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death? ~ Eugene V. Debs

Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom. ~ D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature

It is all-essential to the continuance of our healthy national life that we should recognize this community of interest among our people. The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us, and therefore in public life that man is the best representative of each of us who seeks to do good to each by doing good to all; in other words, whose endeavor it is not to represent any special class and promote merely that class’s selfish interests, but to represent all true and honest men of all sections and all classes and to work for their interests by working for our common country. ~ Theodore Roosevelt, A Square Deal

If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving. ~ Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. ~ John Donne

One is a member of a country, a profession, a civilization, a religion. One is not just a man. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944

To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible. It is to know shame at the sight of poverty which is not of our making. It is to be proud of a victory won by our comrades. It is to feel, as we place our stone, that we are contributing to the building of the world. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars

There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good. ~ Samuel Johnson

For a solitary animal egoism is a virtue that tends to preserve and improve the species: in any kind of community it becomes a destructive vice. ~ Erwin Schrodinger

Community begins in mystery and ends in administration. Leaders move away from people and into paper. ~ Jean Vanier

This world is just a little place, just the red in the sky, before the sun rises, so let us keep fast hold of hands, that when the birds begin, none of us be missing. ~ Emily Dickinson