Sunday 1 September 2019

The Common Good and Liberalism

Over at ozconservative Mark Richardson has written a post partial interest and the common good, in which he asks the question  "Can a society that lacks the notion of a common good prosper?". Liberalism certainly used to believe in the common good, in the idea that society should serve and protect every class and segment of society, even if it didn't always live up to it's high ideals.

However the ultimate goal of Liberalism is the Autonomous Individual, a person who is completely free from all restraint and consequences. Someone who is self-made, independent from other people and without anything that binds them, no family, religion or nation, nothing that binds them to others. Such a person must be selfish, in fact there is no other option. Everything is about the self.

The question I have is, is a society of Autonomous Individuals really a society?

Isn't it an oxymoron?

So if that is true and I believe that it is, what purpose would a 'common good' serve?

Mr. Richardson lists four reasons why a society that lacks a common good will not prosper.

1. 'there will be a widening sense of incompatibility between those at the top and the rest of the population'

2. 'erode the conscientiousness and sense of duty that once helped motivate people to make and to keep their commitments to others'

3. 'it will be more difficult to persuade people to make lifelong commitments'

4. 'where then do these women find husbands with a similar or higher standard of education?'

These are all good Traditionalist questions, however I cannot help thinking that every one of these serves the ultimate goal of Liberalism. The creation of the Autonomous Individual.

What purpose does a common good serve to an Autonomous Individual?

I don't see any purpose. That seems to me to be a Government problem, not a concern for a selfish and rootless individual. Under Liberalism the Autonomous Individual is a hermit who lives with billions of other hermits. They may live cheek by jowl but they live separate and unconnected lives. To create these billions of individuals means destroying society. Each person must see everyone else as disposable. Otherwise people would form bonds and that is not an Autonomous Individual, because they explicitly must not form bonds.

The fact that different segments of society don't get along is perfect for creating the Autonomous Individual.

The fact that we do not have a sense of duty to other people is perfect for creating the Autonomous Individual.

The fact that people are not forming life term commitments is perfect for creating the Autonomous Individual.

The fact that women cannot find suitable husbands is perfect for creating the Autonomous Individual.

The fact that our society is not working is not an accident, it has been planned and designed. Not only does Liberalism want to radically change our relationship to each other, it also wants to radically change our relationship to the Government. Under Liberalism the Autonomous Individual looks towards the Government as it's family, it's religion and it's nation. The Government is all powerful, it's is your parent and your boss and your spouse. But the individual will be told how free they are and they will be given total freedom as long as it does not step on the toes of the Government. Each person will be free to love who they want, they will be free to define what love is, they will be promiscuous or not as they choose, they can eat, drink or do drugs as they want, go on holiday where they want, etc., etc., etc.

But they will never marry as that binds them and they will never raise their own children as that also binds them. Of course you can have sex and have offspring, but the Government will raise them freeing you from such a burden, whether you like that or not.

The common good serves no purpose in such a world, the individual is ill prepared for such responsibility, no, that responsibility will be borne by the Government.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
The Bi-Polar Party - the Liberal Party of Australia

1 comment:

  1. Mr Moncrieff, that is an excellent follow up post. In fact, I almost added something similar to my own, namely the observation that it is very difficult to sustain the notion of a common good in a liberal society that aims at "liberating" people, above all, to self-define themselves and their own goods.

    The complication is that it did take some time for liberalism to reach the point at which common goods have been nearly entirely abandoned. For instance, you can see the culture of commitment to family as a common good begin its long decline from the mid-1800s and even today there are still some residual loyalties (enough to infuriate some feminists).

    But the trends are clear and the dissolution is reaching ever deeper into the culture of everyday life.