Monday, December 5, 2016

Solidarity Party for the Common Good


            I am proud to say that I am a member of the Solidarity Party, and I wanted to write about the reason why it is important that the name ‘Solidarity Party’ was chosen. Solidarity is the heart of our Party, and it is the heart of any rightful political action. It will be good to do this by examining the goal of politics; the Common Good.

            The Common Good of a nation, state, or community is the highest earthly good and condition of wellbeing of that community. While it includes spirituality, it does not include spiritual goods, because an earthly institution cannot give spiritual goods. Taken this way, we can say that the Common Good is really a group of goods which cannot exist by themselves in their best forms, and necessarily include those things which make for the wellbeing of each person, family, and association, as these come before political groups. Some of the main facets of the Common Good, then, are marriage, life, liberty, knowledge, wealth, and governing institutions, because these are needed by all people in order to live well and in peace.

            In the same way that the Common Good is composed of several individual goods, so the means to achieve the Common Good come in several forms. Among these are welfare programs that provide food, water, shelter, clothing, and healthcare, environmental protections, military defense, schools, institutions which promote financial wellbeing for all, infrastructure, and a criminal justice system.

            Uniquely part of both the goods and the means to achieve them are the virtues. These virtues include the classical cardinal virtues of self-discipline, courage, wisdom, and justice, because they allow a person to act rightly. Cultivating virtue is a crucial task for any community, for this very reason, and losing sight of the value of these virtues can be disastrous.

            If we were to bring together both the goods and means described above, we would find that the collection is quite similar to the Preamble of the Constitution, which states the goal of the Founders was to "form a more perfect union,” and that to do this they would need to, “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity". The Common Good was here acknowledged to be the goal they had in mind.

            The Common Good is not talked about much in the news. But social justice is a regular phrase. Social justice means many things to many people, but following with the classical definition of justice as a virtue (“the will to give to each what they deserve”), social justice could be defined as, “the will to give to each what they deserve as a society”, or perhaps, “the will to work for the Common Good [with others],” because the Common Good is something that all people deserve.

            Solidarity, which was once defined as the “firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the Common Good”, seems to match nearly exactly the definition of social justice as given above. Given that definition, the virtue of Solidarity is the most directly connected with the Common Good of all the virtues. Solidarity is not mere empathy, nor radicalized protests, but the hard-working commitment to ensure a condition in which all people are able to live well to the best of our earthly ability to provide it for them. We all live in society, and we all benefit when these good things are properly ensured.

            This commitment to Solidarity is the core value of our Party because Solidarity defines a citizenry with the character to strengthen their country. Wealth, power, and knowledge alone are not enough to ensure a healthy nation for our children, because all of these can be abused and hoarded. If we commit ourselves to working together and to the Common Good of all, then we will find soon enough that the rest will follow.

            I’m proud to be a member of a Party that still speaks the language of virtue, and that still has a vision beyond the “us-against-them” campaigning we’ve seen recently. Let’s continue to work together to make our families, communities, and political groups stronger. Let’s continue to remember the value of Solidarity.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


The Species of Justice

"[Let us] hold firm to the Way of Heaven and always pursue Justice and Virtue, 
remembering the soul is immortal and can endure all kinds of good and evil. 
In this way, we will live dear to each other and to the gods, 
both during our mortal life here and after when we, 
like champions who receive their gifts, 
obtain our reward.

--Plato, Republic, final paragraph

"Justice" can have several meanings, depending on the context:

1. Commutative justice as a virtue, regarding interpersonal actions.
Defined as "the will to render to each individual their due".
This is explored at length by Aristotle.

2. Social justice as a virtue, more specific in meaning than common use.
Defined as "the will to work for the common good by working with others".

This use is distinct from the others, as it is not coercive.
Social justice instead works through free associations.
Social justice is therefore the form of Justice most like 'Caritas'.

3. Legal justice as a virtue, paired with Distributive.
Defined as "the will to obey what the State legitimately commands".

4. Distributive justice of the State, as paired with Legal.
Defined as "the duty of the State to give its citizens their due".

Distributive Justice can be broken down into rewards and punishments.
These two divisions can then be further distinguished by the means of determination:

  • Equal:  All are equally human, and should receive equal support.
  • Need:  Those most in need should receive the most support.
  • Merit:  Those most worthy should receive the most support.
  • Procedural:  All are equal before the law, and should receive equal penalty.
  • Corrective:  Those involved should receive what the crime shows they need.
    • Restorative:  (For the victim, compensation.)
    • Therapeutic:  (For the criminal, treatment.)
  • Retributive:  The punishment should fit the crime in severity.

5. Justice as Harmony in the political unit.
This use is the sum total of all four above.
This is explored at length by Plato.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Our Triple-Trinitarian Psychology

Based especially on some reading I have done with the Hesychastic Saints of the Orthodox Church,
I put this image of what seems to be the overall view of the soul that they have.
(Not included are the animal motor and vegetative powers of the soul, as they do not pertain to conscious experience as internal processes.)

("Nous" is the "spiritual sense", "Logos" is the "spiritual intelligence", and "Pneuma" is the "spiritual passion"; they are also called "Intellect", "Reason", and "Spirit", respectively, but these terms have been avoided to ensure clear distinction from the non-spiritual intelligence and passions.)

Comments are welcome!