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.