The Dignity of the Human Person
The Common Good Platform holds that the intrinsic dignity of every human life is the most essential principle of all law. This first demands an unqualified recognition of human rights as universal, inviolable, and inalienable.
Universal: to neglect the full bestowal of any human right upon any human life is tantamount to the simple failure to recognize human rights.
Inviolable: these rights are not a mere idea made by man for the sake of promoting peace; rather they are inherent in his very person, therefore they must be respected everywhere: by all and for all.
Inalienable: as our own Declaration of Independence announces at the onset, no one can ever legitimately deprive another of these rights, for such a deprivation would constitute an assault against the very endowments put in place by the Creator.
These rights include…
The right to life: the foremost right – the right from which all other rights proceed and without which all other rights are meaningless – from conception until death. Current violations of this right that we fight against include abortion, the death penalty (except in the very rare cases where there is no other way to ensure the safety of the innocent), unjust war, unethical scientific pursuits contrary to life, euthanasia, and assisted-suicide.
The right to family: this entails first a child’s right to be conceived as the result of an act of love between mother and father, who in turn have the right to be this child’s guardians and educators. It also includes the right to begin and grow a family of one’s own. Current violations of this right that we fight against include the creation of life in a laboratory, the unjust removal of children from the care of their parents, the promotion of divorce, the pushing of contraception or sterilization on certain groups to curb their procreation, the enactment of child-limit policies, the abandonment of children, the removal of the choice of a child’s education from parents, the market for surrogate mothers, and the donation of human eggs and sperm.
The right to freedom: the most essential aspect of freedom is the right to religious freedom, and along with it the right to follow one’s conscience. Vital as well is the right to determine one’s own course in life and pursue his or her own happiness. Current violations of this right that we fight against include government mandates that require individuals or businesses to provide services that are contrary to their religious beliefs, and punishments for crimes that either exceed or fall short of the demands of justice (the former being an offence against the criminal, the latter being an offense against the victim).
The right to work and sustenance: man is, by his very nature, a working being, and therefore whoever would deprive him of the right to work, and the just sustenance that should come to him from his work, is guilty of an offence against the essential and inalienable rights of man. Current violations of this right that we fight against include the lack of adequate food and water that is truly epidemic around the world (and which America has no right to be apathetic toward), the paying of wages (even if agreed to by both the employer and employee) at such a rate that places full-time workers below the level of sustenance, the denial of employment for unjust reasons, the prevention of individuals from a fair opportunity to bring their own products and services to the market, and a lack of dignity in work environments.
The Common Good
We believe that the Common Good is the entire reason for political authority, which is why our platform bears its name.
We furthermore believe that today more than ever there is an urgent need to proclaim this truth, for we live in an age in which those voices that advocate for what diametrically opposes the Common Good – greed, anarchy, excess for the wealthy, special interests, violence, fanaticism, selfishness, cynicism, relativism, and the like – are raised to an alarming level and are, ever more troubling still, being heard and increasingly obeyed.
We reject utilitarian perversions of the common good which relegate it to the mere quantitative addition of particular goods (which inevitably leads to the exploitation of the few by the many), and rather assert that the common good is the totality of social conditions that allow for all people and indeed each person to more fully and swiftly develop into the person he or she is called to be and was made to be. The Common Good, therefore (and, accordingly, political authority itself) cannot be meaningfully understood without understanding what man is, therefore we reject pragmatism, which demotes man himself to nothing but an economic consideration. We instead insist that all political effort is meaningless -- or, worse, affirmatively harmful -- if it is not built upon a correct understanding of human nature: created by God, with inalienable rights, with intrinsic and infinite dignity, with both a body and a soul, as essentially (not superficially) oriented toward family and society, either male or female, and in need of much more for genuine flourishing than merely "bread and circuses."
We pursue the common good first by the harmonizing of the various sectarian interests with the requirements of justice; we thereby categorically reject the promotion of any particular good that is opposed to human rights, no matter how cost-effective or practical such a promotion might appear.
Having laid down a firm foundation of justice, we strive to build a civilization of charity -- love and solidarity. For only justice and charity together can truly achieve the universal recognition of the common good.
In adhering always to the principle of subsidiarity, we recognize that the Common Good, for which we exist, can only be effectively achieved if society is built from the ground up, without giving higher levels powers or duties that a lower level could be trusted with on its own, and we therefore reject the inverted-pyramid structure that is intrinsic to philosophies of totalitarianism, communism, socialism, and the like.
Our reverence for this principle begins with the family, the essential unit of society, which we insist must receive all possible honor in our nation’s laws. Subsidiarity is most grievously violated when national or international bodies interfere with the fundamental duties of families; especially with respect to the education of children.
Our implementation of the principle of subsidiarity, however, is not limited merely to opposing higher bodies who assume the duties of lower bodies, but rather it extends beyond that into the active encouragement of the virtue of participation, wherein citizens, both individually and in groups, themselves truly build the social, cultural, political, and economic community, instead of being expected to blindly follow like sheep the dictates created within secretive board rooms of quasi anonymous un-elected figures who seem, today more than ever, to wield the true power -- if not in creating literal laws, nevertheless in creating the de-facto norms that govern modern life more than the explicit laws themselves (especially in education, media, medicine, and technology). We insist that whenever such entities accumulate too much actual or de-facto power, it is the Government's duty to immediately step in and put an end to this subtle slavery.
It is difficult to imagine a situation more opposed to this essential virtue of participation than what we see in unprecedented levels today: millions of citizens spending their lives watching television shows produced by centralized national and international bodies, receiving all of their sustenance from federal government welfare programs or even, increasingly, "Universal Basic Incomes" in contradiction to the dignity of human work. The Common Good Platform is permeated with efforts to combat this most dangerous trend and replace it with the participation that comes from subsidiarity.
Solidarity -- the societal level application of love, charity, friendship, and fraternity -- is so fundamental that, without it, the pursuit of the Common Good is deprived of its motivation, energy, and ultimate purpose.
Solidarity implies the equal dignity of all. Due to that dignity, we stand with all people throughout the world as our brothers and sisters in the human family. Thanks to solidarity, we not only categorically condemn and reject the deprivation of the human rights of any person, but we also stand with him and make his trials our own, not content to leave one person without what he needs for his flourishing.
Thanks to solidarity we are able to truly advocate for the just distribution of goods, the vigorous pursuit of peace, and the end to all prejudice and hatred.
It is from our standing in solidarity with all of God’s children that we at the Common Good Platform derive our inspiration to fight without ever tiring for full inclusion for the poor, unreserved honor for the family, and careful protection for the environment.
Addendum: Statement Against Socialism
We at the Common Good Platform stand firmly against Socialism and we condemn it categorically. Although we share some concerns with those who call themselves Socialists (for example our desire to achieve a more just distribution of wealth, our goal to reduce waste in American society, and our efforts to ensure the environment is protected), this does not associate us with socialism itself. Not only are many of Socialism’s principles condemned by us (for example their advocacy for common or state ownership of property and commerce), but even those concerns we do share, we believe in pursuing by radically different means.
We reject recourse to the welfare state, and instead insist upon the implementation of just social structures, trusting those to be the primary motive force behind achieving an equitable distribution of wealth.
We reject federal government being given powers that would be better left to a lower level, with due regard to the principle of subsidiarity.
We reject radical notions of environmental protection that assume man is the problem and insist upon countless millions of acres remaining untouched, implement population growth limitation, or other similar programs.
We reject any deviation from the respect due to private property and insist that though this is not an intrinsic an inalienable right, it is nevertheless an essential principle of a just government that must form the cornerstone of economic life.
The list goes on, but the fact is already clear: the Socialist Movement finds an enemy, not a friend, in the Common Good Platform.