Are These Common In Politics?  In You?

Common ground is a foundation for mutual understanding.

 Common good is a good that is shared and beneficial to all (or most).

I have been thinking a lot lately about the problems of our government and how they relate to the future of America. The concepts common ground and common good raised many questions for me that I want to share.

Promoting the common good is said to be the goal of a democracy. Is promoting a common good really the goal of the US democracy today? Should it be?  Can it be? Is finding common ground the goal of the US democracy today? Should it be?  Can it be? Can common ground and common good ever be common in politics?

What about we the people? Is each person’s personal goal promoting a good that is shared and beneficial to all? Are we all interested in the creation of a foundation for mutual understanding?  I believe finding common ground and promoting the common good by politicians AND the voters would contribute to creating a positive future for this country. Is this possible?

Self-interest is the enemy of promoting anything common. Self-interest seems to be a basic human trait.  Is promoting a good that is shared and beneficial to all (or most) in conflict with self-interest?

In 1980 Marilyn Ferguson proposed a new paradigm of power and politics: Self-interest and community interest are reciprocal.  Can or will the American people, corporations, unions, businesses, professional associations and politicians adopt this paradigm? The answer to this question may determine the future of this country. How do we determine the answer to that question?    

I think common ground and common good, where “self-interest and community interest are reciprocal”, would be a good common strategy for creating a positive future for the whole world.  What are your thoughts? I would like to hear from you.

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  1. Gene Unger says:

    Well my friend , our society is curtly uncommonly self centered. Success as we see it , and currently use the term is a self centered goal. How often do you hear ” if I help others I’ll get ahead ” You are right on as to what would be best for our country. However no one gets elected on that platform. Common Good , Common Good sounds like what they killed Jesus for preaching. The Golden Rule in politics and on Wall Street? I love your challenge for good! Your friend. Gene Sent from my iPad

  2. says:

    Another good article H B.  Seems to me “common” is the operative word in both common good and common ground.  What is common to any of us, especially now that our country has so many people from other cultures.  One would think having good schools is a concept common to everyone, but how often do we hear the elderly say they won’t contribute financially any longer to education because after all they already put their children through school.  The many different religions found now in this country see life and life’s responsibility differently.  I was just talking to my sister about the problems of Jehovah Witnesses and their lack of support of country–.  Seems that the need is to find common ground and common good with the majority and then have our government run to address those. 

    I am just talking off the top of my head –so these are just some of my thoughts.

    Good article to think on.


  3. Krumboltz, John D says:

    HB– I think realistically that self-interest is the primary goal of almost everyone, even those who talk about common ground. The problem is helping people realize that promoting the common good is also in their own self-interest. John

  4. Robert Leon says:

    Partner,         For some reason I have been mulling over the same thoughts recently.  Do you know Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States”?  He presents history through the eyes of the losers, or at least the less fortunate.  We have lost this perspective, if we ever had it.  The Founding Fathers all had slaves.  All men were created equal, but women couldn’t vote nor did they sign the Declaration.  Slaves were 2/3 people.  We still do not talk about these things and the common good is in the same catgegory. If we were to own  up to our own history I think that would be the start of a discussion about the need to change our priorities.  I do not see that happening any time soon.  However there are some rumblings beginning as the extremists may be going too far. Keep me posted as we wait abd hope.        As I said before, you are a good writer.                                                                                                        Bob

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