The Common Good and Other Illusions
By way of background, note how the sufficient reason of our constitution is to safeguard our pursuit of happiness. This pursuit is an individual matter (or at least not governmental), and for good reason(s) -- one reason being that the government could not possibly define the common good except vis-a-vis its enumerated powers, e.g., law enforcement, justice (the legal kind), and military defense.
But to otherwise pretend to know what's good for us -- well, that is quintessentially Fatal Conceit territory. Besides, if you ask the state to define the common good, it will always and everywhere do so in a way that is good for the state.
It's just like the market. All of its millions of transactions occur because a person on one end wants the item or service more than the money it costs, while the person on the other end wants the money more than the item or service. In short, they have to agree, and this agreement yields a subjective sense of satisfaction.
Imagine some governmental entity presuming to understand those millions upon millions of experiences of satisfaction. Madness! If anyone is "satisfied" with ObamaCare, it is pure coincidence, because it specifically abolishes the nexus of satisfaction. You can be resigned to it, but not satisfied in the true sense.
It is as impossible to define the common good "as it is to define the 'essence' of the human person." In short, no one can do it but the person in question. Unless he is a child -- which is precisely why the left necessarily treats us as schoolchildren who are never permitted to graduate.
Here "we are able to identify once again an essential element of totalitarian regimes." That is, "the political powers claim the right to define in complete detail the specifics of the [common good]."
Remember the good old days when a liberal was just someone who wanted to reach into your shower and adjust the temperature? Now he's someone who wants to reach into your pants and adjust your biology.
"What is so ruinous here is the fact that the 'plan' becomes the exclusive standard that dictates not only the production of material goods but equally the pursuits of universities, the creations of artists, even the leisure activities of the individual -- so that anything not totally conforming to the standard is suppressed as... 'undesirable.'"
Amazingly, these liberal drones submit "voluntarily," or at least with no resistance, via the instinct to conform backed by the soft tyranny of political correctness.
It requires courage to stand up to the tyranny; in fact, "Courage is a testimony to the existence and power of evil in the world."
In short, "because justice and goodness do not automatically prevail on their own," courage is required to bring them about. "It is a liberal illusion to assume that you can consistently act justly without ever incurring risks" -- which reminds us of the old gag about liberals always dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good -- which is to say, courageous.
"To be courageous means: to oppose injustice in the face of overwhelming external power and to accept willingly any resulting disadvantage, be it only public ridicule or social isolation."
What is a bad man but a good man's teacher? And what is political correctness but the coward's inadvertant lesson in courage?
If a pornographic novel is advertised as 'risqué,' then in truth nothing at all is being risked. It would be much more risqué to declare publicly that chastity is part of what makes a person whole; this would be much more dangerous. --Josef Pieper