Common Good

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The Common Good consists of our shared values about what we owe one another as citizen who are bound together in the same society, the norms we voluntarily abide by and the ideals that we seek to achieve. If there is no Common Good there is no society.[1]


While the general feeling in the US after WWII was that all members of society had pulled together to make the world a safer place, that feeling only lasted about 20 years till the Vietnam war left many in society feeling something quite different.

In November 1956, Time magazine explored a phenomenon that went by various names: “capitalism with a conscience,” “enlightened conservatism,” “people’s capitalism,” and, most popularly, “The New Conservatism.” No matter which label one preferred, the basic concept was clear: Business leaders were demonstrating an ever increasing willingness, in the words of the story, to “shoulder a host of new responsibilities” and “judge their actions, not only from the standpoint of profit and loss” in their financial results “but of profit and loss to the community.”[2]


Humans have evolved to support the Common Good for the tribes that sustained them. Ayn Rand described "The tribal notion of “the common good” has served as the moral justification of most social systems—and of all tyrannies—in history. The degree of a society’s enslavement or freedom corresponded to the degree to which that tribal slogan was invoked or ignored."[3] It is clear that we humans now need to learn to



  1. Robert Reich, The Common Good. Chap 2 ISBN 978-0525520498
  2. Rick Wartzman, Whatever Happened to Corporate Stewardship? (2014-08) Harvard business review
  3. Ayn Rand, Common Good. —Ayn Rand Lexicon

External References