Sunday, February 20, 2011

The common good

Via Counting Cats, I see that Richard Murphy has approvingly reviewed a book called Common Good, by Martin Large.

Now, it really should go without saying that anything that someone as evil, stupid, contradictory and ignorant as Richard Murphy approves of must be repulsive, but what really got me incensed was this extract from the book jacket blurb quoted by our favourite, tax avoiding accountant from Wandsworth.
However, tripolar society is emerging as an alternative, where civil society, government and business push back the market, and work in partnership for the common good.

What is this "common good" exactly? Who are these commoners and who is to decide what is good for them? I would imagine that we are all the commoners and it is to be people like Martin Large and Richard Murphy who are decide what is good for us.

This is always the way, you see: those who espouse socialism are always those who think that they will be the ones doing the telling. (Equally, of course, those who whinge about how people or companies are quite legally avoiding tax are always the ones who have done precisely the same thing—eh, Richard?)

Perhaps it is because I am, once again, reading Atlas Shrugged* that I got so irritated and outraged by the phrase "common good"**. Or perhaps it is simply that I am thoroughly sick and tired of thugs like Martin Large, Richard Murphy and Andrew fucking Lansley telling me how I should live my life.

Why don't you all fuck off to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and fucking stay there...?

* Last week, the trailer for Atlas Shrugged Part 1 was released: it actually looks as though it might be rather good...

** Ayn Rand lived in Soviet Russia: she knew what "the common good" really meant.


marksany said...

He's not seen Hot Fuzz, had he?

Chris edwards said...

MMM common good, didnt Jo and Adolf go for that? Maybe you have been too kind there?

Christie Malry said...

I think the general idea Chez Murphy is that you're common and he's good.

The danger with all this "push back on the market" gubbins is that "the market" is merely the free exchange between two willing individuals. So when government, civil society or business push back on society, it inevitably means that they're telling two willing individuals to stop doing something. Distinguishing between genuine concern and little Ritchies just wanting to order other people about isn't trivial.

Anonymous said...

"the common good" = communitarianism.

Look it up.

Woman on a Raft said...

Murphy was very keen on the market when he moved from Ely to Downham Market

He made £136,000 on house-price inflation when he sold the house in Beresford Road, Ely, which was done over 5 years. £27k a year just for owning a house; not bad when there is no CGT on the main residence.

N.B. have checked. That address was used by Murphy; he gave it as his contact address in previous trade guides.

Mr A said...

Sorry for the off-topic post but some fun.

Remember how ten years ago thousands put down their religion as Jedi? Well, we have a new census coming up, so let's put down our religion as "smoker." Tobacco Control are leading an inquisition. Let's just highlight that fact.

Whether you want to just deny them the information that they demand from you by force or you just want to raise this issue in public once again and remind them that it is not going away, let's have some fun.
Spread the word.

Anonymous said...

"The Common Good" - it's a phrase to make any reasonable person's blood run cold.

Bucko said...

It's similar to "Public health". Treating the entire population as though they are all the same with the same wants and needs. No room for individuality.

punkscience said...

Ayn Rand was a dysfunctional amphetamine addict who poured praise on a rapist who killed and dissected one of his 12 year old victims.

All you government-hating neo-anarchists are the same. Utterly ignorant of the hypocrisy of your ideology. Until you actually need something from the government. Then you blub like tired children for the harshness of the world and dribble platitudes to anyone who might hold the power to relieve you from your torment.

Here's an idea: If government is so bad, why don't you leave the UK and go and live somewhere where there's no government to bother you: Somalia!

Cock. In your ear.

Anonymous said...

Hey, nice post punkscience! Don't tell me, let me guess.

You read the Grauniad and Socialist Worker (is that rag still going?). You truly believe all men are equal (but you are a bit more equal than the rest). Part of your income is derived from placing troll posts where your masters tell you to. You support ASH, and think that all smokers should be culled as part of the eugenics purification programme. You work for the govenment, and haven't yet got over your hero Gordon Brown being shown the door. You are an unmitigated arsehole.

How am I doing so far?

blingmun said...

@ punkscience

"All you government-hating neo-anarchists are the same."

That would make me a dysfunctional amphetamine addict who pours praise on rapists who kill and dissect 12 year old victims.

Hmmm, you learn something new about yourself everyday.

Anonymous said...

"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.

“The common good” (or “the public interest”) is an undefined and undefinable concept: there is no such entity as “the tribe” or “the public”; the tribe (or the public or society) is only a number of individual men. Nothing can be good for the tribe as such; “good” and “value” pertain only to a living organism—to an individual living organism—not to a disembodied aggregate of relationships.

“The common good” is a meaningless concept, unless taken literally, in which case its only possible meaning is: the sum of the good of all the individual men involved. But in that case, the concept is meaningless as a moral criterion: it leaves open the question of what is the good of individual men and how does one determine it?

It is not, however, in its literal meaning that that concept is generally used. It is accepted precisely for its elastic, undefinable, mystical character which serves, not as a moral guide, but as an escape from morality. Since the good is not applicable to the disembodied, it becomes a moral blank check for those who attempt to embody it.

When “the common good” of a society is regarded as something apart from and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others, with those others consigned to the status of sacrificial animals. It is tacitly assumed, in such cases, that “the common good” means “the good of the majority” as against the minority or the individual. Observe the significant fact that that assumption is tacit: even the most collectivized mentalities seem to sense the impossibility of justifying it morally. But “the good of the majority,” too, is only a pretense and a delusion: since, in fact, the violation of an individual’s rights means the abrogation of all rights, it delivers the helpless majority into the power of any gang that proclaims itself to be “the voice of society” and proceeds to rule by means of physical force, until deposed by another gang employing the same means.

If one begins by defining the good of individual men, one will accept as proper only a society in which that good is achieved and achievable. But if one begins by accepting “the common good” as an axiom and regarding individual good as its possible but not necessary consequence (not necessary in any particular case), one ends up with such a gruesome absurdity as Soviet Russia, a country professedly dedicated to “the common good,” where, with the exception of a minuscule clique of rulers, the entire population has existed in subhuman misery for over two generations." --Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand.

john in cheshire said...

Isn't what Mr Murphy is advocating called fascism? Which is just another branch of socialism/communism?

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