View Full Version : The Common Good

Luke Skywalker
01-30-2003, 05:59 PM
Hey guys. I just finished writting an essay about a week ago entitled The Common Good: Society and Hate. I want you guys to evaluate it for me. What are strengths and weaknesses? What did you like/not like about it? And any suggestions you may have. There may be some grammar/spelling errors so please alert me if you find one. It's not that lengthy, only 2000 words so you should be able to read it quickly. Thanks:

The Common Good: Society and Hate
by Joshua Kelly

We often, as humans, ponder what exactly it means to be human. What does it mean to be ethical? What does it mean to be humane? What is the common good? We have asked ourselves these questions for countless years, only to receive the answer that we do not know. Everyone's opinions are vastly different from each other. This is what makes us human. But it is also what makes us hateful.

In a society ruled by the rich and powerful, where does the average person fit in? Average is no longer good enough. We seek to out do and out power each other. We have no love for another. It is simply a game of cat and mouse and you'll get swallowed if you don't use the system. No longer can children enjoy life. No longer can we simply stop and stare. We cannot sit, and just look around us. Look at our lives. Look at ourselves. We are just numbers. Ruled by money, and controlled by power.
As a society we are flawed. As a community we are flawed. As a species we are flawed. Perfection is not what we seek, we seek only power. If perfection were sought then we would a peaceful society. No wars, no hate, no anger. Just pure and everlasting love for each other. We value things we cannot have. We value objects and worship them as if they have complete and total control over our lives. We obey those who we honour as being above us in status.

In a true society we would offer each other nothing but love. We would stop just to say hello to a stranger. We would have no hierarchy. We would rule ourselves. And ourselves alone. We would honour everyone with love, not power. In an ideal world everyone would be equal in society. But we will never achieve this. We will never have peace. We will always hate. We will always slaughter each other in war. We will never love each other for we are. We are a war-like people. Hatred and power are the two most common things in this world.

The common good is the goodness of the people that go out of their way to help each other, to love each other, and to appreciate each other. We do not acknowledge the importance of these acts. Without them all hope for the survival of humanity would be lost. But, alas, we are already lost. We will not survive another major world war. We will not survive the hate, anger, and wrongful justification of our own actions.

Is there still hope? What is it hope? Can we hope that we will become peaceful? Can we hope that we accept each other? Hope is joyful wishing of something that will not happen. Hope is a joyful word. Yet, it does not bring joy. Hope brings sadness when the realization that not even hope itself can bring miracles. Miracles, simply yet sadly, do not exist. Miracles are just hope, exaggerated. Miracles are the one time that hope succeeds. They aren't miracles at all, just unlikely endings. So do we have hope? No. We are bound to fate. We are bound to the course we are set to. We hate. And that is it, not even the greatest wishes of hope will change that.

Can we love each other, while still storing an abundant amount of hate for certain individuals? I believe we can. I believe it is key to human society to live this way. We will never fully love everyone. In fact we will always hate. We cannot change this. But we can change the way we hate. We do not have to hate through physical or verbal violence. Once we accomplish this, we realize that hate is quite pointless.

If hate is a pointless act then why do we hate? Why do we dislike certain members of our own communities with so much passion that we use a word like hate? I believe that as humans we hate because it makes us feel superior to everyone else. And therefore superior to humanity itself. In short, we like to consider ourselves gods of our own lives. We do not appreciate the idea of fate. In fact we dislike the idea of fate so intensely that it causes us to hate, hate. It's a complex idea yet its roots like in the human psyche.

The psyche of a human does not perform in a manor in which we can compare or analysis it to another. But, because of society, every psyche has certain qualities that all humans share. Emotions are most likely the biggest commonality between us. We all share the same emotions. We even react with emotion to each other's emotions. For example, when a human cries the other humans around this person react to this. The reaction is not always ethical either. For I have seen countless times the reaction of laughter when one is in a state of deep depression. This continues in a spiral fashion until the individual is completely withdrawn from society. Then it starts all over again, like a hunt.

Noam Chomsky, the author famous for his commentary on US and World Politics, has addressed the problem of commonality and the overall common good of a society numerous times. He even dedicated an entire book to the subject effectively named ďThe Common GoodĒ. The goal in life, in a perfect world, would be for everyone to possess the common good. But Chomsky points out that in order for this to happen we would have to live in a state of anarchy, which would be impossible to achieve without 'divine' intervention.

So, we must examine the common good on another level, on that of the world. We need to step away from the false assumptions that life will go on. We need to realize that goodness is not a human desire. We need to understand that our reactions have equal reactions on those around us. For example, hatred produces hate in others. This seems like a basic principle, but it is astonishing that we seem to forget it time and time again as we fight with each other, not only with peers, but also in wars. We are a warlike people, as George Carlin put it. We crave war but yet at the same time we despise it with all our heart. Quite the Paradox.

Our hatred extents beyond war. Our hatred produces racism. Racism is a whole new dimension beyond that of war. Racism place's hatred on those that are, simply, different from yourself. Many historical events are shrouded by racism. A prime example being World War Two. Hitler based his entire governmental system around racism. He wanted to produce an overman race, the Aryan race. Hitler wanted to play god. His goal was to exterminate all Jews in the world. And effectively wipe out an entire race. Quite the ambition, but flawed in logic and reason not to mention racism to the extreme.

War and Racism are widespread throughout the world. Every country has problems in these areas. Even countries with humanitarian obligations, such as Canada, experience these problems. What can we do to stop these from occurring? Why canít we have peace?

If war and racism are widespread through out the world then one can assume that they are simply aspects of human nature. Are we, as humans, constantly separating each other into categorized groups of race? Sadly, I believe that war and racism is the very centre of everything of who we are. It makes us human. But as humans, are these aspects inherent in our nature?

The prospect that we are a virus to each other is a frightening one indeed. How can we morally accept society? The way we live, the way we love, the way we hate. Why are we so violent? Why do we hate? We hate because of one thing: Power. Power is formed by greed. Greed is formed by money. And what does money do? Money controls our society. Money controls the world. We live by money and we live for money. Wealth is Power. Ignorance is universal. Knowledge is nothing.

The world is controlled by the wealthy not by the knowledgeable. In order for this to take place ignorance must be widespread and universal. We hate each other. We would step over a fellow human to reach a point in life where we consider ourselves to be deemed successful. Success is not what it seems. Success is the acquisition of envy. Once you are envied for your position in life you are successful. You are successful in overcoming the average person.

So, once more I ask, why do we hate? We hate for the simple reason that everything in life is a game. Everything we know, everything we believe and understand is just a simple game of cat and mouse. You win when you become successful. When you lose, you die. But even if you somehow miraculously win this little game of life you die anyways. So, it doesnít matter. The reality is that, nothing really matters in life because you die. So we hate for the very reason that we live. We hate because we can. We hate because itís necessary to survive.

Love is the very opposite of hate. You can survive without love but you cannot dwell on it either. To love is to know someone with almost as much insight as they know themselves. Thatís what love is. Nothing more and nothing less. Itís just another simple game in life that you can play. But love is something that allows us to have peace. Love allows us to have peace with each other. To understand your neighbour is to love your neighbour. Love is an understanding of each other.

If only everyone in the world had a little more love. Just a small fraction of every hour of everyday that you will ever live was dedicated to someone else. To someone other than yourself. Imagine what a world it would be. I will always imagine a world such as this. I will always crave and desire a world of peace and happiness where everyone lives in harmony. The common good is everything that makes us love, cry, and imagine. The common good is the part of every human that knows who we are. The common good is an achievable victory over society and hate. The common good is you and you are.

ET Warrior
01-31-2003, 12:13 PM
That was a wonderful, well thought out and very well written essay.
The psyche of a human does not perform in a manor in which we can compare or analysis it to another

Should that be analyze and not analysis?

The biggest weakness i see in it is the fact that you have spread it over so many paragraphs that it becomes choppy and does not flow as well as you might hope for it too. But other than that i think it is very well done.

Luke Skywalker
01-31-2003, 06:54 PM
Thanks. I didn't catch that... about the choppiness. Yah, I have a problem with that when writting essays but I'm trying to even and smooth it out... its a work in progress :D .