Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Catholic Conservatives and the Common Good"

This essay, by Stephen White, is relevant to, well, many of the posts and conversations here at MOJ over the years.  Let's put aside whether we agree, or not, with the essay's policy-related conclusions, and think instead about this paragraph, which strikes me as insightful and important:

Unlike political ideologies of the Right and Left, personalist and communitarian principles are not fundamentally opposed, but complementary. Libertarians and socialists may adhere to incompatible ideologies, but for Catholics, the common good is never “in tension with” (let alone opposed to) the dignity and proper autonomy of the individual person. Subsidiarity is not “balanced against” solidarity. The erosion of solidarity always endangers subsidiarity. In the absence of subsidiarity, solidarity is smothered by dependence upon the state. The dignity of the individual can never be sacrificed in the name of collective utility, and no true individual good can be legitimately won at the expense of the common good.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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