This month: The public sector and the common good
The concept of a common good offers the possibility that politics can be about more than building an institutional framework a for the narrow pursuit of individual self-interest – i.e., making America work for business.
When you think about it coldly, isn’t this purpose becoming the whole rationale of our government? What are “trickle down economics” and “deregulation” but justifications for increasing corporate control of … everything?
In the past, there was an understanding that certain goods—security, justice, informed democracy, a healthy environment – could be achieved only through citizenship, collective action, and active participation in the public realm of politics and public service.
This concept of the common good points to the way in which freedom, autonomy, and self-government can be realized through collective action and active participation of individuals, not as consumers but as active citizens in the public domain. It also rests on the fact that political participation can have a value, in its own right, as described in Jacob James’s article, Can there be too much politics? The issue is also explored in several other articles inside.
Theme for December:
Religion and the law
Look around you for evidence of the role of religious institutions in public life and how that role — and those institutions themselves — may have changed in recent years. Everything from National Prayer Breakfasts, to churches and synagogues caring for the homeless and offering sanctuary to the vulnerable. Some states have laws that incorporate Bible strictures and we now have legal decisions giving religious rights to corporations. What does this mean for you and for the US and others? The December issue deadline is November 18. Check www.olywip.org for details about submitting.