Common good

community, benefit

The common good is a term that can refer to several different concepts. In the popular meaning, the common good describes a specific good that is shared and beneficial for all (or most) members of a given community. This is also how the common good is broadly defined in philosophy, ethics, and political science.


  • Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.
  • Spock: The needs of the many, outweigh...
Kirk: The needs of the few.
Spock: Or the one.
  • Throughout history, no tyrant ever rose to power except on the claim of representing ``the common good.´´ Napoleon ``served the common good´´ of France. Hitler is ``serving the common good´´ of Germany. Horrors which no man would dare consider for his own selfish sake are perpetrated with a clear conscience by ``altruists´´ who justify themselves by-the common good.
    • Ayn Rand, Rand, Ayn. The Only Path to Tommorow, Readers Digest, January 1944, pp. 88-90
  • The common good before the individual good. (Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz)
    • The Nazi 25-point Program, Adolf Hitler proclaimed his party's program on February 24, 1920 in Munich, Germany. Nazi Ideology Before 1933: A Documentation, Barbara Miller Lane, ‎Leila J. Rupp, introduction and translation, Manchester University Press (1978) p. 43.
    • Konrad Heider translated this line as “The good of the state before the good of the individual” in his A History of National Socialism, (1935) p. 17.

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