The general Meaning of the concept of common good refers to that which can be taken advantage of or used by all people. In other words, all individuals in a community can benefit from a common good.
Based on this idea, the notion is used with different nuances or scope in different areas. For philosophy, common goods are shared by the members of a society, who benefit from them. It is not only about physical goods, but also symbolic or abstract goods.
According to DigoPaul, the common good, in this sense, is also an end of society. The State, as the governing body, has to protect and promote the common good since it benefits the inhabitants. The social conditions that guarantee freedom, justice and peace and the equitable distribution of essential material goods are part of the common good.
It should be noted that the common good is not formed with the sum of the assets of each individual. The common good is indivisible and can only be achieved and increased through the collaboration of the various members of the community.
Within the philosophy we have to highlight that a series of essential characteristics of the so-called common good are established. Specifically, among the most significant we can highlight the following:
-It is something objective.
-Sometimes, it can be confused with what is quality of life or well-being. However, they are different things. Thus these two terms come to refer to what is the objective or goal of society but from the standpoint of the autonomous individual.
-It is aimed at satisfying what is the progress of individuals and for that, among other things, it must be based on truth and justice.
-It is closely and clearly linked to what human nature is.
– Starting from the fact that the common good is totally opposed to the private interest, it is considered that it comes to oblige the State. That is to say, that means that the public powers must, therefore, act in such a way that they seek to achieve that. In the same way, therefore, it can be said that the very reason of the aforementioned public powers is the common good.
-In the same way, the fact that it comes to encompass man as a whole stands out. That is, he must bet on encompassing both what his demands are on a spiritual and physical level.
-Within the set of characteristics that stand out from the common good is also that it comes to oblige the citizen.
In the field of economics, the common good can be understood in different ways. The common good can be considered as something that maximizes the socioeconomic well-being of all people. Also as what is of usufruct of the community in general.
Finally, it can be argued that a common good is something whose property is not private (does not belong to any person). Sunlight, in this framework, is a common good: it cannot be privatized and is freely available.