Friday, December 19, 2014

PRINCIPLE OF THE UNIVERSAL DESTINATION OF GOODS



There is the well-known saying that as everyone is born having nothing in his hands, so it is that everybody dies without taking anything with him in death. If someone has nothing upon birth and also brings nothing upon death, why could he/she ever think and believe that everything should be his/hers while still living? When some individuals practically have everything while other people actually have nothing, when some families corner, hoard and keep so much wealth while others are in fact empty-handed, when certain characters live in classy houses, wear fine clothes, costly jewelries and indulge in fine dining when many live in the streets, have tattered clothes to wear and barely have food to eat – something must be wrong, very wrong with the society they are members of. Reason: Temporal goods – precisely such as food, shelter and clothing – are for the benefit of all and not but for a few. The gross violation of the elementary Principle of the Universal Destiny of Goods” ultimately means injustice which brings about social disorder which in turn can be anything but the basis and origin of human development. This is not merely a speculative theory but a concrete reality as both past and present history amply testify to.

That some people have more temporal goods than others, that certain families have more economic resources than others, that there are individuals who hold more material possessions than others – this is acceptable based on the reality that different people, families and individuals have different abilities and/or differ in their industry and possibilities. But it is unacceptable – wrong, improper, unjust – when there are those who have practically everything while others have practically nothing. And such an adverse phenomenon is precisely the cause of social dissent, unrest and violence even. In the event of such a social liability, it is eventually human dignity that is defied as it is human rights that are violated. So came to pass radical communism, suspect socialism among other isms – one of whose central practices was the denial of the right to private property. So it is said that when in principle everyone is said to own everything, the truth is nobody really owns anything.

Without the least intention of saying or claiming that it is really just or altogether unjust, there is a theory that in order to prevent the radical discrepancy between those “Who have all” and those “Who have none”, it is proposed that the allowable total wealth of an individual, a family and/or a community should be legally defined such that any excess therefrom would be taken by the State as resources for helping others who have the least in possession if not practically nothing at all. If the theory is in line with the principle of “Eminent Domain” which is pursuant to the implications of the “Universal Destination of Goods”, then the theory may be meritorious – but under at least two conditions: The right to private property remains in force and the obligations of everyone to work in order to earn a living likewise remains binding. But in no way would such a theory mean that the “Universal Destination of Goods” us but a wish not a reality, merely an ideal but not an actuality.