Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It's curious how this term has absolutely contradictory definitions, to the extent that the history of good is a succession of consented degradations.

Good is what is good for us, thus happiness. In that sense, a good, even if we say "my good", doesn't belong to anyone, it is not a possession, we hang on to it, all right, but we do not possess our good, because it is not to be found inside of us, it is on the contrary something fundamentally distinct from us, for example a person we love, thus essentially what is not us and that which we do not possess. In this first acceptation, a good is what attracts, thus precisely what is not us and makes us come out of ourselves.

Then we reduced good to a moral sense: good and bad. In reality, this is probably because Aristotle showed happiness as being linked to virtue: a good musician makes good music, a good man creates happiness, a bad man creates unhappiness. That's what Aristotle's ethics are based on, what he calls the science of happiness. Thus, after him, we have not ceased to undertake to isolate good to turn it into a primary and self-sufficient moral, a moral for its own sake. And today we continue on with those famed values, those of the Republic, those of the company, etc. because obviously we hardly speak of morality anymore, that wouldn't be progressive.

And finally, in the full logic of a mindless state ardently yearned for all, now that we find ourselves under the full-fledged dominion of quantity, good has become a synonym of possession, e.g. our real estate good, in other terms, by reinjecting the original meaning: our real estate happiness... Therefore, there is a price tag to happiness, your stock of happiness is necessarily quoted on Wall Street, and if you speculate on it, it's price goes up or down. For example, if everyone starts buying happiness in the form of disposable G-strings, tada, its price climbs, your rear end is up in the air and you're in tip top shape, but if people start selling short biological yogurts because no one wants them anymore, and your fridge is full of them, your happiness chart hits rock bottom and you become depressed, you are worth a lonely symbolic dollar.


  1. The inability to separate ourselves from our desires, or even knowing we can is still the basis of all
    unhappiness. It is almost impossible for everyone to
    first realize and then to bring about this knowledge.It is the "Gorilla" glue that holds every society and every member of that society together. The psychological net is spun so fine and so all-encompassing, that it is virtually invisible. The "Good" is my good as opposed to your good which is irrelevant to me unless we are related and there are no wills to contest.

  2. It is good this post has now been commented on ;) Your first remark is the zen viewpoint.

    What is certain is the metaphysical notion of good has sunk to the bottom of the sea over the centuries - notion which is well upstream of any moral consideration.