The spirit of community that arises from festivals such as Halloween is a common good. I suggest that it is also a great time to practice the virtues of shared deliberation at all levels—from organizing in the residence hall floor and the classroom, to planning activities at the town’s community center. Doing so we will grow in the virtues on a personal level.
Do I know by pruning the tree, picking the apples, and eating them? Perhaps, Pickstock proposes, truth is what we find when we act in the world. Our true condition is that we are beings who pick apples and prune trees.
If we can foster a freedom to flourish rather than our modern freedom of choice, and if we can recognize versions of a common good appropriate to different real entities of social order from the family to the town to the nation, integrated with the rest of nature at scales from the local and regional to the biosphere, then the need to impose order through laws and regulations is minimized, replaced by deliberative, cooperative action towards a common good.
For readers exhausted by the seemingly intractable erosion of society by powerful forces, Perzanowski, has, thankfully, included many tales of heroic and insurgent successes sure to inspire readers, and his treatment of cultural history related to planned obsolescence, consumerism, and repair makes for an intriguing story with plenty of sociological insights that will improve its readers’ self-understanding.