"The common good is not a good that can be isolated from the different goods and elements that constitute the city. Nor is it a sort of common denominator, unlike the good of self-preservation which for the modern philosophers will be the foundation of human rights. It is both the supreme good and the good which binds the different goods together that can have no direct rapport without which the other goods could not coexist, that is, could not be present at all in the human world."
- Pierre Manent, The City of Man
(trans. Marc A. LePain; Princeton University Press, 1998 ), 168.