Alexis de Tocqueville warned that as the economy and government of America got bigger, citizens could become smaller: less practiced in the forms of everyday power, more dependent on vast distant social machines, more isolated and atomized--and therefore more susceptible to despotism.He warned that if the habits of the heart fed by civic clubs and active self-government evaporated, citizens would regress to pure egoism. They would stop thinking about things greater than their immediate circle. Public life would disappear. And that would only accelerate their own disempowerment.This is painfully close to a description of the United States since Trump and Europe since Brexit. And the only way to reverse this vicious cycle of retreat and atrophy is to reverse it: to find a sense of purpose that is greater than the self, and to exercise power with others and for others in democratic life.
I served our country in its military for a total of 40 years 6 months and 7 days. At a time when we have fake news and people have accepted that lies are as valid as the truth all I can say is that my DD-214 shows that I served and retired from the United States Naval Reserve, before joining the United States Army in its Military Intelligence Corps, and served as such until retiring in 1987. I personally don’t know of anyone else that actually served in two branches of our military and retired from each, and although I frequently receive thanks for my service it is appreciated but not necessary. What is however necessary, is that we as citizens give a long hard look at where we are going as a nation. Yes, our infrastructure needs repair and our people need good jobs. We certainly want to feel secure but we definitely don’t need one man to fix our Constitution, which by the way is not broken! We do not need a crude iron fist to run our country! What we do need is a clear understanding of where we are going and what our country stands for…. “The pursuit of happiness” for “We the People!” Our government is based on a system of checks and balances, not the blind following of an autocrat. That’s been tried before and failed each time. Let’s not go down that “Rabbit hole!” Stand up and protect our democracy and cherish our freedom! What we have is priceless! Don’t let anyone take that away from us…. “Stand up for what is right!
The question of the stranger in a society which estranges everybody from it--while forcing everybody to assimilate their own alienation--takes cover under dubious and sinister masks.
We are in a mutually dependent society, called civilization, and government is the oil that keeps it running and the lifeblood that carries oxygen to the various parts of the civic body.
Moral maturity and freedom require more than mere adherence to the law, they require an understanding of the why and wherefore of its rules and regulations- the principles that make it worthy of their allegiance.
It is a mistake to tell students that their classroom is a democracy- it cannot and never will be. But children need to learn how to participate in a community and to prepare themselves for democratic citizenship.
When you beat up someone physically, you get excercise and stress relief; when you assault him verbally on the Internet, you just harm yourself.
When an economist attempts to prove that it is irrational to vote in national elections (because the effort expended outweighs the likely benefit to the individual voter), they use the term because they do not wish to say irrational for actors for whom civic participation, political ideals, of the common good are not values in themselves, but who view public affairs only in terms of personal advantage.