Joined: 09 Feb 2007
|Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:05 pm Post subject: Civic Republicanism & Civic Virtue
|( just putting down a note - busy this afternoon )
... Civic Republicanism is a Jeffersonian notion that deserves our contemporary attention ... Civic Republicanism centers on two interrelated ideas, civic responsibility and community. Civic responsibility refers to the sense of responsibility that we have toward one another, and for one another’s well being. It is the practice of placing the common good above our individual self-interest. We do this willingly because, in communities, we get to know one another and, in turn, feel connected to the people around us. Our neighbors, religious leaders, teachers, and store owners are all part of this network of common bonds we call community. In other words, we learn not to be narcissists because we have learned the benefits of mutual dependence and mutual responsibility. ...
... When Jefferson articulated Civic Republicanism, communities were smaller and more integrated. But it is not simply a question of scale. We have evidence of Civic Republicanism in practice in the US during the 1950s, 1960s and well into the 1970s. Promoting the common good was reflected in high quality public schools, an implied social contract, tax and public policies that ensured equal opportunity, citizens’ movements and resistance, and support for a social safety net. ... Today, however, as inequality has raised the stakes and undermined traditional notions of community, self-interest has come to rule day. ...
Civic virtue is the cultivation of habits of personal living that are claimed to be important for the success of the community. Closely linked to the concept of citizenship, civic virtue is often conceived as the dedication of citizens to the common welfare of their community even at the cost of their individual interests. The identification of the character traits that constitute civic virtue has been a major concern of political philosophy. The term civility refers to behavior between persons and groups that conforms to a social mode (that is, in accordance with the civil society), as itself being a foundational principle of society and law. ...
... Civic virtues have historically taught as a matter of chief concern in nations under republican forms of government ... Constitutions became important in defining the public virtue of republics and constitutional monarchies ... In the classical culture of Western Europe and those places that follow its political tradition, concern for civic virtue starts with the oldest republics of which we have extensive records, Athens and Rome. Attempting to define the virtues needed to successfully govern the Athenian polis was a matter of significant concern for Socrates and Plato; a difference in civic vision ultimately was one of the factors that led to the trial of Socrates and his conflict with the Athenian democracy. ... The Politics of Aristotle viewed citizenship as consisting, not of political rights, but rather of political duties. Citizens were expected to put their private lives and interests aside and serve the state in accordance with duties defined by law. ...