Civility and Citizenship in Liberal Democratic Societies Edward C. Banfield

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Published: February 19th 2013

Kindle Edition

178 pages


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Civility and Citizenship in Liberal Democratic Societies  by  Edward C. Banfield

Civility and Citizenship in Liberal Democratic Societies by Edward C. Banfield
February 19th 2013 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 178 pages | ISBN: | 5.25 Mb

How do civility and citizenship, aspects of the individuals attachment to a liberal democratic society, affect the nature and future of that society? This book reminds us of the fragility of a good political order and the complexities of maintainingMoreHow do civility and citizenship, aspects of the individuals attachment to a liberal democratic society, affect the nature and future of that society? This book reminds us of the fragility of a good political order and the complexities of maintaining liberal democracy, even when actions of citizens are wise and virtuous.

Professor Banfield states that history and reflection tell us that a majority may tyrannize cruelly over a minority. What we want is not majority rule simply, but majority rule plus the protection of certain rights that pertain to individuals. This is the difference between democracy and liberal democracy- in the latter there is a private sphere into which the governing authority may not intrude.

Citizenship implies a sense of shared responsibility for the conduct of a regime- a regime is fully liberal but less than fully democratic if rights are protected but significant numbers of persons are denied, or decline to accept and exercise, the duties of citizenship. It will be found that by this test the number of nations that approach the ideal of liberal democracy - that are at once very liberal and democratic - is painfully small and that the most liberal are not those in which citizenship is most widely held and exercised.

If a liberal democratic society is to continue as such there must be widely respected institutions, practices, and modes of thought that encourage or demand the making of concessions where necessary to preserve the degree of harmony without which the society could not continue as a going concern. The obligation of the citizen to obey the law is one such safeguard of order.

The idea of civic virtue is another. Civility, the culturally ingrained willingness to tolerate behavior that is offensive, is yet another. The first chapter by Edward Shils distinguishes the civil person and the state and points to conditions of modern life that threaten to erode civility and endanger liberal democracy. Katherine Auspitz tells how cer



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