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an American politics of virtue
 
  reinventing good society

gary e. davis
October 4, 2020
 
 
An exemplary sense of virtuous society is the engagement of leading voices from aca-demia, the media, and public life—the Harvard-hosted Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship—to collaboratively articulate an explicit path of virtuous activity for “reinventing American democracy for the 21st century,” which produced a freely available plan.

The Commission implicitly establishes that social good is basically a conception of public health scaled to social ecology (which I’ll elaborate later), in terms of their six “strategies of action” listed below.

For now, highlighting their notion of political virtue provides a workable sense of healthy political society for further discussion. I regard every term of their “virtuous” context as keywords or constitutive concepts for understanding political discourse. At the end of this page, I’ll quote their main idea of political virtue in full (which is short but meant exactly).

Componentially, the “virtuous cycle” is about:
values and norms
We might think about, first, what those primarily are, as forms of understanding and as specific values and specific norms. Consider my opening set: lucidity, authenticity, fidelity, aspiration, engagement, appreciation, and exemplarity.

How do those relate?

How may they inform consideration of value or importance as form of understanding? How do importances best translate ino norms, as oriental form?

I’ve addressed that elsewhere, but here the point is that values and norms are to be regarded as fundaments for democratic life (prior to and beyond process).

What’s the origin and basis of importance? What is genuinely worthwhile? Which values deserve to be regarded as normative?

narratives
What stories and discourses deserve to be highly oriental for holistic under-standing and thinking? I would appreciate this question relative to the academic humanities and the mission of higher education to cultivate humanity.

What might best be meant by a “combination” of the importances as combination of norms? Of course, that is enactive, communicative, and
(I would venture) discursive.
They say “a healthy civic culture” is a “combination” through “participation” and “responsibility,” which is a reciprocity in the Commission’s thinking. I’ll portray that reciprocity as self-invested interaction.

Political institutions support and advance healthy civic culture by being responsive and inclusive.

Healthy civic culture, supported and advanced by responsive and inclusive political institutions, constitute “the virtuous cycle of [general] culture, [general] institutions, and civil society” through “the local level in communities.”

That can reinvent a “healthy constitutional democracy” through their “six strategies
for action” (as six chapters of the report) which I’ll list.

Quoting the key points of their report that highlight “virtue”:
“A healthy constitutional democracy depends on a virtuous cycle in which responsive political institutions foster a healthy civic culture of participation and responsibility, while a healthy civic culture—a combination of values, norms, and narratives—keeps our political institutions responsive and inclusive.

“The virtuous cycle of culture, institutions, and civil society has linkages among the Commission’s six strategies for action…:

1: Achieve Equality of Voice and Representation
2: Empower Voters
3: Ensure the Responsiveness of Political Institutions
4: Dramatically Expand Civic Bridging Capacity
5: Build Civic Information Architecture [for] Common Purpose
6: Inspire a Culture of Commitment to American Constitutional Democracy and One Another

“Already there are abundant signs of the virtuous cycle of constitutional democracy—the interplay of institutions, culture, and civil society—at the local level in communities across the country.”


   

next—> clarity of mind

 

 

 
  Be fair. © 2020, g. e. davis