The Hindrances to Good Citizenship

 
9780217922999: The Hindrances to Good Citizenship
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1909. Excerpt: ... HOW TO OVERCOME THE OBSTACLES TO GOOD CITIZENSHIP In the preceding three lectures the chief hindrances to the discharge of civic duty have been considered. Let us now go on to inquire what can be done to remove these hindrances by grappling with those faults or weaknesses in the citizen to which they are due. When symptoms have been examined, one looks about for remedies. We have seen that of the three causes assigned, Indolence, Selfish Personal Interest, and Party Spirit, the first is the most common, the second the most noxious, the third the most excusable, yet also the most subtle, and perhaps the most likely to affect the class which takes the lead in politics and is incessantly employed upon its daily work. Whether the influence of these causes, or of any of them, is increasing with that more complete democratization of government which we see going on in Europe, is a question that cannot yet be answered. Fifty years may be needed before it can be answered, for new tendencies both for good and for evil are constantly emerging and affecting one another in unpredictable ways. The remedies that may be applied to any defects in the working of governments are some of them Mechanical, some of them Ethical. By Mechanical remedies I understand those which consist in improving the structure or the customs and working devices of government, i.e., the laws and the institutions or political methods, by Ethical those which affect the character and spirit of the people. If you want to get more work and better work done in any industry, you may either improve the machinery, or the implements, by which the work is done, or else improve the strength and skill of the men who run the machinery and use the tools. In doing the former, you sometimes do the latter also, ...

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