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The Idea of America: Our Lost Civic Argument
Can people govern themselves? Our confidence in “The People” and in their ability to develop and administer civic justice with some degree of wisdom suggests a belief in an elusive democratic or general enlightenment. Enlightenment, when manifested in the people, is always subtle. It is most often found in the acts of individuals and institutions with; 1) a general knowledge of history/philosophy, and 2) an appreciation of civic integrity. This must be true in any society that claims a democratic DNA. However, both of these conditions are problematic. How does this more Classical definition square with what is happening today in our society?
Michael Hartoonian is a fellow with the global think-tank; Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism. Michael has taught for more than thirty years in the Colleges of Education at the universities of Arizona, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and established the Center for Democratic Capitalism at the UMN. He is also a former teacher and supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and co-coordinator of the Wisconsin Geographic Alliance. He holds the PhD from UW-Madison, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Ripon College, in Ripon, Wisconsin, and in 2000, he received the Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award from Lawrence University. Retired, Michael continues to write, lecture, and consult in education, business, and government. He has
authored or co-authored more than seventy articles and five books on history, education, ethics, and
citizenship. His new book, set in the social and personal turmoil of the1950’s, is Chased by the Memory.