The New Citizenship: A Study of American Politics

The New Citizenship: A Study of American Politics

The New Citizenship: A Study of American Politics

The New Citizenship: A Study of American Politics

Excerpt

Much has been written about the citizen's failure to practice the self-determination conferred on him by eulogistic theories of political democracy. Many prescriptions for his shortcomings have been tried, but to all appearances the patient's condition grows steadily worse. This arouses a suspicion of faulty diagnosis and even of incurable malady.

This book presents a fresh diagnosis and a new prescription, based on a systematic examination of the influences conditioning the citizen's development. The prescription calls for a radical re-orientation of popular interests, which alone can make responsible citizenship possible; and for the construction of citizenship institutions designed to foster the intellectual and practical activity that alone can make popular government a reality.

The outcome of the program offered, if it should be tried, is far from certain. Grounds are set forth for the hypothesis, however, that it has a fighting chance of success. Plans are elaborated for testing this hypothesis experimentally. Only such a test can decide whether the rather heroic remedies proposed shall meet the fate of all the others that have been tried hitherto. The issues, no less scientific than practical, are such momentous ones that a conclusive test . . .

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