Although there are many similarities in the reports, they reflect two diverging streams of argument in the civil society debate with significantly different priorities. The overriding objective, in any event, is promoting civic works, not inspiring a moral or cultural renewal.
Each emphasizes the importance of renewing the family, especially curbing divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing. The public is quite clear on this.
I cannot imagine a satisfactorily happy life without the presence of one of these two values. This is constructive as far as it goes, but it offers thin gruel for a nation hungry for deeper transformation.
These two commissions are led by heavyweights and loaded with ideologically diverse scholars and public advocates of civic revival. What is sufficient for a democracy, they say, is civic character, or, in other words, a quickness to join.
The emergence of civil society as a framework for progress means that simplistic reliance on either the state or the market as mechanisms for social improvement will give way to deepening interest in creative ways to expand the social sector. Dates: Sundays am to am.
The boy who appeared to be about 10 years of age crossing the street alone, with his school bag, talking on an iPhone, the executive with his backpack, who did not try to disguise the presence of a laptop, and the old man, who walked calmly on the street with his walking stick, not being hit by the other pedestrians, and not bothering to finish crossing quickly, just in case the green light turned red for him.
Through these institutions and networks, we become socialized as adult citizens, capable of being helpful, trustful, and respectful. Even the most elementary civic act, such as voting, cannot be explained merely in terms of rational self-interest.
It means that civil society is going to be a powerful place for people to gather and work, in many cases transcending politics and ideology.
Was our constitution written for a moral and religious people, or was that merely a quaint sentiment which dominated during less enlightened times when we had fewer social protections against the risk of bad behavior?