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The Politics of Virtue by John Milbank download in iPad, ePub, pdf

For Ashcroft, individuals are responsible for creating their own fate. The ability to perform these basic obligations of citizenship, upon which all decent society rests, is not automatic. But up till now, even though conservative intellectuals have been preoccupied with cultural issues for years, mainstream Republican politicians have tended to shy away from them.

Still, there is at least one matter on which all three of us can agree. That's the essence of personal responsibility. Responsible behavior means making right choices and having the courage to say that there are right and wrong choices. So far, this kind of rhetoric has gone over well with the Republican voting base. Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T.

For Ashcroft individuals

It is mischievous to conduct a vague seminar on virtue as if the culture battle did not exist. His solution to illegitimacy is straightforward and boldly unfashionable. By the same token, conservatives should not fear putting limits on their own moralism.

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The languages of individual virtue and public honor, they urge, must be redeployed to meet human needs for belonging and embeddedness while revitalizing citizen participation in government. The worst choice of all, as Bush sees it, is illegitimacy, which he considers the root of many of the other ills. Bush, too, has received national attention for his tough, no-nonsense approach to crime, as when he refused to commute the death sentence of Karla Faye Tucker last February. Liberals should pursue the reconstruction of the welfare state with an eye toward connecting virtue and social provision. The second form of moral politics, which Morone advocates, is firmly universalist, oriented toward social conditions rather than individual attributes.

This foundation of virtue is what gave a strong moral cast to the programs of the New Deal. Ashcroft's belief in making choices mean something shows up in his tough stance on crime. He might also have pointed out that attacking people who are concerned about moral decline is nothing new.

If social scientists have learned anything in the past decades, it is to distrust single-factor explanations. The welfare state can help protect virtue, but in only a few cases can it create that virtue in the first place.