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The Issue of Virtue or Citizenship for the New Republic of Antarctica - Essay Example

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I am pleased, as the chief political consultant for the Committee to Establish the New Republic of Antarctica (CENRA), to present my report regarding what role virtue or citizenship ought to play in maintaining the legitimacy of our fine republic. This report will begin by presenting a definition of virtue, alternative models which have incorporated the concept of citizenship differently, and a description as to how this notion of virtue functions in a system of government…
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The Issue of Virtue or Citizenship for the New Republic of Antarctica
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Download file to see previous pages As a preliminary matter, it is essential to define precisely what is meant by the notion of civic virtue or citizenship. The main idea is that citizens are bound to place certain larger civic goals above their more particularized personal desires. Implicit in this concept is the notion of sacrifice. The citizen, while to be protected and respected as an individual, is also expected to behave in ways which promote the larger interests of his state or country. In this way, citizenship implies certain fundamental obligations. The virtue is behavior which conforms to these expectations.
The important question, therefore, becomes what expectations ought the New Republic of Antarctica create for its citizenry The nature of virtue is a question which deserves serious attention. Some have argued that virtue is to be closely aligned with austerity. The pursuit of luxury and personal fame is to be discouraged. Larger social goals should be the guiding goals of citizenship. Others have argued that virtue need not be so limiting on a personal level. This line of reasoning is more liberal, and suggests that individual achievements will contribute to the development of the country. Thus, personal gain ought to be encouraged so long as the fundamental objectives of the government are not endangered.
In the final analysis, the virtue to be explored in this report refers to the role and the function of individuals within the New Republic of Antarctica. This raises questions of political conformity and the nature of the individual's influence within the republic.
1.2 Alternative Models
The manner in which virtue is to be incorporated into a republic is variable; to be sure, there are different models to consider. First, there is the notion of a direct democratic republic to be considered. This model extends a vote to its citizens, according to a formula prescribed by law, and effectively operates on the basis of majority rule. This model is something of an all-win or all-lose system. The majority dictate representatives as well as an overarching civic conscience. The minority, meanwhile, is entirely subject to the whims of the majority. A second model is the constitutional republic. This model is motivated by a philosophical desire to protect minorities from majority rule. A constitution is interposed between the government and the citizens. It functions to state general and specific principles of virtue. The goal of the constitutional republic is to temper the potential extremes and abuses of the majority model.
In addition to the direct and constitutional models, there are also questions pertaining to the centralization or the fragmentation of our governing system. The federalist model assumes a strong national government with subsidiary state governments. The states are possessed with governmental functions; however, they are subservient in many cases to the larger interests of the national government. An alternative model, the confederacy, envisions a more fragmented system of government. In this model, individual states reserve a fuller sovereignty over their own affairs; in this scheme, states function almost as separate governments unbeholden to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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