The Public Interest

Service Without Arms

Mary Tedeschi

Summer 1984

MUCH concern has been expressed, of late, about the condition of our civic spirit. There is no denying that some of the moralizing is tendentiously political; “student apathy,” for instance, tends to be lamented by those who prefer their campuses agitated and politicized. The fact remains, however, that in addition to such cant there is a serious and widespread preoccupation with the health of the body politic. And no one in recent memory has treated this preocuppation with the precision and subtlety of Morris Janowitz.  The Reconstruction of Patriotism takes its definition of citizenship from the classical tradition: a citizen, in modified Aristotelian terms, is one who shares for any period of time in judicial and deliberative office. This formulation, as Janowitz points out, assumes a delicate balance between the rights and obligations of citizenship.  In recent decades, the scales have so tipped in favor of rights as to leave the side of obligation dangerously spare.

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