Tuesday, November 1, 2016
A civic culture 2/18/17
PrefaceI write to support the following key statements then learn from the reader:
- The first requisite to achieve a civic culture is for most individuals to articulate personal desire for and fidelity to broadly-defined-civic-safety-and-security, hereafter Security.
- The second requisite is to want to effect civic morality, keeping religious morality private.
- The third requisite is to trust and commit to the preamble to the constitution for the USA for coordinating iterative civic collaboration.
- The fourth requisite is to iteratively collaborate for public-integrity based on the-indisputable-facts-of-reality, hereafter the-objective-truth.
There has emerged, from public meetings at libraries in Baton Rouge and other talk, a proposal to freely establish a civic culture wherein at least 2/3 of citizens both practice and promote public-integrity as private-liberty-with-civic-morality. We think most people want a civic culture but the public will is not apparent, because achievability has not been articulated. Society coerces people to be civil rather than civic, subjected rather than connected, and coercive rather than humble. Civilization’s erroneous message is that humans are born with a tendency toward evil-behavior rather than with the underlying desire to perfect personal abilities and choices. In a culture of public-integrity, each child is coached to prepare for early adulthood possessing both understanding and intentions to perfect his or her unique person during a full lifetime. Education for life is taken as a private duty and responsibility. An authentic human parts with education unwillingly.
“Civic” represents willing human connections, whether direct or indirect, by persons who live now and here---during the same time in the same place. In other words, civic persons both offer and seek Security. Connected persons willingly transact needed goods, services, and ideas and protect privacy. Yet, willing persons may share private pursuits. Civic differs from social, which implies conforming to or submitting to preference or class. Everyone is coerced to be civil, but no one wants civilization imposed on their person.
A society has conventions or rules to which a member must conform. For example, a person cannot arbitrarily join a country club: the applicant may be recommended by members who agree he or she may conform to club rules. Again, a person cannot simply say, “I want to be a Catholic,” and join. The applicant may take Catholic education then commit to the Church and be accepted. However, most people are unwilling to compromise Security, and fidelity to that affinity defines a civic people. The first requisite to achieve a civic culture is for most individuals to articulate personal desire for and fidelity to Security.
Instead, the people participate in social coercion. Most natural-law scholars consider theism to be essential for the propriety to discuss human connections. To the scholars, behavior is civil rather than civic: the civilized person conforms to the social norms. In 1785, speaking in Virginia against taxation to support Christian ministers, James Madison said, “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign.” Madison’s 1785 statement attests to natural law rather than institutional religion beyond Madison’s urge for theism. However, in the Confederation of States, including Virginia, 99% of the free inhabitants were sectarian, Protestant Christian: Practical theism was factional, Protestant Christianity. People think of Christianity as a unit, but it factions are divided.
In 2017, few Americans would earnestly ponder Madison’s concern about other people’s religion, let alone a theism they do not follow. Today, the people’s religious practices are private, not civic. For persons either born or naturalized in the USA, there is no religious restriction on civic propriety---at least, according to inalienable, human thought. Civic Americans (and other civic nationals) do not want to take issue with other people’s heartfelt concerns, comforts and hopes. Yet, by tradition, theism is imposed on the people by USA civilization.
Yet a peaceful person, by nature, does not want to tell another peaceful person what to think, possible concerns to ponder, or what to do. I do not even want to write about religion but have no choice, because I want to defend privacy in real-no-harm religious practices. Many peaceful people want religion. Who would deny a peaceful person their inspiration and motivation for life?
Yet many peaceful individuals psychologically divide a conflicted world and therefore cannot find each other---cannot connect, because of religion. Potentially agreeable people live in a state of conflict over what no one knows: Is theism true? The US Supreme Court divides citizens over ceremonial, traditional theism. The first federal legislators imposed theism as American tradition when elected representatives, in May, 1788 hired chaplains to serve Congress at the expense of the people.
However, just as each person demands religious privacy, humankind is too alert to submit to religious imposition by a government, so courageous people have sued over legislative prayer. The latest majority opinion, in Greece vs Galloway (2014), invites the people’s rebuke: “If circumstances arise in which the pattern and practice of ceremonial, legislative prayer is alleged to be a means to coerce or intimidate others, the objection can be addressed in the regular course.” How can the plaintiffs in the case they debated be justly dismissed? Since the Galloway complaint was not sufficient for the court’s majority opinion, how and when can the people’s religious privacy prevail? How can the traditional tyranny of religious freedom in the USA be terminated?
Regarding ceremonial prayer, the USA is in a state of tension with the majority group of citizens. That is, beyond 2014, the religious “nones” grow beyond 22.8% of the population and are the largest group, with Catholics, at 20.8% second, and next Southern Baptist Convention at 5.3%. Since all theisms are factious, any clergyman who conducts a prayer for a legislative body represents a minority of citizens! Let me say that again: In 2017 America, the majority group of citizens do not claim a religion, let alone a theism. Also, no two theisms are in agreement, so legislative prayer misrepresents the majority of Americans---probably the majority of legislators.
A civic people may express public-integrity, putting government in its public place and religion in its private place. Separation of civic morality from religious morality is the individual person’s obligation to self rather than to a government function: each person’s public behavior is a civic matter, while his or her comfort and hope respecting heartfelt unknowns is private. One citizen’s heartfelt concerns may not be meaningful in another citizen’s life. Before public-integrity can happen, most persons may separate his or her religious pursuits from his or her civic pursuits. The second requisite to achieve a civic culture is for most individuals to want to effect civic morality, keeping religious morality private.
Despite social pressures, perhaps 2/3 of citizens tacitly strive for public-integrity
One deterrent to civic morality as that some people expect a world with 100% agreement---universal social morality. For example, the phrase “We the People of the United States,” depicts a totality. Our speculation that 2/3 of inhabitants already collaborate for public-integrity originates from the fact that 70% of delegates from twelve of thirteen states, or 2/3 of the people’s representatives in 1787 signed the preamble and the rest of the draft constitution for the USA. In other words, matter-of-fact collaboration in 1787 Philadelphia resulted in only 2/3 commitment by the delegates, leaving 1/3 who wanted legal theism, or “We the States,” or a Bill of Rights, or other alternatives to the constitution. The point is: It is not necessary for everyone to be civic in order to have a civic people, a civic culture, even a civic nation. A willing super-majority is sufficient to establish a civic culture.
According to the draft constitution’s signers, all thought, including religious thought, was an inalienable human right and duty. The preamble, a civic agreement by willing people, made no attempt to restrict inalienable rights. However, the Bill of Rights, required for 1788 ratification, and negotiated by the 1789 Congress, protected religion, an institution, rather than thought, an inalienable human right and duty. Subsequently, the preamble, which is neutral to religion, was falsely labeled “secular,” which means separated from religion. The preamble does not impose religion on a civic people yet allows them privacy in the pursuit of happiness.
The preamble states that willing people, keeping their respective state constitutions, authorize a nation with specific purposes and organization. The intent “to form a more perfect union” invokes public integrity, both as wholeness and as understanding by the people. The nation’s governance has regressed outside the articles that follow the preamble, but the preamble and the people’s opportunity to establish public-integrity is unchanged. Past generations have left it to this generation to use the preamble. The third requisite to achieve a civic culture is for most individuals to trust and commit to the preamble to the constitution for the USA for coordinating iterative civic collaboration.
History shows that there may always be dissidents against broadly-defined-civic-safety-and-security. Therefore, we hope to motivate 2/3 of inhabitants to not only practice but articulate private-liberty-with-civic-morality, thereby establishing a civic culture. The civic culture would continue to utilize statutory law and monopolies on force to constrain the 1/3 who are dissident for reasons only they may understand. Perhaps the civic culture would establish, by example, the deliberate, articulated path to a civic nation.
The public is comprised of both a civic people and dissidents against a civic culture. The civic culture already exists but is neither recognized nor promoted. Criminals, evils, civic dissidents and other harmful groups comprise the 1/3. The 2/3 who work for Security may be distributed in each sub-culture. Thus, 2/3 of every real-no-harm religious group may practice public-integrity as both civic and personal responsibility.
Cultural thought may flourish. Black church may think God is black; Amerindians may think God is red; some people may think God has no color; others may think there is no God. In a civic culture, every real-no-harm religion or other sub-culture may flourish according to believers’ wishes. However, at least 2/3 of each believers’ group may admit to themselves that history shows their personal God holds them personally responsible for the determination of Security. Let me restate that thought: The God hypothesis is not disproven, and the evidence so far shows that each personal God holds the person responsible for civic-morality. If a religious practice does not contribute to Security, it may be religiously civil but not civic and therefore might not be legal in a mature civic culture. In other words, when statutory law conflicts with pubic-integrity, reform is due.
Honesty is insufficient. A civic culture requires integrity. Public-integrity requires five activities by the practitioner:
• Understand the-indisputable-facts of the civic issue. The fact may be "We don't know."
• Personally act according to the understanding
• Civically endorse and iteratively collaborate the understanding; if necessary, urge for a statutory law or amendment of an existing statute
• Remain alert for change in the understanding
• With new understanding, amend behavior, endorsement, and collaboration and perhaps urge legislative reform.
With understanding and fidelity, public-integrity or “a more perfect union” seems achievable.
“Public integrity” was not expressed often during the years 1800 to 2000. Reviewing phrases with adjectives and “integrity” shows usage frequency during 2000 as follows: personal, national, political, individual, public, private, and factual at relative usage 330, 75, 50, 35, 11, 2, 0.7, respectively in 2000. “National integrity” peaked in 1918 at 150, and “political integrity” peaked in 1835 at 150. “Public integrity” peaked in 1815 at 50 and declined to 6 by 1920, remaining flat until 1993 then increased to 11 in 2000. (Relative use of “integrity” fell to 10,000 in 1926 and increased to 20,000 in 2000.) Perhaps no books expressed the synonyms public-integrity as private-liberty-with-civic-morality.
Private living seems paramount in practice yet underappreciated in articulation. The politicians want everyone to think like them: think “together,” pray “together,” act “together.” Many scholars suggest that humankind is managed by natural law for the overall good, whatever “good” means. Both natural law and “the good” are controversial. Some scholars believe thought is more important than fact; some muddle the facts with science, a study method: reason seems ultimately important to them. However, the-indisputable-facts-of-reality exist, and humankind may study to discover and understand the facts rather than rationalize opinion about the facts. Our theory holds that humankind iteratively collaborates for Security, and the necessary work may be conducted by civic people who address the facts that prevail during their lives. Each generation faces the unfolding of reality as discovery of the-objective-truth increases.
Some writers claim that natural law emerges from a supernatural power that involves, one way or another, a creator, or a bargainer labeled Creator. Some hope that humankind can influence the Creator. Our theory holds that the creator-hypothesis cannot be disproved, because humankind does not yet know human-perception limits. Thus, the fact that humankind has not discovered a creator may only mean that the tools necessary for the discovery have not been invented. The facts about a creator are not known. Yet, history of evidence shows that responsibility for Security rests with each person, and collectively, with a civic people if dissidents will always be present.
When constructs derived from the creator/Creator-hypothesis are proved wrong, the facts should be accepted. Thus, an anachronistic young-earth society is regarded as a private association that does not influence a civic culture. On the other hand, harmful ideas from the past may be constrained by statutory law. For example, ceremonial human sacrifice is regarded as murder, subject to the rule of law. Also, in public-integrity, no person submits to social morality that involves, for example, vigilantism. No civic person will be accuser, judge, jury, and executioner.
Ideas that a people with differing yet harmless religious views may be banished or killed are obsolete and illegal in the civic culture yet prevail among some societies. Deadly beliefs among some groups that spawned as Abraham’s ancestors occupy the world’s attention, yet most persons want civic safety so that they can collaborate for Security.
Morality as “the degree to which something is right and good” has traditionally been expressed in social terms. The imposition of society’s values is erroneously taken for granted by citizens who are busy earning their living and trying to build financial security. Some individuals doubt a specific social value, yet conform merely to feel “civilized.” Most people loathe to challenge another’s beliefs. However, most human beings are too aware and too psychologically powerful to either brook or impose civic injustice, and that cognitive excellence creates conflicts among society, excepting within one culture: the people who work for Security, or civic-morality. Civic-morality seems a solely human responsibility. Just as a person may earn his or her living, each person may collaborate for a civic culture.
Income equity illustrates opportunity for Security, and is my first application of the phrase "broadly-defined." History suggests that capitalism is the best economic system, but America has not managed capitalism to increase the middle and upper classes and lessen the poor class. In income equity, the gross national product or GNP may be distributed so that each adult who supplies a wanted service or product earns a living plus enough excess to save and invest for personal financial-security. In turn, the equitable person saves and invests for personal financial security. Perhaps the save and invest system must be held in a government account, like social security could have been.
The present system favors the capitalist by encouraging consumption, leaving “work and save” to the consumer’s discretion. However, to save and build financial security is impoverishing for persons with below median income. In the present system, GNP redistributed to the poor, disguised as a “safety net,” subsidizes the consumerism the capitalists need. American capitalism may be reformed. How to accomplish the reform for income equity is an object of iterative collaboration within the civic culture. That is, achievable as it is, one person, especially Phil Beaver, cannot specify the method: It must be collaborative work. Government has shown it will not undertake income equity, so reform waits for a civic people.
In iterative collaboration respecting the facts, a willing speaker does the work to explicitly state a civic concern with well-grounded remedy and presents to willing listener. The listener clarifies words, phrases, and ideas, and speaker responds until all statements are mutually understood. Then roles swap: listener becomes speaker. New speaker expresses the concern or a directly related alternate and a solution according to his or her personal experiences and observations yet accommodating the first speaker's solution. Former speaker listens and questions as needed. A collaborative concern and remedy may emerge. The process may continue until both parties consider that the revised concern and solution serves each party’s personal interest. Thus, Concern A may have morphed to Concern B, C, D, and so on.
Neither party has either compromised or cooperated beyond mutually focusing on discovered and understood facts. They iteratively collaborated a mutually satisfactory solution to a common concern. If they agree that reform is warranted, they outline activities to accomplish public support for civic change. The fourth requisite to achieve a civic culture is for most persons to iteratively collaborate for public-integrity based on the-indisputable-facts-of-reality.
A civic culture is a voluntary practice, and only when there is harmful resistance to civic morality is legislation needed. For example, there is no need for ordinances regarding queueing to render tickets to the symphony, rock concert, or sports event. The occasional disturbance can be handled under “disturbance of the peace” legislation. However, the notion that freedom of speech justifies recruiting people who are candidates for emotional crowd actions that may escalate to violence against people and property is controversial and could become the object of lawful constraint. Louisiana, for example, has a freedom of expression provision that holds the speaker responsible for consequences. Civic harm begs public reaction and constraint may be required. It seems that for the foreseeable future, the rule of law is necessary. Government seems necessary.
We promote personal desire and fidelity for public-integrity as private-liberty-with-civic-morality. The preamble to the constitution for the USA offers sufficient civic agreement for willing people. Civic-morality may be established by iterative collaboration to discover, understand, and utilize the-indisputable-facts-of-reality---the discovered understanding. Broadly-defined-civic-safety-and-security would allow private-liberty for each person’s lifetime in personal-pursuits such as real-no-harm religion rather than an imposed tradition. We feel that 2/3 of living people would like to live in a culture with public-integrity. A civic culture has not been articulated before now, and there is no evidence it is not acievable.
With fidelity to a civic culture, We the Civic People of the United States may willingly grow the super-majority and perhaps ultimately approach the totality, We the People of the United States.
Copyright©2016 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Revised February 18, 2017.
 The dashed phrases express single thoughts. Thus, public-integrity is synonymous with private-liberty-with-civic-morality.
 Online at http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/ . See the drop downs for details. Indeed, there should be a drop down for Catholic, since there are factions, such as French Catholic.
 Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861, “Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?”
 Online at books.google.com/ngrams
 Dr. Norman Francis at LSU’s “Moment or Movement?” October 4, 2016, said, “Equitable is not the same as equal.” I do not know his meaning. But “income equality” is not the phrase I want to use here. I think, for example, a medical doctor should receive more income than a ditch digger, but the ditch digger should be paid enough to both support a family and save and invest for financial security.
 We propose to reform American education so that each newborn soon perceives that he or she is a person and the USA encourages them to take charge of their educational transition to young adulthood with understanding and intent to live a full, rewarding life. See “Child incentives brief,” in this blog, promotethepreamble.blogspot.com.