Washington D.C., Mar 13, 2018 / 15:07 pm
As populists across the U.S. and Europe express discontent with the current state of democracy, George Weigel has pointed to the importance of family and civil society in encouraging and cultivating the virtuous citizenry necessary for democratic renewal.
"Democracy is not a machine that can run by itself," said George Weigel in the Ethics and Public Policy Center's 17th annual William E. Simon Lecture held March 6 in Washington, D.C.
"The vitality of the public moral culture is crucial to the democratic project because it takes a certain kind of people, living certain virtues, to make free politics and free economics work so that the net result is genuine human flourishing."
"The 'culture of Me' is incapable of defending the claim that the democratic project, for all its discontents and flaws, is nonetheless morally superior to the various authoritarianisms on offer in the 21st-century world, because it is itself committed to the authoritarianism of the imperial autonomous Self," warned Weigel, who cited the continued influence of the 1960's "unbridled self-absorption" and rejection of traditional virtues on today's public culture.