The World We Want: Virtue, Vice and the Good Citizen by Mark Kingwell  Reviewed by Sam Sullivan


Kingwell argues for a citizenship that is based on active participation.  He refers to watershed stories of the development of these ideas including the death of Socrates, the thinking of Machiavelli, the friendship of Montaigne and La Boethie and the letters between Benjamin and Adorno.  He also discusses issues of space and time and how they influence citizenship including interesting observations about dwelling places and the futility of pursuing economic growth in the face of environmental constraints.

He ends his book trying to outline how we can embrace a new ideal which is intimately connected to action that expresses our need to be connected to each other and our search for justice for all.

This is a small book about a big topic: what it means to be a citizen in a rapidly changing world.

Critical reflection on the possibilities of political life is one of the highest duties of humanity that, indeed, such reflection is a form of political action as important as any demonstration or protest.

The only thing more dangerous than a total lack of political argument is political argument without awareness of its own pre-commitments.

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