Can We Execute a Strategy for Increasing Competitiveness? The Athenian Paradigm and Civic Culture
Research rept. Aug 1992-Apr 1993
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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In the 1992 presidential election campaigns, all the candidates agreed that a educational reforms was essential if the nation was to increase its rate of productivity growth. Further, all agreed on the nature of those essential reforms. Yet, for all of this broad-based support, a national strategy to effect such reforms is at risk. This study offers a new perspective on American pluralism as it manifests itself in our civic culture, tracing its roots back to Periclean Athens. It documents the persistence of Homeric, Protagorean, Platonic and Aristotlean strains in this culture, and describes the ways in which each of these strains shapes our debates about this critical strategy. Through such an analysis we come to see better first why this strategy for increased competitiveness had such widespread appeal during the campaigns, drawing as it did on values that have long shaped Western civic culture and that acquired particular prominence in the more perfect union shaped by our Founding Fathers. At the same time, we also come to see better the many challenges posed by that complex of values, and the risks it poses to those who would move to implement such a strategy in this democratic society.
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