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A Nation of Behavers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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The American crisis in values and meanings has led many to look for a locale where common beliefs; and behavior patterns can be engendered, appraised and nurtured. Words like “Vietnam,” “Watergate,” “Energy-versus-Ecology” codify complex issues for debate. Yet a nation with a troubled soul does not know where to take up the issues. Religious organizations and voluntary associations abound, but, it is argued, they are too private and particular. The nation seems to be the only available matrix and repository of common values. “One can only reach out to the universe with a gloved hand,” said the poet William Butler Yeats. “That glove is one's nation, the only thing one knows even a little of.”

Research Article
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1974

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