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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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9/2/2003 Discretionary citizenship focus of faculty lecture

McMINNVILLE – Kaarina Beam, assistant professor of philosophy at Linfield College, will speak on "Democracy Retooled: Reclaiming the Art of Discretionary Citizenship" Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall.

Beam will discuss the difference between the ethos of the current capitalist democracy of the United States and a more humanistic and radical form of democracy.

"Efficiency, infused with self-centered individualism and opportunism and loosely defined as getting the most for the least, characterizes the ethos of our capitalist democracy," she said. "Yet, this ethos is antidemocratic and morally corrupt in both conception and practice. In a more humanizing form of democracy, we would less often lose our moral bearings."

For example, a more humanistic form of democracy would not ask members of its society to choose fiscally between their children and their elderly, require an underclass of powerless labor, or require so many walls, fences and prison bars, Beam added.

"This kind of 'deep' democracy requires 'discretion' which, understood as the art of critical discernment, engenders an ethic of response-able citizenship," she added.

Beam will focus on the need for discretionary citizenship as the key to deeper democracy.

The lecture will kick off Linfield's faculty lecture series, which offers one free presentation each month by members of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.