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While birds can fly, only humans can argue. Argument is the affirmation of our being. It is the principal instrument of human intercourse. Without argument the species would perish. As a subtle suggestion, it is the means by which we aid another. As a warning, it steers us from danger. As exposition, it teaches. As an expression of creativity, it is the gift of ourselves. As a protest, it struggles for justice. As a reasoned dialogue, it resolves disputes. As an assertion of self, it engenders respect. As an entreaty of love, it expresses our devotion. As a plea, it generates mercy. As charismatic oration it moves multitudes and changes history. We must argue — to help, to warn, to lead, to love, to create, to learn, to enjoy justice — to be.
originally posted by: DictionaryOfExcuses
Cutting to the chase: My background in civics is weak, and as I mature (slowly; not bragging) I am drawn more to the subject. I guess I am in that age where I am conscious of my incompetence in the topic. As I understand it, civics is the branch of political science that addresses the rights and duties of citizens, and how the government operates.
Civics-related topics make up a good chunk of the ocean here at ATS, and I stand at their shores. Maybe I scoop up a little water now and then, but I certainly can't keep it from trickling out of my cupped hands. I'd like to begin building a boat.
So this thread is a simple question to anyone inclined to be helpful. Where would you recommend one begin a "structured" approach to civics-related topics? What books should I read, where should I focus my efforts? Like anything that one might want to learn in earnest, civics is broad, and any sincere advice in narrowing my initial efforts receives my gratitude in advance.