Tag Archives: essentials

A Serious Question

Our ship has crossed the pond, and we are moored in St. Malo, in northern France.

While we browse the walled city (despite the cold and rain), I’d like you to consider a question that I find increasingly pressing—and confounding: what must a citizen know?

In other words, what are the absolute essentials, the basic information and skills, needed in order to be a citizen (as opposed to a resident) of a democratic nation-state? There are obviously lots of things it would be nice if people knew, but I’m looking for the irreducible minimum here. If you could wave a magic wand and require an essential curriculum of your own devising, what would that curriculum contain, and why?

This is not an idle question; I really, really want to know what you think.

I’m leaving now. Talk amongst yourselves.