In today’s unequal societies, particularly in the United States, there are very few remaining institutions and associations where people from different social groups interact.
Rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban live increasingly different lives, have access to very different information (and misinformation) and know little about the lives of the others. This segregation and social differentiation poses significant problems for a democracy. Division, distrust, the erosion of any sense that we are all in this together dominate national politics.
In this lecture, delivered as part of the London Lectures Series, A Philosophers’ Manifesto, will argue that a requirement of a year of national for all Americans between the ages of 18 and 21 can help respond to this problem as well as address infrastructure needs.
Debra Satz is the Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Philosophy and Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science at Stanford University. She is the author of books and articles which consider the nature and consequences of inequality including Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy, and Public Policy (with Daniel Hausman and Michael McPherson) and Why Some Things Should Not be For Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets. Twenty years ago, she co-founded a program where Stanford faculty teach humanities classes to women just released from prisons.