Great Nations Need Great CitizensnAnation’s wealth and status is like starlight—what you seenis not what is, but what was. Just as the light we seenfrom a distant star started its journey thousands of years ago, sonis the nation’s current success due principally to past actions.nGreat nations have great momentum; past investments in educationnand productivity continue to give benefits even afternthose good traits deteriorate. To a large degree, one generationnbenefits from the seeds planted by their fathers and mothers.nWe, in turn, plant seeds that will be reaped by our children.nSome of these “seeds” are measurable; some are unmeasurable.nWe do measure and lament that the Japanese are now investingntwice as much as we are in new tools and equipment.nWe know from educational scores that our children are in thenbottom third in all international comparisons. We wring ournhands over the yearly trade deficit, but what we measure isnonly a small part of our status.nThe real story is in those things we do not measure. The intangiblenassets also grow or decline. Herein lies the fate ofnempires. What drove the seventh-century Arabs to organizenthemselves and burst out of their parched land to attack bothnthe Persian Empire and Europe? They handily defeated thenPersian Empire and almost captured Europe. Whoever wouldnhave guessed that these disorganized nomads would threatennanyone, let alone Europe. “Civilization was thrust into thenbrain of Europe on the point of a Moorish lance,” observednRobert Ingersoll. What inspired the Mongols? Or the GreeksnRichard D. Lamm, a former governor of Colorado, is directornof the Center for Pubhc Policy and Contemporary Issues atnthe University of Denver.n26/CHRONICLESnby Richard D. Lammnnnunder Alexander? Often underequipped and half-starved,nthese nations and many others found a spirit, an amazing braverynand initiative that took them to victory.nThe key seems to be the spirit and attitude of their people.nA nation’s human resources are inevitably more importantnthan the natural resources. Plato postulated in the Republicnthat the stability and success of a political community dependsnon the moral character of the people who make up thatncommunity. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americanndemocracy was largely based on the character and mores ofnthe people, which were hard to quantify, but which ultimatelynwould control the success or failure of the country. He warnednthat an excess of individualism would undercut the free institutionnupon which democracy depended. Robert Bellah, whoncalls these mores “habits of the heart,” has written that “one ofnthe keys to the survival of free institutions is the relationship betweennprivate and public life, the way in which citizens do, orndo not, participate in the public sphere.” Great nations cannotnbe judged by the success of their stock exchanges or theirnGNP—great nations have great intangibles. Great nationsnmust have great citizens, and the kind of future we will havendepends on what kind of people we are and what kind of kidsnwe produce.nTocqueville marveled at the American trait of citizenship..nHe pointed out that there is an important difference betweennan inhabitant and a citizen.nThere are countries in Europe where the inhabitantnfeels like some sort of farm laborer indifferent to thenfate of the place where he dwells. The greatest changesn