In today’s show the Pugs discuss a recent article in First Things by Joshua Mitchell, By the Sweat of Our Brow. It’s a free ranging, yet profound treatment of the erosion of competence in daily life, among other things. Mitchell makes the argument that citizenship requires “mediating institutions” (families, small businesses, churches, neighborhoods, and the like), because without them people lack the environments in which their actions have any meaningful difference in the world. And it is only when our actions matter that we learn competence. And competence is necessary for citizenship.