First: the authors understand what civil society really is: it is the web of local, grassroots, usually charitable, sometimes church based organizations that used to and still can, if allowed, provide some (much? most?) of the social services that are needed in any given community. I remember, as a small boy on a farm, that the local ‘hospital’ wasn’t … it wasn’t a hospital as you and I would understand the word, today. It was an “infirmary” run by a group of ladies … they were all, I think, regular church goers but neither they nor the infirmary were, I am fairly certain, affiliated with any one church. Both (which is to say all) the local doctors were also “affiliated” with the infirmary ~ local meant within about a two hour drive and “affiliated” meant they both visited the infirmary two or three a week, each, to check up on those who were ill. There was “welfare” in those days, it was stringently “means tested” but the churches and the community groups, formal and, in the case of farm communities, just informal, ad hoc things, provided help for those who were having a hard time but didn’t, yet, qualify for government assistance or, in a few cases, were too proud (shamed by their misfortune) to ask.
Second: the authors understand that the simplest way to nourish the real civil society is to give it room to spread its wings, to give it something to do … to get government out of the way, in other words.
This is heady stuff for us “small government” Conservatives … we want government to shrink and we are confident that civil society can, and quite quickly will, expand to fill the needs.