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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 05:54 PM
Original message
Rights and responsibilities
Edited on Wed Jun-21-06 05:55 PM by cigsandcoffee
We often hear about what rights we are granted as citizens, and there is much debate over what should be considered rights vs. what should be considered privileges.

Going away from that for a moment, what are our responsibilities as citizens, specifically of the United States? What should be expected of all able-bodied and able-minded people born or naturalized here?

I ask this, because on the "druggy" thread a poster asked me why a person's motivation (or lack thereof as caused by pot) was any of society's business. I think it is society's business, because the better a person can be fostered to become, the more it will impact well on all of us. So I do believe a country has the responsibility to foster success in its citizens, but what responsibility do the citizens have in return?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. vote-major responsibility
Edited on Wed Jun-21-06 06:01 PM by uppityperson
edited to add the major responsibility part
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree with that, alright
I'd go so far as to say it's their responsibility to be as informed as they can about issues of the day, so that their vote will be educated.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. yeah, but that would be hard to do
:sarcasm: or would that be cynical laughter from me?
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. should we all be prodestants like you?
What you are repeating, that we fit in to a "foster success" model, is a sort of conformity, unstated,
but expected by you. Your only responsibility in a democracy is to vote, and i'm for making that a law,
that voting is required of every citizen. But the conformity you mention is to work in a system that is
exterminating dark skinned people in asia with impunity, and the charade has worn thin my friend.

The prodestants believed that by working hard, they would become close to god, and become more holy, and
it is no suprise that "our" culture is founded by them, and a "catholic" president is a big difference!
But if our republic is legislated by freedom of religion, then being economically useful is being a
political tool, and sometimes one wishes not to be a political tool. It is our right, our freedom
not to be enslaved, yes? Why do you want to enslave me to your images of success. If economics is
success, then you've a lot to learn about who smokes pot in our world, it is not the dumbshit class.

There are other religions besides make-work-duty-responsible prodistantism, and some religions hold that
life-work is from a different place than the expectation of being economically useful. Our society
is based on this deeper calling, truth be told, as we pray our best make it to the pinnacles of their
lives, all in our own self interest indeed. So why don't you just legislate personal freedom and
nose your religion out of other peoples lives, accept a secular state, and get with freedom of religion.
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Well, firstly, your assertion will sound more educated...
Edited on Wed Jun-21-06 06:20 PM by cigsandcoffee



...if you use the correct term - "protestants." Secondly, I'm a lapsed Catholic, so I don't know what you're trying to put on me.

I think people have a greater responsibility to their culture than just voting. Any moron can punch a ticket, but it takes a little more where-with-all to give it some thought. I think we all have a responsibility to help the less fortunate around us, and to keep from breaking the law (at least the laws there are no debates over, such as theft, sexual crimes, murders and such). We also have responsibilities to use our freedoms well, and to protect them from threat.

Surely you must believe that there is more to citizenship than just taking up space and casting the occasional vote.

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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. iz ok, it dunt have to sound edukated
The point, is that a prodestant work ethic is endemic to the "success" frame of the hamster wheel,
and that the religion has become endemic to the politico-economic frame, and then you're pushing
religion, no matter what you want to call it.

Yes, i'm a big fan of "liberty" in its traditional meaning of participation in representative government.
But as i've smoked grass, i'm not at liberty to so participate, and as i don't feeling methodist today,
ro quite up to martin luther's transcendental revolution, then i suggest the choice of citizenship
be founded on willing participation, and not coercion and conformist expectations by those who
feel themselves positioned to judge others.

Property ownership involves an obligation to the public weal, even john locke postulated this even
though his work was much maligned later. AS a catholic, then you are with the poor masses and stand
for the rights of those who don't have the luck you had... good you are catholic, if it helps.
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
25. The OP is on the wrong site
They thought they were posting on nannystateunderground.com
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. it's an interesting question, and one worth thinking about...
Edited on Wed Jun-21-06 06:20 PM by mike_c
...so maybe I'd better smoke a joint and cogitate a bit.... :smoke:

Seriously, it is an important question. I believe that society has a responsibility to it's members, and that obligation often quite properly expresses itself in the form of the the better able helping to care for the less able. I believe that quite passionately. That's why I don't mind paying taxes, among other things. That's why I do what I can to help my local institutions that provide services that benefit others directly, and myself indirectly (or perhaps not at all). That is the benefit of being a member of the tribe-- it's there to provide some help when you need it, and one of the responsibilities of membership as well, because it falls to us to help others when we are doing well enough to not need assistance.

OK, that's all preamble to my main point. Arguably, if one accepts that society has a responsibility to improve the lives of its members, then might its members have a commensurate responsiblity to improve the quality of society? And since a society, a tribe, a family, whatever-- since it is the sum of its individual parts, the betterment of individuals must improve the quality of the society they participate in. So to that extent, I agree with your basic premise that society benefits when individuals realize their full potential, and that feeds back into the benefit society provides generally.

But then there is the question of individual responsibility and free will. Do I act as an independent person or as an agent of the collective good? Are actions that give me pleasure or otherwise reward me diminished if they impede my progress toward realizing my full individual benefit to the broader society?

I don't know. I really don't. But it strikes me that the balance must fall somewhere that allows for both personal freedom and social responsibility, and gives a little bit, compromises where necessary, in order to maximize the benefits additively. There are multiple ways to contribute to society, and living a happy and fulfilling life must be one of them, even if that happiness comes at some sacrifice of ultimate potential.

And now, coincidentally, it's 4:20 PM here on the left coast. :smoke:
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I have a hard time arguing with your conclusions
Indeed, personal choice is very important to having the sort of system that allows for a realized potential. Because of that, we must accept (or at least tolerate) some of the bad choices that people make.

I'm not looking to put in to law any sort of code of conduct, but don't think there's a thing wrong with promoting a strong belief in informal societal responsibilities as much as we do the rights granted to citizens.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. In your post, you identify three entities:
society, government, and country. None of these are the same thing. Can you refine your idea a bit? Which entity do you see as the party responsible for holding citizens responsible for being a motivated person?

As for myself, I believe it is none of any government's business as regards the "type" of people a society (one of many governed by any single state) wants to foster. What responsibilities do I have as a citizen as regards the government? I can't think of any other than paying taxes in order to fund our collectively-agreed-upon projects (roads, police and fire, schools, wars... oh wait, we don't agree about the war thing).
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I'd say it's up to all three entities...
...to promote betterment in citizens, but not exceeding the point where civil liberties hinge. If a person wants to be a lazy lout, then that should be their right - but they should also know that country, government, and culture frowns on it.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. given your username, I can't help but
LOL

:rofl:
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Why?
What's wrong with cigarettes and coffee? They're delicious, and part of any balanced diet.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I don't smoke
but we all have our diets

and mine certainly contains plenty of caffeine

what is society's responsibility to ensure that I get plenty?
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I'm not following you
I don't see where our culture or country would have any responsibility to indulge your use of caffeine.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. but my culture apparently does
In its wisdom and benificence, capitalism has made sure that I am never more than a block away from a Starbucks.
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. You're mistaking fiscal opportunism for responsibility. n/t
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. you're mistaking a light-hearted comment
for something else.
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Sorry.
I do that sometimes.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. but, in a sense, there is the seed of a discussion here
I'd ascribe a kind of institutional "intent" behind the fact that there are Starbucks doling out caffeine on every street corner

and other commercial interests doling out alcohol on nearly every corner

and others doling out volatile petrochemicals on nearly every corner

and machines offering copies of US Today on nearly every corner

but none doling out truthful news, or free bicycles, or marijuana . . .
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CrownPrinceBandar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. The evidence you cited in the "druggy" thread........
that pot saps motivation was purely anecdotal:

"Most people go on pause when they become heavy marijuana users. It happened to me for a while, and to many of my friends. When we woke up from our drug-induced haze, we started taking more adult responsibilities and looking out for ourselves. It's a common story."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

What evidence do you have to back this up? You provide none in the thread.

So, in response to your anecdotal evidence that pot commonly saps motivation, I will provide some anecdotal evidence of my own that shows that your statement isn't as over-arching as you portray:

I have one friend, who has been a toker his entire adult life, who is now a respected archaeologist working for a large engineering firm in my area. Also, I have another long-term toker friend who just graduated from law school and is on her way to a very successful career. These folks seem plenty motivated to me, despite their supposedly motivation-sapping recreational behavior.

I think you are looking for a societal answer to what is an essentially an individual struggle. A person will achieve only as much as they want to, and will make decisions that will lead them down that path. I agree society can help by giving direction and presenting people with information that would allow them to make sensible decisions, but to say that its society's responsibility to take these folks by the hand and lead them towards its idea of motivation and a life-well-lived is claustrophobic, to say the least.
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Indeed, I am speaking generally and anecdotally.
Your mileage may vary, and I do not claim any sort of authority beyond my opinion.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. Hmm, let's see what those responsible for founding our country had to say
On the issue of marijuana:

"What was done with the seed saved from the India Hemp last summer? It ought, all of it, to have been sewn again; that not only a stock of seed sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to have disseminated the seed to others; as it is more valuable than the common Hemp." George Washington

"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture." Thomas Jefferson

"May 12-13: Sowed Hemp at Muddy hole by Swamp. August 7: Began to separate the Male from the Female at Do - rather too late." George Washington's Diary

"Prohibition...goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded." Abraham Lincoln, Dec 1840

These were successful men, responsible men, and yet they obviously endorsed the cultivation of Indian Hemp(marijuana) Why is that? Because they obviously and wisely believed that every man and woman needed a release from their troubles and fears once in while, and that was a good thing. Better than the alternatives at the time, laudinem, morphine and coke :shrug:
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. The marijuana angle isn't my point.
Smoke it. Love it. I don't care.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Then what is your point?
Let us look at the last two great social movements, the combined Rights/Anti War Movement during the fifties, sixties and early seventies, and counter conservative movement of the eighties through today.

Which was more beneficial to the population at large? The Combined Rights/Anti War movement, with their mileau of sex drugs and rock n roll changed our society. They helped the powerless to vote, the recognized women, LGBT community, the various ethnic communities all had a right to not only vote, but to participate fully in society on an equal basis. They even managed to stop a war between toking up, something that would have never occurred if it had been left in the hands of the straight, non drug using middle class of the time. They expanded government's responsibility to the people, and helped bring down the most corrupt president in our history down.

And yet what have the straight laced, relatively drugless neo-cons done? Limited our rights, enacted various fascist policies, gotten us into two major wars, killed hundreds of thousands worldwide, imprisoned millions of our own population for no good reason. Hmmm, whom would you say is more responsible.

I gave up smoking and toking long ago friend, yet I still find this demonization of those who do to be ridiculous. In fact I would contend that those who have walked on the wrong side of the street, who have seen discrimination, demonization and exploitaiton of the other half of society are more aware, and more responsible for bringing everybody to the American dream. Judging from these and other social movements, that is the only conclusion that I can reach.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-21-06 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
23. Every citizen has a responsibility to participate in a democracy.
Military service, public service, campaign volunteers, voting, election workers, town hall meetings, city council meetings, school board membership, school board meetings, public interest groups, ... the opportunities are almost endless and all of them mean PARTICIPATE!

Democracy is not a spectator sport and only the wealthy can hire 'George' and "let George do it." If the public does not participate and treats it like a spectator sport, then we'll have circuses and Empire. We won't deserve democracy and we won't have it. Use or lose it applies to political health as will as personal health.

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