Freedoms in Society: Rights vs. Responsibilities

We’ve been discussing what I like to call the “fundamentals of Civics.”   American society was designed to provide the best possible government “for the people, and by the people.”  In order to discuss this, we first had to discuss what the perfect society, in fact, is.

You designed your own “utopia” in order to analyze this.  You researched and investigated many of the issues that are on the table today for the elections.  You looked at types of government, amount of governmental involvement in the lives of the people, the role of taxes, quality and quantity of government regulations, whether government has a role in intervening in society, the government role in economics, religious freedom, and rights for minority groups.

Next, we’ll be looking at your projects and discussing traditional American values.  Some critical questions to consider:

1. What are traditional American values and how do we include for value systems of different groups of people?

2. How do we define the concept of freedom?  Our definition and idea of freedom has changed radically since this nation was founded. Roger Williams and James Madison did not think of freedom in the same way that you think of freedom–I’d argue that “freedom” today has a far greater boundary than the Founding Fathers imagined.  But heck, this is your class, not mine, so it’ll be up to you to prove or disprove that statement.

3. What are the duties and responsibilities of the American citizen. With absolute freedom comes absolute responsibility. Are we there yet?  You will tell me.

4. We’ll begin to look at the political parties–they approach the idea of freedom and responsibility from different angles–whether the government should be involved and help in the lives of the people, or whether people should be free of government intervention and do what they choose to do themselves.

Consider these questions and please look at the learnboard linked under “american values.”

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