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  1. #1
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    In my lifetime I have seen dictatorships fall in South Africa, Afghanistan, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Libya, and many more. The way people used their freedom afterwards seemed inept in many cases, if not most.

    It seems to me that freedom sometimes leaves a society floundering, as though they just don't have the skills to cope. When the theocrats in Saudi Arabia are swept aside or miraculously see the writing on the wall and women are finally free to drive, it doesn't mean any of them will be able to. I think it is the same with any exercise of political authority in a newly free country: people need to be taught what to do with it.

    Do you think some kind of transitional limits should be imposed, or is failure the best teacher?
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  2. #2

    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    I would think that failure is the best teacher. Even if a society is not used to a democracy, it would be immoral to impose our own will by deciding what's best for their country.
    I feel the same for those countries who prefer dictatorship. It's their prerogative to live how they want.

  3. #3

    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    I think a system of guaranteeing the democracy by an outside force such as the United Nations would be best. It is too easy for new democracies to fall victim dictators. Of course if the people choose a dictator that is their business, but has any people ever made that choice?

  4. #4
    JUB Addict T-Rexx's Avatar
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Democracy is of limited application to the world at large.

    Democracy has many prerequisites: An educated public, a large and dominant middle class, a mechanism for achieving (at least occasional) justice, relative peace and safety, a tolerance for dissent, and a general willingness to accept the will of the majority.

    There are a lot of parts of the world where it is not possible to achieve freedom as we understand it in the west, because the prerequisites for democracy have not been satisfied. In such places it is foolish to try to "teach" people to "live in freedom."

  5. #5
    Oranje rareboy's Avatar
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    If people have never had freedom....it is a hard thing to understand and work with.

    It does require an educated population, and a huge host of economic and social conditions to support it as T-Rexx points out.

    Jesus, it took the US a few hundred years to get it almost right and even now, the country (and the western world to varying degrees)is being pulled back into the shadows of oligarchy and loss of personal freedoms.

  6. #6
    Do I dare to eat a peach?
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    In my lifetime I have seen dictatorships fall in South Africa, Afghanistan, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Libya, and many more. The way people used their freedom afterwards seemed inept in many cases, if not most.
    To say that a dictatorship fell is not to say that "freedom," as a Western concept, prevailed. You posit Afghanistan, Libya and Russia; I would not. But then I may confuse freedom and tyranny of a group.

  7. #7
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Unfortunately, the flip side of FREEDOM is the freedom for candidates and politicians - some of who may believe in the destruction of many freedoms - to find their way into political office, because of the absolute freedom for the rich and monied interests and corporations to dominate the media and sweep the bad stuff under the carpet.

    There are some politicians, who already wield considerable power, whose model of the United States is an absolute authoritarian theocracy, with no freedoms remaining whatsoever. You know, no minimum wage whatsoever - TOTAL FREEDOM to corporations!, no civil rights, no voting rights, no food standards, no quality control for pharma (OK for chemotherapy meds to be pure cornstarch), trials and executions for heresy, torture, disappearances, more and more prisons to house the poor and homeless and gays and immigrants (illegal AND legal) who aren't executed in the civil war they so ardently seek, etc. Some U. S. states already REQUIRE the state to rape any woman who wants an abortion (via vaginal probes). Some of these would possibly take a generation to become routine (heresy and torture, for example), but in their ideal world the entire population would be only 144,000. And of course they believe they are all part of that 144,000.


    I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING that disproves that some politicians aspire to the United States becoming "North Korea #2."

    The fact that even those politicians invariably get at least 40% of the vote, and very often a majority of the vote, tells me that this country does NOT know how to live in freedom.
    "All legal U. S. residents who are 18 years or older, shall have an unconditional right to vote." - 28th Amendment, US Constitution?
    "But, hey, who cares about women and their rights when the religious liberty of a nationwide chain of arts and crafts stores is at stake?" - Daily Kos, 30 June 2014
    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires" - Susan B. Anthony

  8. #8
    JUB Addict maxpowr9's Avatar
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    True freedom is actually anarchy.

    The US is closer to totalitarianism than anarchy.

  9. #9
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Quote Originally Posted by palbert View Post
    To say that a dictatorship fell is not to say that "freedom," as a Western concept, prevailed. You posit Afghanistan, Libya and Russia; I would not. But then I may confuse freedom and tyranny of a group.
    I would not say freedom is a western concept; there is nothing special about the west or the idea that make the two suited only to each other.

    I guess the standard I would accept is "have they managed to hold free and fair elections." All of them have done that since disposing of their autocrats or theocrats, if only haltingly.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  10. #10

    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Quote Originally Posted by frankfrank View Post
    Unfortunately, the flip side of FREEDOM is the freedom for candidates and politicians - some of who may believe in the destruction of many freedoms - to find their way into political office, because of the absolute freedom for the rich and monied interests and corporations to dominate the media and sweep the bad stuff under the carpet.

    There are some politicians, who already wield considerable power, whose model of the United States is an absolute authoritarian theocracy, with no freedoms remaining whatsoever. You know, no minimum wage whatsoever - TOTAL FREEDOM to corporations!, no civil rights, no voting rights, no food standards, no quality control for pharma (OK for chemotherapy meds to be pure cornstarch), trials and executions for heresy, torture, disappearances, more and more prisons to house the poor and homeless and gays and immigrants (illegal AND legal) who aren't executed in the civil war they so ardently seek, etc. Some U. S. states already REQUIRE the state to rape any woman who wants an abortion (via vaginal probes). Some of these would possibly take a generation to become routine (heresy and torture, for example), but in their ideal world the entire population would be only 144,000. And of course they believe they are all part of that 144,000.


    I HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING that disproves that some politicians aspire to the United States becoming "North Korea #2."

    The fact that even those politicians invariably get at least 40% of the vote, and very often a majority of the vote, tells me that this country does NOT know how to live in freedom.
    Read what you have written. Much of it is a yearning for less freedom for someone, and generally more government control. NoKorea is not right wing, it is leftist, albeit somewhat further left of Obama. No Korea is a liberals paradise. No freedom for corporations. No profits, total regulation of business, if any. No conservatives or conservative parties. No hated Fox News there.
    America is much less a theocracy than when your ancestors chose to come here. Democrat WJBryan tried Scopes to prevent evolution in schools, and he was three times nominated by the Democrats as their candidate for the Presidency.

  11. #11
    Are u haleloo ya ? Telstra's Avatar
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    "Freedom" is a cultural thing.
    It has to start from the general public or individuals up.

    Example:
    It was considered very shameful or embarrassing/taboo to suck a cock many many years ago.
    Now it is just normal and is not a big deal.


    NEVER LISTEN TO A ONE SIDED STORY AND JUDGE.

  12. #12
    Thankfully Liberal & Gay
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I guess the standard I would accept is "have they managed to hold free and fair elections."
    Considering the Blitzkrieg pogroms that are being waged against the right to vote in the United States, I would say that the United States is very much failing that standard.

    Currently, virtually 100% of these voting restrictions are being done by Republicans, and usually in states where the Governor is Republican and with legislatures having a similar majority, making it easy for these restrictions to be railroaded through the legislatures and signed. The pace and rate at which this is being done, however, is probably unprecedented in this nation in more than 200 years, and probably unprecedented in comparison to more than a few countries in the world history while retaining their same TYPE of government without a coup d'etat, civil war, or militarized invasion of some sort.

    These voting restrictions are *ALWAYS* set up in such a way that people who are more likely to vote Democrat are disproportionately barred from voting. There is SOME "collateral damage" with the laws also disenfranchising a lot of elderly/seniors (who are somewhat more likely to vote Republican), but it is much more than offset by making it hard for the poor, minorities, and students to vote.

    Of course it hasn't always been a "Republican thing" to do this - it reached its previous 20th Century peak under the Democrats. But, then, before the late 1960's, the DEMOCRATS were the political Party which came closest to resembling the present-day Republicans.

    However, today's Republicans are trying to repeal all protections for "the people" which have been enacted in the past fifty to eighty years.
    "All legal U. S. residents who are 18 years or older, shall have an unconditional right to vote." - 28th Amendment, US Constitution?
    "But, hey, who cares about women and their rights when the religious liberty of a nationwide chain of arts and crafts stores is at stake?" - Daily Kos, 30 June 2014
    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires" - Susan B. Anthony

  13. #13
    Bammer's Papa
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Freedom, or liberty, rests on one principle: that we acknowledge every other person as equally valuable as ourselves. Without that, you can go through the motions, but it will eventually fall apart.

    That concept has arisen here and there around the globe. The Celts had it; the Latins not so much. Native Americans mostly had it. It's a very scarce concept in Asia, and hit or miss in Africa. Where it is found, the step to democracy of some form isn't hard, though a republic is not only an easier but a healthier step.

    Liberty can't be imposed, nor does it grow out of anarchy (else Somalia would be the freest country on earth). But it can be taught: the British Raj in India taught it where it hadn't existed before, for example. The UN forces in Korea taught it, leaving the South a very different society than before they'd come to fight. It can't be taught in classrooms, only by example, and by those teaching it treating the learners by the basic principle: each of you is worth as much as any of us.

    That equality of worth rests on the fact of self-ownership: each self is equally the owner of its own self, and each is of equal worth in interacting with others in the respect they expect others to give them. So in a way, liberty depends on understanding the Golden Rule and living by it.

    And that's why liberty is dying in America: there are too many elites, e.g. intellectual, political, and economic, who regard everyone outside their group as less equal. The odd thing is that ordinary Americans are better at freedom than the rest, and they still manage to make it contagious when they interact with others.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  14. #14
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    I know you've mentioned "self ownership" before, but the idea of any of us reduced to property - even our own - seems to be an incomplete and impoverished identity.
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  15. #15
    Bammer's Papa
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    Re: Do people have to be taught how to live in freedom?

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I know you've mentioned "self ownership" before, but the idea of any of us reduced to property - even our own - seems to be an incomplete and impoverished identity.
    How? It doesn't change who you are, or anything about you, it just says you're in charge, your life is yours, your choices are yours to make. It says you can stand up with dignity and be what you decide.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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