When do you experience freedom and/or the american-way?



We talked about freedom and the american-way on a theoretical level (e.g. about the god given right to experience freedom). But are these terms just theoretical constructs that are immaterial in real life - or are there REAL things through which they can manifest? In daily life: Makes it a difference to live in a country like the us or could you make more or less the same experiences in a socialistic system?

I would like to discuss, if there are everydays-life-experiences that can be experienced on their highest level within a country that upholds the esprit of freedom and lives out the mentality of liberty.
Which everyday-life experiences are typically american, makes life worth living and makes a country of freedom worth to be defended?

I will start telling some experiences, that I find to be valuably:

  • To cruise down a highway
  • To celebrate thanks-giving with your family
  • To be at a BBQ,…
  • To do something within the community
  • To jump into pool in the early afternoon in the garden of a victorian house while being surrounded by friends
  • To drive in a pickup along a corn-filed
  • To cruise down hypermarket-shelves with a shopping trolley
  • Sitting in a diner
    (Clearly the value of these experiences is subjective. Soon I will describe why I like these things, but I have to think about them a while)

When did you experience the american-way last time or in general? And why did this feel good? I would be glad to hear about it…


This morning as I secured my G23 in it’s holster and walked out the door on the way to work.


Ah, o.k. – interesting.

Because I’ve never had a gun in my hands I can’t share this feeling, but I assume it gives one a feeling of power. I often think, it would be an interesting experience to shoot at a gun range.

I find it very cool when a usually very calm and conservative people (like bree vandekamp from desperate housewifes) is acting passionate on the gun range. On the other side I would fear it a little to get killed…


It probably gives him a feeling of safety.


Guns don’t kill people, Philipp. Other PEOPLE kill people. Guns are no more “dangerous” than a hammer, a car, a knife or a bicycle. Please refrain from getting your information on guns from TV shows. They are skewed beyond reality, first of all, and secondly the VAST majority of defensive uses of guns involve merely letting an attacker know that you have one and are prepared to use it. Why do you think anti-gun folks don’t let the general public know that they don’t HAVE a gun in their house/business/vehicle? It’s because they rely on those of us who DO have guns to create uncertainty in a potential thief/rapist/burglar that their selected victim MIGHT be armed and able to defend him/herself. Has it ever occurred to you to ask WHY most gun murders or other illegal use of firearms occur in locales that PROHIBIT guns???


Not sure of the tenor of this discussion, but the American way??? is the freedom to live your life, the freedom to make your choices, the freedom, to be wrong, the freedom to be right, the freedom to work at the job you want, the freedom not to work, the freedom to have your own home, the freedom to buy what you want, As I said at the beginning, the freedom to make choices. You may choose to have a gun, or you may choose not to have a gun. The choice to elect a representative to a local government, or the choice not to.
Now----what exactly is your question? Let me ask this what IS the American Way? in your opinion that this all came up?


[quote=“Pappadave, post:5, topic:48841”]
Has it ever occurred to you to ask WHY most gun murders or other illegal use of firearms occur in locales that PROHIBIT guns???
[/quote]O.k. I don’t belong to “anti-gun-folk”, you don’t have to convert me. I even would agree, that it is a part of the american-way to defend oneself and his/her property. I only said, I have no experience with guns. Maybe you would be right if you would say, shooting at a gun-rang isn’t more dangerous than acting out another hobby like skateboarding or bicycling…


My hypothesis is: Many people would experience a better life (a higher life-quality) if they would live in the US than in many other countrys (let’s say in russia). I don’t know if this is true for every single person – probably not – but it’s true for me (I live in Europe now) and it’s true for many other people I know. I am trying to figure out: WHY?

Why the United States are so special - in a positive way?

Most of the things you listed could be experienced in the most societies on this planet (except for the Third World):

  • the freedom to work at the job you want
  • the freedom to have your own home,
  • the freedom to buy what you want,…

But I think if you do such things in the USA the experience is different from doing the same thing for example in Germany. I think it will feel more free doing that within the US. But why?
My current theory is: It has nothing to do with the overall-wealth of a society. It more has to do with two other things:
A) The layout of the culture
B) The general esprit and mentality of it’s people.

**To A: The layout of the culture **

  • The architecture of buildings and cities
  • Which ceremonies are celebrated, which customs are practiced
  • How traffic signs or school-buses look like
  • How the supermarkets are designed

To B: The general esprit and mentality of it’s people
People act, feel and think different in different societies. The US-mentality is different compared to the mentality of people in other countries. (I’ve just to think about this more deeply. I will say more about it later.)

Would you confirm my theory so far? What could you add? Is there a C?


You know Philipp; making judgments on whether one thing is better than another is a fools errand. I am proud of my country despite its seeming downfall because after 75 years I have seen this nation rise up and save a world from despots because all of the other nations were too foolish to stop them to begin with.
What I wrote, I believe; and not having lived in other nations I dare not make those comparisons.
Now; if one wants to compare socialist regimes with democratic regimes, that is another thing. I believe in the ability of people to handle their own affairs and not government. More on this later.


I HAVE lived elsewhere–at least for short periods–and I can assure you that NO WHERE–not even Australia–is a country as free as the U.S. Even Krushchev expressed utter AMAZEMENT at the variety, quality and quantity of goods to be found in the typical American super market! What lots of people forget about the fall of the USSR is that prior to its dissolution, people were forced to stand in line for hours–often in the rain–just to buy a single loaf of bread or a couple of pork chops only to find the store sold out by the time it’s their turn. “Central planning” cultures simply DON’T WORK, despite the wants of some Americans that we switch to such a system ourselves.


As for guns, this is NOT the only country where civilians are allowed (or encouraged) to own firearms. One such (Switzerland) actually ISSUES every able-bodied male a fully-automatic rifle and ammunition and REQUIRES they practice with it to improve their proficiency. There is almost no street crime in Switzerland, by the way. Next time some anti-gun screwball confronts you tell them that you’ll convert to THEIR opinion if they’ll do one, simple thing…post a sign in their yard ANNOUNCING that their home is strictly “gun-free” and firearms are NOT permitted on the premises. I suggest that very few (if any) will take you up on it. Take the time to go to a range sometime. Most will rent you a firearm to use and provide handling and safety instructions, which you SHOULD get before handling any firearm. Be sure and wear both eye and ear protection. I suspect that my needing hearing aids is directly related to all the gunfire I’ve experienced in my 74 years. I started hunting with a .22 when my age was in the single digits and have never been without a gun since. I hunt deer, pheasant, coyotes, rabbit and quail. I HAVE hunted squirrel, black bear, elk and dove. On top of that, I spent 8 years in the Army and qualified as an expert with the M-1 Garand rifle, M-14, M-16, .45 semi-auto pistol and both the .30 caliber machinegun and the M-60 which replaced it. I currently own 7 rifles, 3 shotguns and 7 pistols–both revolvers and semi-autos, with all of which I am quite proficient–even at my advanced age. While I don’t anticipate it happening, anyone attacking me or any member of my family is in for a HUGE surprise.


That’s what I mean! May I ask:

  • Where you lived?
  • And In which situations did you feel the difference?
  • And why do you think it didn’t feel there as free as in the U.S.?

In my initial post I mentioned supermarkets too. To a certain degree it’s subjective – e.g.: my brother hates supermarkets – but I often experience a really good and strong feeling when doing normal grocery shopping. To experience the diversity of goods, the quality and quantity of goods, the freedom to choose,… even the profanity of the muzak and the the profanity of cruising with a trolley along the shelves – I love it.

That brings me to my theory’s point B) The general esprit and mentality of it’s people
I think to experience the “usa-experience” a person needs a number of inner default-settings. One of them would be: The appreciation of goods, a positive relation to material things. (I want to say more here, but again, I’d have to think about it in more detail first.

[QUOTE=njc17]I am proud of my country despite its seeming downfall because after 75 years I have seen this nation rise up and save a world from despots
[/QUOTE]You are 75 – I would be very interested in how you would asses the change of peoples menatality and attitude over the decades? Have the people been different in the ‘60s?

Which one do you think was Americas best decade?


Most likely and IMO the best decade was the 40’s…we came together as a nation and unleashed on the world the engine of American capitalism this lasted until the 60’s and that will go down in history as the beginning of the end. The Obama decade will be the decade of the point of no return.


Don’t disagree, 17 Oaks. We were poor as church mice in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s but relatively happy–at least partly because my father was head of our household and a man of great character, honesty and devotion to all of us. The 60’s–during most of which I was on active duty military–were a time of turbulence in America. If the greatest generation made ANY serious mistake, it was in failing to teach THEIR children the moral strength that they’d been taught by their parents. Baby boomers grew up knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, in some measure because their parents had lived through the Great Depression and WW II and wanted to “give” their children the material things that they’d had to do without in their own youth. Those kids learned to EXPECT material things to simply fall into their hands because they WANT them. Add to that the USSR’s successful infiltration of institutes of higher learning where idiot “professors” taught the siren song of “free” stuff and “government as provider” and you had a generation ready for revolution. We’ve been going downhill ever since. Every citizen of the U.S. now pays HALF of everything they earn to some level of government, regardless of the source of that income, and the left STILL thinks it’s not enough.


Your right…I am certainly a child of the 60’s.

But I can assure I am far from the typical child of the 60’s…never done an illegal drug in my life (NOT going to say I didn’t spill my share and then some of Jack Black). I was conservative before I even knew I was as I had no idea of politics at all. Got drafted in Jan '67 and was in college in '69. What changed in that 2 years was mind boggling to me, I did not recgonize my own country when I stepped off that plane about 11 pm on a frozen rain night at SEATAC airport and college…WTH, sandals, American flags on the butt of jeans, long hair, beards, ultra short skirts, I had no idea what or why in 2 years America had changed beyond my comprehension. It was alien and repugnant to me, brought up by mom/dad that were adults in the depression and dust bowl working a farm and ranch which they lost, dad went into the HORSE Cav in '34, Pacfic Island tour in the 50’s, Korea and Vietnam in the 50’s. Military paid nothing in those day (dad retired in '62), we lived on a dirt road, mama raised chickens and sold eggs daddy was now in the Air Force, we were so poor we could not pay attention. But we were happy.

So happened???

Wish I knew…