Are there penalties for not fufilling our duties as citizens?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the United States, there are no penalties for people who do not fulfill their affirmative duties as citizens.  By "affirmative duties," I refer to things that we should do because we are citizens. These are things like voting and being involved in the running of our communities.  We can be as inactive, politically and socially, as we like without incurring any penalties.

There are, of course, penalties for not fulfilling our negative duties as citizens. These are things that we should not do.  So, we are penalized for endangering other people or for polluting the environment through such things as illegal dumping. 

We are penalized, then, for breaking laws that tell us what not to do. But there is no penalty for failing to do the things (like being involved in our community) that we should do as citizens.