View Full Version : ceding liberty for security

George Jung
01-20-2014, 05:04 PM
results in the loss of both, or per B. Franklin, "They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"

With that in mind, a nice opinion piece in the NYTimes:

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, writing as World War II was drawing to a close in Europe, observed that “neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Russell’s point was that irrational fear can propel us into counterproductive activities, ranging from unjust wars and the inhumane treatment of others to more mundane cases like our failure to seize opportunities to improve our everyday lives.

Just like authoritarian states, democracies can use fear to exert control over the populace and consolidate power.

It is hard to dispute Russell’s claim. We all know that fear can impair our judgment. We have passed up opportunities in our personal lives and we have also seen groups and nations do great harm and unravel because of their irrational fears. The 20th century was littered with wars and ethnic cleansings that were propelled in large measure by fear of a neighboring state or political or ethnic group. Given this obvious truth, one might suppose that modern democratic states, with the lessons of history at hand, would seek to minimize fear — or at least minimize its effect on deliberative decision-making in both foreign and domestic policy.

But today the opposite is frequently true. Even democracies founded in the principles of liberty and the common good often take the path of more authoritarian states. They don’t work to minimize fear, but use it to exert control over the populace and serve the government’s principle aim: consolidating power.
Philosophers have long noted the utility of fear to the state. Machiavelli notoriously argued that a good leader should induce fear in the populace in order to control the rabble.


It's a nice read.

01-20-2014, 05:11 PM
We need to convince our society that there will be a measure of risk in life and that the extreme measures increasingly followed by our country are not a means to greater security or liberty. Few politicians have that courage.

Phillip Allen
01-20-2014, 05:39 PM
thank you George... I hope YOU don't have to take as much heat as I have over the tame topic

01-20-2014, 05:39 PM
as long as i have the freedom to own any gun i want and to deny women choice i'm happy

and i want the freedom to keep the wrong people from voting

01-20-2014, 05:40 PM
sometimes your freedom may be somebody elses opression

01-20-2014, 05:45 PM
My ancestors knew Ben, they were friends with Ben, Ben was a smart guy. I'd say he was a 19th century guy living in the 18th century, unlike say Churchill who was a 19th century guy living in the 20th century. Anyway Ben didn't know what he was talking about.

01-21-2014, 02:37 AM
The military industrial complex creates security risks and paranoia in order to survive.

when you think of the incredible scale of the military machine, you would think that Millions of Americans were killed in conflict, yet no americans have ever been killed on US soil during conflict.

the massive NSA operation has yeilded Zero results.

ceding liberty for security ?

when you concider the climate change issue and resource depletion and the Us Miltary you can understand why the Americans refuse to cooperate. The department of defense, in peacetime, uses as much energy as New Zealand. During The Iraq war , the US air force injected more burnt hydrocarbons into the atmosphere than WW2

are a clean environment and protected resources Liberty ? Are you trading your childrens future for todays perceieved security ?

01-21-2014, 01:33 PM
It's a pretty sad commentary on the Bilge that this subject hasn't generated more comment. Ol' GWB said the baddies hated us for our freedoms. Apparently the tactic that's been chosen is to eliminate most of those freedoms. Then maybe they won't hate us anymore?

Concordia 33
01-21-2014, 01:48 PM
sometimes your freedom may be somebody elses opression

Soooooo true!:D Can you appreciate the irony of that statement?

01-22-2014, 11:49 AM
If a few thousand people die per year to give up the national security state to defend the Constitution, would anybody object? Evidently so.