Security versus Liberty

I spent a pleasant Thanksgiving with my family.  The only unpleasantness was the airport security getting to and from my mom’s house.  It seemed to me a reminder of how readily Americans these days are willing to give up their liberties for the appearance of a little security.

That is, I wasn’t so much upset with the measures themselves, which were merely annoying, as I was with the principle behind them.  I don’t have much faith in the notion that we can be perfectly safe and also be a free people.  And, if it comes down to it, I would rather be free than be completely safe.

But maybe that’s just me.  What do you think?

14 thoughts on “Security versus Liberty

  1. I.m sorry to say ,but it seems that security have become good business.I might be cynical,but for security to survive,they have to scare the sh’t out of people and “invent danger” Just look at what Homeland Security is allowed to do,that’s not pretty.So yes I prefer freedom.

  2. I generally find the opposition to security measures a little over the top. I suppose I come from a culture where a much higher level of government influence, and so I find the intrusions here pretty minor. No big deal to me.

  3. And, if it comes down to it, I would rather be free than be completely safe.

    To me, this is a false dichotomy. Let’s forget the somewhat trivial notion that nothing is perfectly safe. Is a lack of freedom necessarily safer? One of the potential benefits of freedom is that it can be used to correct error. When leaders err, freedom allows us to criticize and mobilize to correct the error.

    Not knowing or being able to discuss what’s not safe isn’t the same thing as being safe.

  4. Security practices at airports are ritualistic jokes as safety pretense. I’d like safety with freedom, but the real threats to security at airports are not at all addressed by the current practices of dissecting one person’s luggage at a time. The dangers are far more complex to address. The Mickey Mouse stuff is just show to make it look like they are doing something..

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