The other day, I heard one of the most startling statements on the news. A French politician was talking about the recent attack on the country. He made a statement along the lines that France has come to regret the amount of freedom that it has placed within the hands of the citizens and that the state has failed to protect their citizens. Later in this same news segment a political analyst stated that France is looking to enact legislation similar to the American Patriot Act.
Since the attack that occurred on September 11, 2001 there has been increase in the amount of information the government has been able to obtain without a warrant. There has been an increase in spy activity on citizens and occupants of the United States. There have also been extra measures taken to protect the United States from future attacks. We are slowly diminishing our liberties and freedoms that so many revolutionary figures have fought to gain.
Why has our society moved away from freedom to gain a small amount of security? So many of us are frightened to the point that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom to feel safe. The reality is that no matter the implements put into place, we can never be truly safe. Each day you have to face the world and the evils that exist within it. There is no full proof plan that can be put into place that will protect us at all times, so why are we so willing to give up our freedom for a small sense of protection and security. Why allow the government to infringe on the rights that so many people fought and gave their lives to protect? I am not saying that this spy ware and extra measures that has been in place has not caught many individuals with harmful intentions, but it has placed limitations on millions of citizens who have done nothing to deserve the invasion.
Hopefully people begin to realize that limiting the rights and freedoms of their citizens will not help prevent these terrible and unfortunate attacks throughout the world. These attacks will continue, but hopefully throughout the course of unrest Freedom will prevail on top.
I would like to end with a quote by Benjamin Franklin, who summarizes the dilemma perfectly: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
*note I stayed rather vague on the topic because it is a simple rant. I have done some research on the topic although this is not my specific area of focus within political science. My research focused on the causes for Americans to need a sense of security and the abuses that has occurred from increased protection measures.