Friday, February 12, 2016

In 1759, Benjamin Franklin displayed his beliefs on giving up freedom. He, as a founding father, believed that one should take pride in their freedoms, and should never give them away. He thought of trading freedoms for safeties as an act that should never be done.
Benjamin Franklin correctly portrays that if somebody gives away freedom for privacy, they deserve neither because if someone is willing to give up one freedom, they are willing to give up many.  If somebody gives away any amount of freedom, they will give away more. They could be bullied into submission, or “like the feeling” of safety, and want more of it. One example of this lies 182 years later. When Nazi Germany took the freedoms of the people of Austria, Czechoslovakia, and other nations, governments and allies of those nations did nothing. says, “Germany and Italy now realised that the democracies were seeking to avoid confrontation, so both countries continued to ‘test the limits’” (History, Appeasement). Germany was able to bully the Allied nations into giving more land. The Allies gave up the freedom of trade and the people in an attempt to appease Germany. This was the wrong decision for the Allies, and they did not deserve the half year of peace they had. One could easily say that Benjamin Franklin was wrong on this matter, and that giving up some freedoms is necessary and a part of life. After 9/11, the Patriot Acts were passed. This act drastically increased the amount of surveillance systems in the US. Many Americans were happy to give up freedoms in places like airports to assure safe travels. They accepted long lines at security check-ins and full body scans. Founding father John Jay said, “Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be the first,” (John Jay,  The Federalist). Freedom must be protected at all costs, including giving up small amounts of that freedom. One might argue that this minor inconvenience at airports is well worth the amount of security it gives. At first glance, it may seem that these are small freedoms traded for a stronger sense of security. But once the people give up these small freedoms what other freedoms can be taken? The government could take even more freedoms at a moment's notice. One’s photos may be saved, or one may need to submit to a pat-down. The government can’t detain anyone at any moment because of a suspicion in the name of national security. The more freedoms that willingly giving up, the more can be taken in the future. In this way, Benjamin Franklin’s beliefs can be used to support not giving up freedom to gain small amounts of safety because this will permanently result in no gain in safety and only a loss in freedom.
Works Cited
"Appeasement." HISTORY. N.p., 12 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 Feb. 2016.
Mill, John Stuart, James Madison, John Jay, John Stuart Mill, and Alexander Hamilton. American State Papers: The Federalist. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952. Print.


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