In the wake of the recent NSA revelations, theres increased talk about the need to balance freedom against security. I even see people recycling Larry Nivens law that freedom + security = a constant.
Nonsense. What we want is not to be attacked or coercively interfered with by anyone, be they our own government, other nations governments, or private actors. Would you call that freedom? or would you call it security?
You cant trade off freedom against security because theyre exactly the same thing.
Obviously you’re with the terrorists.
Could you elaborate on how freedom and security are the same thing?
Security = not being attacked or coercively interfered with.
Freedom = not being attacked or coercively interfered with.
That sounds incredibly vague. Plus, I find that you’re only talking about “freedom” in the negative sense – freedom from.
Well, sure, I’m a libertarian. But the people who talk about balancing liberty off security mean negative liberty too.
If the government can storm your home in the middle of the night and drag you off to prison or worse for any reason or no reason at all (i.e. what statists mean when they talk about ‘security’), or do any number of other harmful things to you, you are to that extent unsafe.
It doesn’t really matter if you define liberty in a negative or positive sense. To the extent that the government or some other group inhibits your freedom (however defined) it is by threatening to harm you if you don’t do what it wants.
Isn’t another way of putting the point that we’re free from coercive interference and secure against them? They’re really two ways of saying the same thing, as the US Constitution seems to recognize.
From the Preamble:
The phrase “secure the blessings of liberty” presupposes that we’re fully free when liberty has fully been secured. There’s no such thing as an “insecure possession of liberty.”
Here’s the Fourth Amendment:
Same idea. The right of the people to be secure refers to the people under conditions of freedom (or liberty: I don’t think they were making a distinction).
One more example–Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist 1:
Not a very anarchist-friendly thought, but ignore that (if you’re an anarchist). Hamilton is assuming that liberty only genuinely exists when it’s secure. Take the security out of liberty (by degrees) and liberty disappears by degrees.
Sorry, I meant free from coercive interference and secure against it.