Monday, June 17, 2013

How Much Freedom Should We Trade For Our Security?

“By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen.” ~ George Orwell, 1984

Yesterday, while looking through some old files on my Mac I came across some quotes and thoughts that pertain to current events and the trade-offs we're making today in the name of National Security.  These bits and pieces must have been collected for the purpose of an article or essay I was attempting to assemble at the time.

“He that's secure is not safe.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.” ~ H. L. Mencken

For the Founding Fathers freedom was a preeminent value because they had experienced the heavy weight of tyranny first-hand.  

the growing power of the State is biggest trend of 20th Century. (Paul Johnson)

complexity and immensity makes people small... technology of big government (Ellul)

Quote from Kafka: “We are shoved, pushed...”

Privacy as a Value

1984 ~ Work our way backward from this: Orwell’s “camera in every house” is definitely something we do not want. Bad.

But are surveillance cameras themselves evil?

(name deleted) tells of villain caught because of surveillance camera in store.

So somewhere in between is OK?

What is the issue?

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Life is not static. Cultures are not either We are moving through time.... across an ocean, from one harbor toward another.

Rainer Maria Rilke: from Notebooks of Malte Laurid Brigge “I am a beginner in my own circumstances.” p. 67

“For several decades political arrests were distinguished in our country precisely by the fact that people were arrested who were guilty of nothing and were therefore unprepared to put up any resistance whatsoever.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of the telescreen.... He could be heard, of course, but so long as he stayed in his present position he could not be seen.” ~ George Orwell, 1984, p. 9

Thought Police

re-writing history

controlling memories

“Having just cast off an oppressive British monarchy in a bloody war for independence, many of the representatives of the 13 states attending the Constitutional Convention were reluctant to create what they feared would be an unrestrained centralized government. The authors of the Federalist Papers, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, knew that without an intelligent and persuasive rationale for a federal constitution, the proposal would fail. To allay the fears of the representatives of the states, the authors laid out in extraordinary detail the central principles upon which a federal constitution would be based.” ~ essay on Zooba

Food for thought.

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