In 1759, Benjamin Franklin asserted that a government who chooses for his people to give up freedom and liberty for temporary safety should not receive safety or liberty.
Benjamin Franklin once stated, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (Benjamin Franklin, 1759). Franklin correctly portrays how if one chooses for him or herself to give up your essential liberty and freedom to receive temporary safety, they shall not receive that safety because if you give up what you're trying to protect than why have the need for safety when there is nothing to protect. As we look deeper into the quote, one would say that this is a huge argument in today's society.
I argue that if you are willing to give up your freedom for safety you do not deserve the freedom nor safety because you are giving up what you are fighting for. If one was to give up what she or he is fighting for there is no longer need for the safety to protect the privilege given. If one does not treat the privilege well enough that they would rather safety and protecting they do not deserve the privilege due to treating it with disrespect. In the fight for civil rights for all americans Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals” (Martin Luther King, Jr.). As King fights a different battle he creates a point of interest in stating that sacrifice is required for an end product. The sacrifice in this battle is our privacy or liberty. If one does give up liberty for invasion of privacy for safety then they shall not have safety anymore for having no state of privacy. If everyone knows everything about you there is no need for that safety anymore and you have already given up your liberty so you shall not deserve either.
However one might say that in order to protect our liberty we need safety and that Franklin is incorrect in saying we deserve neither if we want both. One might argue that one’s right in this country is to have liberty and to be equal. If we take away your right of liberty then that is the government taking away your rights. During the mid-early 1800’s Thomas Jefferson asserted, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual” (Thomas Jefferson, 1819). Jefferson explains that as an American our right is to have liberty and the law should not draw limits to how much liberty we have. He argues against Franklin by saying that the law should not take our liberty away no matter what the cost. Franklin on the other hand explains that one’s liberty should be taken away if they want temporary safety instead of that right.
An argument that started with our founding fathers is still fought today as our country decides if safety is worth the essential freedom and liberty. If we give up our freedom our privacy will no longer be private and be invaded by cameras and the government always watching. If we keep our freedom terrorist then can destroy our country from within, an example of this was the crash of a plane in the twin towers on September 11, 2001. The argument today still stands, what do we cherish more safety or freedom.
In conclusion, we see that in today's society this topic is argued in many debates and between many government officials. What shall we choose privacy or safety? I strongly believe that if we give up our privacy than we should not have safety because we are not safe anymore due to the government knowing too much about us. As Franklin said if we give up our liberties there is no return and receiving them back.