Georgia State University Liberty and Security Discussion

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The 9th Amendment of the Constitution states that Americans do have freedoms other than those laid out in the Bill of Rights.  Among those is the right to privacy.  Historically, there has been a struggle between the right to privacy and the need to ensure security.  This was seen several years ago with the NSA wiretapping scandal.  This drive to ensure security has also conflicted with other American freedoms, such as speech, assembly, and even American beliefs against cruel and unusual punishment. 

Ben Franklin is commonly cited as having stated. “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”  On the other hand, what good is it to have liberties, such as the right to vote, if one does not feel secure enough to enjoy them; as was the case with African Americans during the Jim Crow south.

When efforts to achieve security go unchecked, the result can be an authoritarian state.  On the other hand, when liberty goes unchecked, the result can be violent riots or even the storming of the federal Capitol building as was the case earlier this year.

Please weigh in on this debate.  Which is more important security or freedom?  Please keep in mind that there are numerous forms of security, such as physical security, economic security, political security, etc.  How do you achieve the right balance between the two?

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