Written by: Carnes Sendry
Ever see the ‘F*S=k’ thing?
That means that Freedom (F) times (*) Security (S) equals (=) a constant (k). The suggestion is that you can only add more security at the cost of having less freedom. In reality, the equation is far from being a proof, but the concept is brilliant.
We have some people that would rather have greater freedom, at the cost of reduced security, and we have other people that would rather have more security, even if it costs some freedom.
This dynamic struggle between freedom and security is always a problem. Government could always do more to allow more freedom, and it could always do more to create (at least a sense of) more security. Very rarely, if ever, can a government create both more freedom and more security at the same time. So, we are stuck struggling between the two ideals.
When our freedom brings us so much success that we forget what it is like without freedom, we (as a society) start to strive for more security. When security is enforced so strictly that it is intolerable, we strive for more freedom. It seems to be a constant ebb and flow. The problem is that when things get bad and people need to fight to tip the scales of freedom and security, there tends to be a lot of bloodshed and other nasty stuff.
Thankfully the framers of the US Constitution seemed to be aware of how this works… They themselves were struggling to create more liberty in the midst of an environment rife with too much ‘security.’ They thought it was wise to fashion a system that drew a line where freedom and security were to clearly be divided, for better or for worse. They supported the notion that the only security that the government could be trusted to provide was redress for direct violations of rights. That was the line. Sure, there could have been much more security, but the framers argued that allowing the government to attempt to provide any more security would result in an unacceptable loss of liberty. As such, they were content to, “Suffer the inconveniences of too much liberty than to deal with the consequences of too little.”
I think they drew the line pretty well. Things ebbed and flowed to a lesser extent for a couple hundred years. There were injustices, boons to freedom, boons to security, mild tyrannies and other such things, but the nation never strayed too far from that line… Not until (relatively) recently.
Now the power of the government is growing at an exponential rate, and it seems like most people don’t even know why that should be a concern. I want to take a small step toward reducing the size and scope of government authority by saying, “Hey, I have the right to move about freely, and if I want to use a car to do so, that is part of my right.” It’s no different than saying, “I have the right to defend myself, and if I want to use a gun to do so, that is part of my right.” But unfortunately, it seems that many people are so ingrained to believe that the .gov is the ultimate authority that they resist efforts to even identify liberties that they should possess, let alone argue for them, let alone ever even consider fighting for them. It strikes me as sad.
*This article was published with the full written consent and approval of the above mentioned author*