Monday, February 9, 2009

Security Versus Freedom

"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither."
Benjamin Franklin

I don't think relative security and relative freedom are mutually exclusive but its hard to argue that it wouldn't be easier to fight crime if we could just round up anyone who looked like they might commit a crime and locked them up. Certainly the assumption of innnocence and other human rights are a pain in the butt for law enforcement. But it seem self-evident that in the long term the rule of law and a sense of personal security and fairness results in a more stable society.

The politics and ethics and morality of all this is certainly worth thinking about but it occured to me that this whole security/safety versus freedom balance comes up a lot in child rearing. I think here in LA we assume that the city is too dangerous to let kids out of our sight. When I was growing up in New Hampshire I walked to school from first grade on and at 10 I was taking the subway into Boston to explore on my own.

I think if I suggested that my son do that now I would be thrown in jail.

I have to go put Yogi to bed now so I will leave this as food for discussion.

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