Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Freedom or Security

Following Margaret Thatcher's passing, quite a few of her quotations have been presented in the media.  One appears to be of her quoting Edward Gibbon and was so striking, I wanted to share it:

"In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again."  (Edward Gibbon, Epitaph for the People of Ancient Athens)

When Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety," he certainly must have based that belief on a study of human history.  It isn't even that such a people don't deserve liberty or safety, but that it will be taken from them by people who love power and are willing to dictate so that others are completely free from responsibility even when they reawaken to their awful, enslaved state and desire their freedom back.

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