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Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Trade Off

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

--Benjamin Franklin



Would you trade your freedom for security? A little bit? To be a good citizen? To live in a "safe" society?

Would you turn in your neighbor because he drove a car that emitted a bit too much smoke? Would you tolerate contractors entering your property and erecting a pool fence on your property whether you wanted one or not? Would you put up with a government that requires you to take a certified safety course before allowing you to operate a chainsaw on your own property? Or that keeps a public registry of your Pap smear results? Or takes three months to deliver a package to you after tearing it open to inspect its contents?

Would you want your children to grow up accepting that a government can breathe down their necks and dictate how they behave in nearly every circumstance without guaranteeing any individual rights? Would you want them enveloped by an egalitarian society that believes everybody should not only start out on an equal footing, but end up on that same footing?

At this point, I’m ready to give up the safety of living in this particular society for the sake of my liberty. Technically Australia is a free country, and one with a high rating on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2006 Human Development Index, but given the level of government intrusion into daily personal life here, it feels positively oppressive and hasn’t been scoring so high on my 2007 Index. I’m thinking it may be a fair trade off to live in a country where the occasional kidnapping or machete murder occurs, a country rated down there say, around 95, where there are no zoning or health and safety or building inspectors standing over your shoulder, no police officers pulling you over for not wearing a seatbelt, no teachers rating your child’s homemade lunch on a red, yellow, or green scale, and the realtors are unlicensed; just freedom.

6 comments:

la Maitresse said...

Hmmm. Australia sure does sound like the United States these days, but on steroids.

There was, however, an article in yesterday's NYTimes about the up-and-coming vineyards in sunny New Zealand...

L said...

Ex-pat Kiwis here tell us it's even more regulated there...

Stephanie said...

Ugh.

The U. S. certainly has problems, but I would not ... do well living under that kind of government intrusion and control.

Becky said...

Oh my stars. This makes Bushland (and Harperland to the North) look positively unregulated and bucolic.

Donna Boucher said...

I'm going to throw this into the discussion.

The more we ask our governments to do for us..the more control they have over our lives....
for this reason alone...
I am against national healthcare.

I can evision the huge mess it would undoubtedly be.

Our freedom to choose our own doctors...our own treatments...
the restrictions on our food (if we are obsese), cigarettes, alcohol, trans fats....

I see a nightmare.

I see moneypits like the public school systems and the Vet hospitals.

I could be wrong.
I wish I was.

Fiberjoy said...

Hmm, and we were contemplating a move down under to escape the encroaching of our liberties. Why are most people so blind to the realities of insidiously stolen freedoms?