AP Language & Composition
Freedom vs. Safety
Over time, the idea of giving up freedom for safety has been thoroughly practiced. H.L. Mencken believes that the average man does not want to sacrifice his safety for the sake of freedom. However, this idea is not supported when compared to events like the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East and NSA scandal in America.
Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” This completely contradicts Mencken’s beliefs but support the recent events in the Middle East. There has been a revolutionary wave of demonstrations of protests in the Arab World fighting human right violations and political corruption. Protestors have suffered many severe consequences for the rebellion from military officials. Some of these consequences include serious injury, and in extreme cases, death. Despite all of this, the Arab people still continue to fight for their freedom because they rather die than have their natural born rights taken from them. They rather continue to be unsafe fighting for what they believe in, than safe in a corrupt society.
In early 2013, Edward Snowden revealed to the world that the American NSA was wiretapping people’s phones and spying on everything Americans did online. The uproar was incredible and the American public began to reject and distrust the government even though they claimed they did it for American safety. People saw this as an invasion of privacy, not taking safety precautions. This invasion is a prime example of people valuing freedom over security. Although the government is meant to protect Americans, there is always a line that should not be crossed. Its difficult to put a value on freedom and safety when one is completely neglected.
H.L. Mencken’s observation does not always directly apply to contemporary society. In todays world people place a high value on freedom and are...
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