Where Is the Balance Between Order and Freedom?

Topics: McCarthyism, USA PATRIOT Act, Red Scare Pages: 5 (1623 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Dmitri Kobozev
Mr. Shoemaker
Thesis Paper on Arthur Miller’s quote

What is the perfect balance between freedom and order? Not only is it a question American society has been asking itself since its creation but also a question humanity has yet to answer. In all likelihood such a perfect balance will never be achieved but doesn’t mean people won’t strive for such perfection. Before delving on deeper one must first ask, ‘what is order?’ Order is the limitation of freedom; limitation of freedom is necessary, to an extent, to uphold society. Human society has two extremes at each end of its spectrum, anarchy and tyranny. Two complete opposites, anarchy is pure freedom and tyranny is the ultimate repression of freedom. In the middle there is the perfect balance between order and freedom that humanity has been fighting for since its creation. Currently, as Arthur Miller said, ‘the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom’. Miller’s statement, a direct reaction due to the second red scare, is undeniably true and is applicable to all times of American society, especially today’s. In regards to American society the line between order and freedom has been like a pendulum, swinging back and forth due to cause and effect. Lately, for the past decade, the line between order and freedom has been swinging towards the side of increased order; this is evident by the Patriot Act, recent internet censorship bills, and the people’s reaction to American society via the Occupy movement. While there is always going to be a back and forth, currently the line between order and freedom is moving towards one direction. “It is still impossible for man to organize his life without repression” said Arthur Miller. The balance between order and freedom shifts based on cause and effect. In September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four planes midflight and used two planes to crash into the Twin Towers, killing almost 3,000 people. The third plane crashed into part of the Pentagon, and the last one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Because of this event George W. Bush signed into law The Patriot Act. The Patriot Act undermines Freedom from Unreasonable Searches, Right to a Speedy and Public Trial, Right to Liberty, and allows the government to monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity (Walker). This Act greatly increased order by repressing and undermining certain freedoms. The reason this happened was because the 9/11 attacks induced a pervasive sense of fear into the American environment; this allowed the government to pass legislature to increase order. The reduction of freedoms for increased security has happened multiple times in the past. Another such instance was the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950. The McCarran Act required Communist organizations to register with the government, prevented people of such groups from acquiring citizenship, gave the government authority to detain anyone suspected of espionage, and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate and monitor people suspected of planning to undermine the government (White). This legislature was enacted due to the widespread fear of communism, known as the second Red Scare. These examples show that the line between order and freedom fluctuates throughout history thus supporting Miller’s statement, which was a direct reaction to the second Red Scare, that ‘the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom’. It is also shown that lately the line between order and freedom has been swinging towards the side of order. The creation of the World Wide Web greatly expanded on the constitutional freedoms already enjoyed by Americans. Now these freedoms that the people of the United States were given are under attack. For the past decade there have been numerous attempts to reduce freedoms by restricting internet freedoms. Two recent examples are Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect...

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