Friday, September 23, 2011

Liberty or Security - Good news on the horizon?

Liberty or Security? Which have people been writing about more (in books)? Here's the link. Notice the trend, but especially there at the very end. Could this signify storm clouds on the way for The State? Maybe more people are realizing time's up.



  1. That is indeed a very interesting trend.

    It is also unfortunate. Good liberty requires good security - they are the opposite of opposite. Simply because there's always thieves, weather, or more generally the 2nd law of thermodynamics. If your stuff isn't protected - including your liberty - then it won't be stuff for long.

    The problem is that voters think the state sucks at providing everything except security. (Formally, special pleading.) Instead they think state-monopoly security is the best kind. Of course the sophistries that lead them that way are obvious upon even seconds of reflection.

  2. Real security is provided by respecting liberty, not by violating it. State-provided "security" actually is the opposite of liberty, but it is also false security rather than the real thing.

    But this Google thing just shows what people have been writing about more- in books. If I had to choose, I'd much rather people be writing and thinking about liberty instead of the sad excuse for security so many mean when they (mis)use the word.

  3. Ah, right. It's not really a measurement 'liberty' vs. 'security' but a measurement of the average misconception of each, and indeed the misconception of liberty is far preferable to the ones about security. And I want to emphasize how interesting it is that they're apparently affected symmetrically by something.

    I believe you have the causation backward, though. Real liberty is provided by respecting real security.

    For example, if there's a riot going on, you won't leave the house, because it isn't safe.

    Liberty has many objective traits. But it is fundamentally a feeling - it is qualitatively different from most any other good and absolutely unmistakeable. The conditions for that feeling are real freedom. And real freedom requires antecedent security. You can't simultaneously feel free and worry you might be mugged if you go outside.

    Which is another way of putting the reason I hate politics and want it to die. (I learned something!) I have no political security, and democracy is the utter repudiation of political security.

  4. I see what you're getting at. I don't worry at all about getting mugged by a freelance thug; only by the State thugs. This is due to experience. So, yeah, in that way I agree.

  5. Maybe the problem is that when "influential" people speak of "security", they aren't meaning security for you or me, but for agents/employees of the State. I can handle my own security just fine if allowed to. But security for State thugs requires (so they seem to believe) reducing my ability to secure my own life and property. That pisses me off.

  6. Ah! Of course.

    'Security of the American people' is a straight-up lie which basically means, 'Security of my personal power over others.'

    Now you've mentioned it, it amazes me that voters never seem to figure out that they can count on 'security' measures to have gaping holes for abuse. Politicians aren't stupid - they're putting them in on purpose.

    I learned something. Politicans probably consciously know that voters can be easily gulled by 'security' and that's why they're eager to go to war. They know that voters will be surprised that the new measures can be abused, no matter how many times it happens, but they do first have to convince the voters that more 'security' is necessary.

    E.g, has the TSA ever stopped a terrorist? Of course not, and not because politicans are too stupid to make a terrorist-catching agency. Ironically the terrifying fundamentalist muslims have been shown to be so incompetent that they can't manage to kill anyone anyway.