Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sacrificing Liberty for Security? No!

The Independent Institute
[a post on their Facebook page Jan 6, 2010--]

Charles Peña in Baltimore Sun: "just as we shouldn’t sacrifice essential freedoms to fight crime—such as probable cause and the need for a search warrant—neither should we do so for the sake of security."

The reason why we and you are against terrorism is because we believe that the rule of law should be upheld and innocent people should be protected from invasive force. The purpose then of policing/security and a system to enforce justice is to adhere to such a rule of law, in which no one is exempt from such rules, regardless of whether the person is a private terrorist or a government employee.

"War" is a condition in which the rule of law is suspended for "emergency" or "crisis" rationales during when individuals are allowed to deliberately and unaccountably harm others. In other words, "war" is precisely what we are against in insisting on the imperative of a rule of law. Hence, when a terrorist or a gang or an army invades and harms others, we are saying that this is unacceptable and those responsible should held accountable because we are basing this on the objective standard of the rule of law. We then fight against such predation in order to restore the rule of law, not postpone or end it.

However, the "war on terror" isn't even a declared war, but instead a state of permanent war operated by the President at his whim and for the advantage of those who support him. Indeed, aircraft carriers, ICBMs, spy satellites, and drone missiles have nothing to do with stopping a lap bomber. Instead of cheering on the warfare and national surveillance states and U.S. global interventionism, we should insist on the cessation of such oppression and the complete privatization and marketization of air transportation and security.

For a superb book on the subject, please see "Opposing the Crusader State":


Moral ethics and individual rights are not situational. The end never justifies the means because every means is an end in itself and whatever standard is used to justify any end also applies to each and every means. Moreover, the view that "safety" can be used to trump rights and justice invariably produces the opposite. Perhaps you should read the following book by Robert Higgs, "Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government":

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