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Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Liberty or Our Safety?

It was true over 200 years ago, and it still is today, to wit:
[S]afety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.
The Federalist No. 8 (A. Hamilton).

I would prefer to give up neither. That is the tricky part.

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