Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Liberty or Security? Your choice, but for how long?

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Benjamin Franklin

It amazes me to see how so many people, both politicians and ordinary citizens, respect Benjamin Franklin for his brilliance and genius, and for his major acomplishments, yet somehow are unwilling to follow the genius of his words concerning liberty and security. Since the 9/11 massacre, we've all been hyped up on the government's ecstatic cocktail of Nationalism-Patriotism-Fear, and we're not thinking straight. Below, is the beginning portion of Wikipedia's article on Benjamin Franklin'. And below the excerpt is the link you can follow to read the rest of the article. But, before you go ahead, look up at Benjamin Franklin's famous quote one more time and try to comprehend it. It has a universal truth to it, that never fades with time.

Benjamin Franklin (January 17 [O.S. January 6] 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, and diplomat. As a scientist he was a major figure in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As a political writer and activist he, more than anyone, invented the idea of an American nation,[1] and as a diplomat during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence possible.

Franklin was famous for his curiosity, his writings (popular, political and scientific), his inventions, and his diversity of interests. As a leader of the Enlightenment, he gained the recognition of scientists and intellectuals across Europe. An agent in London before the Revolution, and Minister to France during the war, he, more than anyone else, defined the new nation in the minds of Europe. His success in securing French military and financial aid was a great contributor to the American victory over Britain. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the iron furnace stove (also known as the Franklin stove), a carriage odometer and a musical instrument known as the armonica. He was an early proponent of colonial unity. Many historians hail him as the "First American."

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