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Answered 2008-06-15 04:43:03

One of the most famous quotes accredited Benjamin Franklin is:

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

There is some debate on whether Franklin actually is the author of this quote, and some speculation that a colleague Richard Jackson may be the actual author. Then again it very well may be Ben Franklin who wrote since it echoes a similar thought he wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1738 21 years before the above quote which states:

"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power."

Whoever it is that authored the famous quote of deserving neither liberty nor safety is less important than what it means. Freedom is not as tenuous as safety. Freedom or liberty is the ideal situation for all people, yet it is not so safe to be free. Of course, it's not so safe to be enslaved either and herein lies the difference between safety and liberty. Safety can often times be an illusion. You are free to build your home on a fault line, and as long as there are no earthquakes it is easy to believe one is safe. One earthquake is all it takes to shatter that illusion. No tyrant, no matter how powerful can shake the notion of freedom from those who've chosen to be free. No earthquakes, no natural disaster will destroy freedom like it can safety. Most people that die of accidents do so in their own home or 20-30 minutes from home. Home is a feeling of safety, until the moment we discover how unsafe life actually is.

When governments begin selling safety in exchange for liberty, deserving them has nothing to do with anything as governments will not guarantee your safety, but guaranteed they will take your willing sacrifice of liberty for the promise of safety. Why people who are willing to sacrifice liberty for the notion of safety are undeserving of neither is because they are so willing to sacrifice liberty and look to someone else to provide them with safety.

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