View Full Version : Freedom

January 10th, 2008, 07:28 AM
Hey everybody. So I just got through my first draft on my English essay. It's a topic that I feel strongly about and I'm hoping most of you do as well, seeing as how this is a Linux forum.

Anyways, the topic is freedom. If you actually read it please let me know your thoughts. Letting me know what you agree and disagree with would be very helpful. Correcting my grammar might help too. :P

Here it is:

The lifespan of freedom in our modern, westernized world is coming to an end. All the freedoms that past generations have pried out of the ruling powers hands are slowly being returned. Not only is our generation losing freedom but we are giving it away. But you know what, being free is overrated anyways. What if I make a wrong decision? Who do I have to blame then? Certainly not myself; I'm always right. How about I blame the government? “Excuse me Mr. Prime Minister Sir. Would you regulate my life for me please? Would you be able to tell me exactly what I can and cannot do to the letter?” To which, I'm sure, the Prime Minister would respond, “Of course my lowly citizen! What took you so long to see the light? Oh, nevermind, just do as I say and all will be fine.”

This may seem like a far-fetched scenario, however, this type of thing happens more than you think. Around March of 2007 a company by the name of Menu Foods Inc. put out a massive recall on it pet foods costing the company approximately 55 million dollars[1]. During this whole fiasco there were people calling for the government to put regulations on pet food. Giving pet food companies free reign on what they put into their products is obviously much too dangerous for the public. What would stop them from poisoning all of our beloved animals? 55 million dollars in lost revenue, that's what's going to stop them. Not to mention a soiled reputation, assuming they manage to stay in business. Therefore any laws put in place to regulate pet food would be essentially pointless and would even have the potential to ruin smaller manufacturers. As silly as this pet food story seems, it does happen quite often. What is essentially happening here is free individuals are trying to give their freedoms and rights (the right in this case: to put whatever the hell they want into pet food and sell it) back to the government in exchange for security.

A rather famous quote often associated with Benjamin Franklin (although, nobody is certain that is was him) is as follows: “Those who would sacrifice essential liberties in exchange for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.” What this quote is, in essence, saying is that freedom is the most important thing we, as citizens, can have and anybody willing to throw their freedom away so that their pet cat won't get sick from tainted food deserves a dead cat. That's kind of a bad example since nobody actually likes cats and having a dead cat is, in fact, a plus, but you get the point. In that lovely country to the south the US government is working in conjunction with the largest American telephone providers (AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth) to create a database of sent and received by Americans[2]. The concept is that by having phone records of as many INNOCENT citizens as possible the NSA ans CIA might be able to find patterns and locate terrorists. It has been more than a year and a half since news of this plan broke into the media. There has yet to be an announced success story with this phone record plan of Georgey's. Which only tells me that catching the bad guys isn't the main push behind this call tracking programme. Come on Georgey, don't take away your lowly citizens freedoms under false pretenses. That's just mean...meany! However, everything I have said falls short when compared with one of the greatest examples of human rights and freedoms abuse: Guantanamo Bay.

Guantanamo Bay is a terrorist prison camp in Cuba. When a “terrorist” is sent to Guantanamo Bay nigh all of their basic human rights are stripped leaving nothing but the occasional lawyer visit and minimal, extremely censored contact with their family[3]. The detainees are accused of a variety of crimes of which most are unconfirmed. They are, however, never officially accused of any wrong doing. Therefore the US government is free to keep the prisoners locked up for as long as they please. All the while the detainees endure daily torture routines as the US attempts to pry information for the “War on Terror”. It should be called the “War on Human Rights” since that's all the US government seems to be doing any significant damage to.

Freedom isn't something that should be thrown back to the government. Past generations worked hard to get us our freedom. Every time new laws get introduced that further regulate our actions we lose a little freedom. Every time the government decides to invade our privacy we lose a little freedom. Every time we lose freedom God kills a kitten. So “stand up for your rights” and “don't give up the fight”[4]. Don't give away that which keeps our society free or pretty soon we'll all be eating nothing but green soy lent on Tuesdays[5].

January 17th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Interesting views points. Consider this though. While I certainly agree with your points on the erosion of individual freedoms. I really don't think that you can compare it to those restrictions imposed on businesses.

When someone buys a can of pet food they have a right to know what's in there. I'll bet the company that made that food didn't list the ingredients as 'stuff that may kill your cat'! Meaning the company itself was suppressing the freedoms of their customers. Unfortunately big businesses have a habit of doing things like this to make, or save money. There needs to be some kind of regulation. People fought for those too!

Also, as a point on style.

That's kind of a bad example since nobody actually likes cats and having a dead cat is, in fact, a plus, but you get the point

While I realise it's only meant to inject a bit of humour into the topic. It could be considered poor taste and kind of detracts from your otherwise well structured point. Your choice but I suggest removing it.

Hope this helps. :)