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Freedom, One of the Three Inalienable Rights

Updated May 2, 2022
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Freedom, One of the Three Inalienable Rights essay

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Liberty is also mentioned in the preamble of the constitution. “The Framers’ phrased the Preamble that way (“secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . .”) to emphasize the importance of the rights both of those who were alive at the time of ratification and future generations” (Pappin,). What liberty protects today versus at the time it was first written into the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, though its’ purpose remains the same, are two different things. Throughout the history of the United States, what liberty meant to the citizens has changed, even today the adaptation of liberty is constantly changing and that is why I feel liberty is the most important political value.

Liberty is “freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control” (“Liberty,). In my eyes I view liberty as protecting us from unfair rule or making sure the government does not infringe on the rights of its’ citizens. There were many reasons that the Framers emphasized this due to the fact that prior to the Revolutionary war, the British Parliament implemented many laws that went against what we deemed as basic rights. These laws are the reasons we made regulations on creating and implementing taxes. We also made unlawful search and seizure illegal. This was the reason for such are large importance placed onto liberty at the creation of our country.

Now when I talk about liberty today, I am referring to the last eighteen years. This is the time frame that I have been alive, from 2000 to present time, so this will be the time that I will refer to as today. Liberty today ultimately means the same thing; we still want protection of our basic rights from the government. But in the present world, we have more things that this can apply to. The main aspect that I will be focusing on is the technological. With the growing technology field, the importance of privacy is constantly growing. “Though technology has sometimes advanced in the absence of liberty, the alliance of liberty and the natural sciences that animates the modern world has been the surest guarantee of rapid, enduring technological development” (Pappin,). “Technology presents itself to us in the form of innovation. Its future is always one of radical promise and radical uncertainty. Liberty, too, shares something of technology’s indeterminacy, but not all of it. As the natural faculty of doing what one pleases, liberty is still limited by what is possible and by the uncertainty regarding what it will please a free man to do” (Pappin,). The relationship between liberty and technology though not increasing at the same rate, still has a correlation with each other in the way as one increases the other increases. As our technology grows in our daily life then the definition of liberty pertaining to such will ultimately grow as well.

Should the government or governmental agencies be able to watch what we research, what we say, where we go, or even be able to watch us threw out cameras that come standard to almost all cellular devices as well as laptops and some computers. This aspect of liberty can also refer to business and organizations that look to use the same information. Do I feel that they government agencies should be able to watch what people are saying on what we do, yes and no. I say yes because of the fact that this can prevent attacks either foreign or domestic, but in order to access this I feel the government should have to follow the same policies as they would if they were searching and individuals’ private property. They should be able to go to a judge with enough probable cause or circumstantial evidence to be issued a search warrant and they can then aspects specifically mentioned in the warrant. But on no circumstances should any organization either with the government or private be able to access the video footage from out cameras. That is a definite infringement on the rights of the people they are watching. This is why liberty is such an important value in our society to prevent things like that from happening.

The importance of this was first brought to light when Edward Snowden, “collected top-secret documents regarding NSA domestic surveillance practices that he found disturbing and leaked them. After he fled to Hong Kong, he met with journalists from The Guardian and filmmaker Laura Poitras. Newspapers began printing the documents that he had leaked, many of them detailing the monitoring of American citizens. The U.S. has charged Snowden with violations of the Espionage Act, while many groups call him a hero. Snowden has found asylum in Russia and continues to speak about his work.” (Editors,) . This showed the American people just how much the government was watching and how important liberty was in the technological field. Some people view Snowden as a traitor who committed treason and deserve to be arrested, while others view him as a brave patriot who wasn’t afraid to stand up for their opinion of what’s right by breaking the law. That is one problem with liberty, is the fact that each person may or may not have a different opinion of what liberty is, and what it should consist of and what it should not consist of.

This is why I feel liberty is the most important value in society today. People in the United States of America use technology more and more part of their everyday life. I personally have an apple watch and an apple iPhone at least on me at all times of the day. With technology making user experience more and more personalize able, and the health apps and location apps that can track your location at all times of the day. Making sure that your information remains your information is very important. This is especially important to be, coming from a small town having your own privacy is a very important thing.

I do not feel that this represents a change in political ideology due to the fact that liberty has been an important concept ever since the creation of this country. The only thing that has changed is what it applies too and the amount of technology that is used in government. The ideology behind liberty has remained the same since the Framers put it into writing, only changing interpretation. With technology and everyday life evolving it is only natural that the definition of liberty as it pertains to different aspects change as well. The political ideology has remained the same in the fact that liberty is important. The part that I am arguing today is to what extent liberty should pertain specifically to technology. As well as how much can the phone or tech companies help the government. I mean this is the sense of overriding a passcode or giving the government information about its customers.

In conclusion, liberty has been a crucial aspect of our society ever since the creation of the United States. It has evolved throughout the years to represent and cover all aspects of life as the times changed. This has been the way for many years, so our definition or interpretation of liberty should change as technology continues to evolve. Without this our privacy will be intruded and our basic right which the Framers deemed with great significance will be trumped.

Works Cited

  1. Walker, Burton. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Did the Founders Really Mean That?” Faulkner Law Review, vol. 9, no. 2, Spring 2018, pp. 361–384. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.missouriwestern.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=131625961&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
  2. “Liberty.” Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, 2018, www.dictionary.com/browse/liberty.
  3. Editors, Biography.com. “Edward Snowden.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 6 Feb. 2018, www.biography.com/people/edward-snowden-21262897.
  4. Pappin, Gladden J. “Liberty, Technology, and the Advent of Social Networking.” Intercollegiate Review, vol. 46, no. 2, Fall 2011, pp. 39–47. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.missouriwestern.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=69882812&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
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