SOURCEDuring history, philosophers began to ask questions which

SOURCEDuring wartime, there is a natural tension between civil liberties and national security. Security must take precedence. Faced with this imminent threat, to insist on the continuation of all civil liberties is to handcuff the government in its war fighting efforts. A temporary reduction of personal and media freedoms is an acceptable price to pay.POSITION PAPEREarlier in history, philosophers began to ask questions which shaped their beliefs. These questions led more and more philosophers to develop their political thought, which formed complex ideologies. Furthermore, it resulted in the social contract theory, which is, a contract between the individual and the state. Connecting it back to the source, it is evident that the source is stating that during time of war, the rights and freedoms of people take less precedence compared to national security. In times of crisis, the people should be accepting of the limitation to their rights in order for the government to facilitate certain actions. Thomas Hobbes, who believed that human beings should voluntarily surrender their individual freedoms to the state in order to receive the state protection, would be in favour of this source. On the other hand, John Locke would oppose the views of this source because he felt that individuals should rely on themselves to make important decisions. Locke’s idea of the social contract differed from Hobbes; that’s Locke viewed security and social order important as a means to allow people to accumulate and protect their private property. In this way, people still have an amount of sovereignty over themselves. After analyzing this source thoroughly, I disagree with it to some extent. Since 9/11, Americans have changed their ideology into valuing national security and sacrificing their civil liberties, however, they have also expressed concern on how governments are invading their privacy. A recent study has proved that citizens are far more worried about the security of their country rather than their freedoms. “The balance of opinion has consistently favored protection. Most recently, in 2010, 47% said they were more concerned that government policies “have not gone far enough to adequately protect the country,” while 32% said they were more concerned that “they have gone too far in restricting the average person’s civil liberties.”” Terrorism is another form of war caused by the clashing of ideologies, which has resulted in people’s belief fluctuating. Another study was taken a year later where statistics changed drastically; that’s the 54% of the people voted that civil liberties should not be exchanged for security, on the other hand, 40% voted that it was necessary for the average person to sacrifice their rights. Adding on, George Bush authorized the National Security Agency to monitor citizens phone calls and emails without their permission, which stirred intense civil liberty concerns. The actions taken by the government can be portrayed as illiberalism because the idea of invading people’s existing rights is still alive times of crisis. We can also assume that governments take advantage of such situations to bury themselves into their people’s lives to be “extra careful”.  John Locke would be supportive of that because his social contract clearly states people should rely on themselves to make important decisions rather than trading in, or having decisions imposed on them.  In countries such as the United States where constitutional rights are given much importance, it can be hard for the government to revoke civil liberties. That is, citizens will see this as an imposition of their rights and will revolt – whereby, causing international tensions to arise. An example of this is the reaction of Americans to increased security measures at airports following the catastrophic 9/11 attacks. Although, people wanted increased security, they did not wish to forsake their freedom of privacy.   The primary function of the nation state is to ensure the security of citizens. As such, many believe that it is unacceptable for the government to prioritize national security over civil liberties. The safety of the people should only be considered in delicate situations., With the Cold War having taken place, U.S. citizens were worried that people among them could be a Communist; the enemy of the U.S. and of capitalism. Because of their fear, people started to accuse one another of being communists, which led to them being imprisoned with little and what was, invalid evidence. This shows us the extent to illiberalism that existed during the cold war; that’s people’s rights and freedoms were taken away without any consideration. The embracing of illiberalism gave the government power to facilitate such actions. This is now referred to as the ‘Red Scare’ where ‘Red’ symbolized Communism. After this so called war, there was a time of peace where the likelihood of there being another ‘Red Scare’ was very unlikely, until the unforgettable date, September 11, 2001. Hobbes would disagree with the arguments presented because he believes that people should only have the choice of national security or keeping their rights, there is no compromising ground. The idea of citizens surrendering themselves to the authority of the state wasn’t quite accepted by the Locke. He, on the other hand (as well as Rousseau) perceived people as responsible; that’s they both believed that human beings could reclaim their sovereignty. Adding on, Rousseau expresses his idea by stating that laws should not restrict people’s freedoms, but express them. This idea clearly shows us that national security should not temporarily reduce our rights and freedoms, but should stay in place even in times of war. The invasion of privacy is an illiberal act and shouldn’t be performed unless severe circumstances happen. One of the responsibilities is to protect its citizens from harm any nation is vulnerable, whether it be war, disease, or terrorist attacks. Because they allow freedom of movement, liberal democracies are vulnerable to the latter two. Infectious disease can grow to become pandemics if they are not contained. In recent times, fears over Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Avian influenza have cause liberal democracies to make illiberal choices, such as restricting people’s movement and interfering with trade. In this case, Hobbes would agree because national security is critical in order to protect the nation’s people; that’s negotiating your rights for safety is necessaryLiberal democracies, such as Canada, often face difficult choices when presented with real-world problems. The problem of terrorism was brought to the U.S when the terrorist organization. al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial airliners. This event caused huge controversy between invading people’s privacy and the importance of national security. Moreover, the cold war also gave birth to suspicious citizens that made it easier for the government to perform acts; that’s because they use fear as a catalyst to help them facilitate such illiberal-isitc acts. On the other hand, Canada and the US, has restricted their people’s rights in order to prevent any more damage. This shows us that liberal democracies have to make such choices, however, the restricting of people’s rights isn’t justified. The freedom to be able to make your own choices in crisis still stands.


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