Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Delicate Balance of Order and Freedom

The debate of the bounds and importance of order and freedom is as old as society itself. As soon as any situation involves two or more people, there must be the question of what each person in that society can and cannot do in respect to others; if there are no others, there is no need for this question. Unfortunately, there are other people in the world and therefore each person must adapt to the presence of others possessing the same intellect as themselves. The question is: which is more important?

The United States as the prime example of the quest for the balance between order and freedom. Most Americans aggressively boast themselves as having the most free government on the face of the planet and are quick to cite this opinion in everyday life, the mantra is even in our national anthem. Yet even after repeated intrusions upon such freedoms by the government these same Americans praise, they still hold the same stance on the matter, and I am helpless to wonder why. I believe that Miller is right, and that the delicate balance between order and freedom has not been achieved, yet the American society is a very strange case.

In America, a large portion of Americans pride themselves on how free America is in relation to the rest of the world, but at the same time the American government is clearly concerned with retaining and ensuring order as opposed to freedom. On September 11th, 2001 the United States suffered one of the biggest tragedies that it had ever seen with the bombing of the World Trade Center. After this date, traveling into or out of the United States would never be the same. Flying went from a relatively easy and painless process to one where the mere mistake of bringing too much shampoo became an incredible safety violation punishable by suspicious looks comparable to those a leper might receive. This is all because of the influx of security personnel pouring into air ports at the direction of the US federal government.

Yet the people of the United States seem to have different values than the government. This is evidenced in the congressional struggles over gun legislation in the past few years. While it is clear and apparent that for the most part that each American citizen would be safer if his or her neighbor didn't own a high-powered firearm, the constitution says that they have the right to do so, and many strongly believe in this right. Even though those with a gun in their household are five times more likely to mistakenly wound a family member, the constitutional freedom is passionately fought for.

The balance between freedom and order is a complex one and in the case of the United States, it is an enigma. I personally believe that freedom is more important than order, but order is also quite important in the society we currently live in. Although in my opinion freedom is more important, I do not believe that the average American cannot be fully trusted with such power.

1 comment:

  1. i agree that while freedom is important, it is even more important to have someone with a level head at the helm