During the early years of the United States, American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” He was the kind of man smart enough to know that, “[A or B] can be read as [A and B] and still remain a true function,” giving a person who is making a choice BETWEEN [A or B] to ask for both at once.
In the modern era, we have plenty of Safety and Security, but not a lot of Liberty. Perhaps this is the case for reasons different than the ones of militaristic sidelining that Franklin envisaged. If you were to ask me the cause of our lack of Liberty, I would merely amend Franklin’s quote to read as such:
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Convenience, deserve neither Liberty nor Convenience.”
Why the change in blame from Safety to Convenience? The 1950’s were all about updating the American social model to one of profound convenience, with things like vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, and laundry machines making life easier for everyone. Yet at the same time, victory gardens were being replaced, first with corner grocery stores, and ultimately with giant big-box corporate food warehouses, all in the name of Convenience. With the advent of transistors, computing, personal computing, and eventually mobile computing, even more Liberty was sacrificed in the name of Convenience. The level at which the average American citizen is tracked via these technologies is profoundly worrying, and the ease of access of the information by virtually anyone with an internet connection and an inclination to look is even more worrying.
The country has essentially transcended beyond its former status as being a possessor of citizens who performed great feats of individual labor and industry, into one of citizens who perform highly technical, yet menial, one-time services to established businesses for little or no pay. These are businesses that are truly too big to fail, and use their status as megaliths to force unwanted policies denying everyday Americans their Liberties, all of which goes forgiven by the common United States Citizen because of the minor gains to Convenience that these businesses provide in their daily lives.