The Balance Between Law Order and Individual Freedoms.

 

 

 

        Everything in the creation has an order, the universe and everything within it; the planets that orbit around the sun, our planet’s ecosystems; even the cells and atoms in our bodies follow a certain order. It is not a difficult concept to understand, everything everywhere has this characteristic. Yet it all seems to simply exist and expand at free will, and sometimes we forget that behind all creation also exist universal laws that rule our very existence. For example, the laws of physics that put everything into place, the law of gravity that allows us to walk freely everywhere keeping our feet on the ground, or the laws of motion that rule the way everything revolves in the universe. All, including our selves and our societies is subject to such universal laws. So then, it is also not difficult to understand that everything entails rules to exist as well. But does everything that exists possess an absolute freedom? According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, "freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think freely.” Now, if everything in the universe was free to act, if every electron, atom and cell had a free will to be, then the universe would be chaotic and nothing would be bonded together, and that would be because we are missing the most essential ingredient in our cosmic mix: the balance.

          Since remote times the human race has strived for centuries searching for a balance between law and freedom in our societies, and we have experienced various kinds of rulings to keep the order amongst the masses. Our world has experienced, Monarchies, Feudal systems, Republics, Communism, Capitalism, Democracies, etcetera. All of them have or had their freedoms and restrictions on different levels. Still, we are yet to find the kind of government that convinces everyone to an absolute agreement. That brings us to the following question: How governments should balance law and order with individual freedoms?

          Now, there is no doubt freedom is essential to everyone. In fact, many have lost their lives in the name of freedom and the pursuit of our Human Rights, but at the same time, many have taken advantage of their freedoms and have become murderers, tyrants, thieves, and exploiters or parasites of societies. That is why we have created governments that moderate, organize, and create laws that protect the rest of us. But likewise, many of those governments have taken advantage of their own citizens, and many more have seize power to impose their ideas of orders and principles to then discover that their concepts had no valid fundaments, and that all they created was hollow political infrastructures that crumbled in the future, and the only thing they left behind was pain and desolation. With this in mind, it is clear that all across human history many in power have tried, and often succeed oppressing the inferior masses of those they ruled; it is just enough to observe the tyrannical governments of the past and present, abusive governments that with political manipulations scattered fear amongst their peoples, and in order to relieve them from that unfounded fear they demanded their citizens freedoms. For instance, the world will never forget Hitler's regimen across Europe that almost eradicated a whole race, or Saddam Hussein’s ruling that controlled the very breath of his people, and most recently, Kim Jong Il from North Korea, who allegedly possesses the most powerful nuclear weapons in the planet, yet thousand of North Korean citizens are starving in prisons to the point of committing cannibalism amongst them selves. To illustrate this, according to the World Net Daily, a man named Kang Chul Hwan was incarcerated along side family members detained for their parents alleged crimes: "In order to survive, I ate rats, cockroaches and snakes," said the man who's being in prison for 10 years. More over, we can look at the testimony of Lee Min Bok also incarcerated for trying to defect to south Korea, he said:  "A woman who had just given birth was so hungry that she ate her own newborn baby," he also added: "Brothers ate their own brothers in order to survive." As we can see, things like this are still happening in our modern world, people is loosing their freedom to corrupted governments, and even here in the United States, the so-called “greatest nation of all” we find that our liberties are at danger. For example, after September 11 the government has increased security and surveillance across the country taking them to tap citizen’s phones and the Internet. For instance, in an article from the Voice of America web site, Jeffrey Rosen, constitutional law professor at The George Washington University and author of the book: The Naked Crowd -- Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age, said:  "I'm concerned that because of fear, people may make bad choices.  In other words, they may trade away liberty without receiving in return a lot of security”. The article also mentioned that considering the laws and enforcements the United States and Europe had acquire after September 11, many governments have increase their surveillance powers. -" Not only when it comes to terrorism, but also when it comes to low-level crimes.  So the government can tap the Internet or engage in new, high-tech surveillance. And many of the criminals it is catching using these new technologies are not terrorists at all, but people who have overstayed their visas or who are guilty of low-level violations.  I think that's an example of a bad balance," said Mr. Rosen.

 Naturally, one of our most basic freedoms is our freedom of expression and speech, and as we know, the Internet is regarded as a powerful outlet for that freedom of expression as the eyes of the whole world are placed on it, and everybody can freely express their ideas on the Internet as they please. However, we have encounter censorship on the Internet from various countries. In this case, a report issued by the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), titled: "Governing the Internet,” claims Kazakhstan and Georgia are among countries imposing excessive and unnecessary restrictions on how citizens use the Internet, and that internet regulations are having a negative effect on freedoms of expression. The report reads: "Speaking out has never been easier than on the Web. Yet at the same time we are witnessing the spread of Internet censorship,” Miklos Haraszti, head of the OSCE's media freedom office said: “about two dozen countries practice censorship, and others have adopted needlessly restrictive legislation and government policy”. Among those countries is Malaysia where a government official mentioned that “laws would be drafted for bloggers and authorities would not hesitate to prosecute those deemed to have insulted Islam”. The report goes on saying that Georgia is also involved in “numerous provisions curbing freedom of expression online, web sites, blogs and personal pages all are subject to criminal as well as civil prosecution” adding that Kazakhstan country's information minister, Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, has "vowed to purge Kazakh sites of "dirt" and "lies.” Those who think it is impossible to control the Internet can continue living in a world of illusions." The report emphasizes that this efforts “ to rein in the internet journalism” in the name of national security is evocative of the Soviet-era "spy mania."

 At any rate, there are many governments that should have never existed, and that is out of the question. A government that oppresses their people, limits their freedoms, harasses them, or forces them to believe a certain credo or religion is a government out of balance only working for the few running it. Take into account the Russian Revolution, where an oppressing monarchy was overthrown only to replace it by a regimen even more tyrannical and destructive like it was the creation of the Soviet Union along side the iron fist of Stalin. But it is also evident that radicals, criminal minds, and corrupted individuals with hidden agendas will eat governments with poor policies and laws alive. An unbalanced country can be thorn at the seams by the winds of uncertainty, and its prone to collapse by the hand of it own people. As a matter of fact, we can look at the precarious situation in Zimbabwe, where officials say the collapse of the country is not a possibility but a fact. Specifically, according to a report found on the Times On Line website, titled: “Zimbabwe will collapse in 6 months.” President Robert Mugabe faces the paralysis of his government who is in the middle of a languishing economy and civic turmoil. The country’s cost of living has increase 66 percent in the last month, and In April 2008 inflation was set to a disproportionate 3,700 per cent. Also, a memorandum released from the Heads of Agencies Contact Group said: “[We are] talking about a situation where there is no functioning government, [a] total breakdown, Zimbabwe’s currency will become obsolete and shops and services will substantially cease to function”, followed by “increased unemployment with concomitantly increased crime and possible civil disturbances”. Also, the Zimbabwe Doctor for Human Rights announced: “It can no longer be said that the health service is ‘near collapse’, it has collapsed.”

 "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength." Many of us have read Georges Orwell’s masterpiece 1984, and as we read we could not help to experience a cold chill running through our spine when we think that this science fiction novel is not far from reality; it is all possible. In reality, horrible facts found in the novel where actually perpetuated in the past by totalitarian governments of the world.  In his book, George Orwell had a vision of a totalitarian government that manipulated all information, and was submerged in perpetual war with foreign countries; people were “vaporized” for alleged “Thought crimes”, citizens were dispossessed from every single liberty one could think of, even freedom of thought was banished from their memory since everybody was exposed to “telescreens” lurking everywhere, looking for any possible signs of revolt on people’s faces. This totalitarian government was called “Oceania” and was ruled by "Ingsoc” the main an only party in charge who owned their peoples very souls. That party implemented all kinds of restrictions and deprived members from their most basic freedoms, even the word freedom was banned from their vocabulary; there was not such word. In his book 1984, George Orwell pictures millions of citizens living a nightmare in their own flesh, a world with not the slightest possibility of hope or balance.

 Balance is imminently necessary, but how to keep harmony in the countries of the world with out falling into so-called utopian governments? The answers is clear: a balanced government is created when an intelligent and wise society puts wise and intelligent people in power, as Thomas Jefferson is quoted saying, "Ignorant and free has never been and never will be." Or never put better, in an excerpt from the Information Clearing House website titled: "Ignorant people destroying freedom", Chuck Baldwin writes: “People sit in court juries and staff government bureaucracies. They become our sheriffs, lawyers, and judges. They write our newspapers and magazines and man our television talk shows and news desks. They teach in our schools and in our Sunday schools. In America, “ We the people” are the government; we are the authority! Nothing happens in this country except that “we the people” Promote it, finance it, or at least allow it to happen”. So then, what should be the kind of government that balances law and order with individual freedoms? The answer is included in the question; balance it is. A balanced governments is that one that has sensitive people in power, people that has proven to have an unbreakable integrity; policy makers that protect the freedoms of the people as something sacred not just their own interest, or the interest of those above them. It is clear that freedom should exits for everyone, and in turn to have freedom we need order, but having a lot of order not necessarily implies we will have a lot of freedom. Moreover, all across history we have found societies whose order was impeccable and whose regimens seamed unbreakable, but they where built on the expense of people’s liberties; we have the case of the Stalin’s era in Russia that lasted over thirty years of oppression. Comparatively, Fidel Castro’s regimen who’s people under his ruling are unable to exit the island of Cuba; they are underprivileged from the freedom to travel and expand their horizons, that is a basic human freedom, yet it is taken away from them and nobody has being able to change that because the change has to come from within. Again, North Korea claims to have the most powerful weaponry in the planet, yet their people are dying of famine and sickness. Obviously, those kinds of governments are noticeably out of balance, because their conception of order is stronger than their conception of freedom, these kinds of governments are like the parable of the bird trapped in a golden cage; the fact that the cage is made of gold doesn’t imply the bird is wealthy, nonetheless free. Thus, governments like these have to be abolished, and they will be abolished, since all across history not oppressing government is tolerated for to long before it starts breaking from within.

 On the whole, it is obvious that a balanced government is that one that listens to the voice of it’s people, and is that one that puts people that listen into power; people that is sensitive to the real needs of society. A balanced government works for us “the people” respecting our Human and Civil Rights at the same time it understands our diversities. But it is also a government that knows that wrong is wrong, and that wrong should not be allowed. In the same way, a balanced government not only works in behalf of the majorities or the minorities, but also in behalf of what is right, fair and just. More important, a balanced government is always founded on absolute truths; that is a universal law that will never be corrupted even if the whole world turns upside down, because there is nothing capable of overthrowing truth and justice. So as long as there are people in our world with a high sense of consciousness in power, then we will have freedom and balance, but as long as we have leaders hungry for power and greed, then we will eat each other alive in golden prisons.

 In the final analysis, in order to have freedom we have to be responsible for that freedom and take care of it as a most precious thing. But like everything else, excess is unhealthy; even freedom in excess can be harmful, because we want o achieve a free society not a libertine one where everyone is free to do as they please; then the paradigm of freedom becomes dislocated and there would be not point of reference; in order to have freedom we need certain restrictions. For example, we are free to drink as much alcohol as we want, but we are not free to drive at the same time for obvious reasons; it is important to draw the line and have limitations in order to keep our freedoms, there has to be certain limitations and restrictions in our society because many may loose perspective on where the line is, and that line has to be marked by Constitutions, Laws, Political Institutions and Social Sanctions, and by a set of evolved values that preserve a balance between freedom and order, the role of government and the role of the individual, liberty and license, freedom and responsibility. Indeed, many have died in the pursuit of preserving our freedoms, and as Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg address

 It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

             So a government that is created “for the people and by the people” puts responsible and honorable people in power, and appoints leaders that will create a balance between order and freedom by creating fair, logical and tangible laws and policies that are shaped to the universal and absolute liberties of our society. That's why the Bill of Rights was created, that’s why our Human Rights where created, these policies do exist, and they are nothing new, they simply have to be guarded and expanded, and taken to places where they don't exist; and they have to be jealously enforced, and is our duty to make sure there is never alterations in their truths.

            Finally, the human race should never forget that we all have the absolute right of freedom, that way we can truly say that Orwell's “1984” nightmare was indeed a science fiction novel and not a prophecy. But either way, we the people of the free world will be on the watch; even in our sleep, to make sure that nightmare will never see the light of day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorhill Thorhill
26-30, M
3 Responses Feb 15, 2009

I am free, because I have not been charged for an arrest that took place three months ago when I was unwell.

I got a phone call from my solicitor that the police had dropped the case, and have made no charges against the allegation put against me.

Yay! I am a qualified teacher, and was afraid that the incident would impede my career, but no, I am free.

I absolutely agree with you gentleman

Dear Thorhill,<br />
The following words may not be totally relevant to your story,but they are relevant to the subject of FREEDOM:<br />
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<br />
<br />
<br />
Freedom<br />
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If freedom has any meaning at all,its most vital meaning must be the freedom to think,the freedom to seek,to question,and discover that which is beyond the horizon of accepted knowledge until we arrive at the goal we are seeking,a goal which is life harmonious,life abundant,life eternal.