So you wouldn't trade liberty for security. Would you trade it for convenience?

Yes, I understand there still are people who think less liberty/more control is necessary in order to make them safer, more secure; however, the opposition for that viewpoint is still rather vocal, so that's not the discussion I want to start for another time.

But what I've been thinking is, just how many people would sign away their liberty if the tradeoff was more convenience for them? After all, in such a case, maybe the loss of liberty isn't as clear, or as direct, so maybe they wouldn't even consider that side of the issue.

A quick google search resulted in the following blog entry from someone I have no clue who they are, but it may be an example of what I'm trying to say:

http://whiskeyandthemorningafter.blogspot.com/2012/01/those-who-trade-liberty-for-convenience.html

Going further, though. Imagine you could have all your information that you need on a daily basis - ID, driver's license, insurance data, bank balance data, whathaveyou...all of it on one piece of plastic instead of having them on many separate ones. Every time you go shop, pay a bridge toll, enroll on an university, deal with bureaucracy, vote; all you have to do is swipe that one card and the transaction is neatly handled for you by the system, and you can move on in just a few moments. Sounds convenient and lets you focus on more important matters, right? Except that so much of your data in one place makes it a lot easier to be used in less positive ways, the least of which would be, for example, spamming your mailbox with advertisements.

I personally think the problem here is indeed that it just seems convenient, people won't even consider they're handing off their liberty to do things off to someone/thing that does said things for them. I daresay we all actually do it to an extent already.

The sentient captcha says "Ready, set, go", so I suppose that's the cue for the discussion.

People already do. Its scary the amount Google and Facebook know about us, but people are happy to keep giving them information.

I imagine some people would be more resistant if it was a government instead of a corporation, but most would probably at most grumble about it but do it anyway (kind of like with facebook).

Having said that, the concept of all-in-one ID cards got shot down in flames in the UK. It would almost certainly depend on how the idea was presented.

Eh, the question is vague as to be meaningless.

What is "liberty"? Until you've defined what it is, you can't really say if it's worth trading away. Almost any definition you come up with won't fully apply to people in the really real world as it is. It's good for a soundbite, and not much more.

Yes, people's information can be gathered. The police do this all the time. The police are supposed to be able to do this to some extent, almost nobody argues about that. Exactly how, to what amount, and what procedures they go through is a massively complicated discussion, and it should be borne in mind that any system will fail to some extent.

I would say that making things more convenient like that is a good way to get people to give things up. That Harry Potter line about doing what is easy vs doing what is right gets tossed about a lot because it's a good line, and like all good lines (especially when the word "right" is used) it can mean whatever you want it to mean.

Vegosiux:
Imagine you could have all your information that you need on a daily basis - ID, driver's license, insurance data, bank balance data, whathaveyou...all of it on one piece of plastic instead of having them on many separate ones. Every time you go shop, pay a bridge toll, enroll on an university, deal with bureaucracy, vote; all you have to do is swipe that one card and the transaction is neatly handled for you by the system, and you can move on in just a few moments. Sounds convenient and lets you focus on more important matters, right? Except that so much of your data in one place makes it a lot easier to be used in less positive ways, the least of which would be, for example, spamming your mailbox with advertisements.

I personally think the problem here is indeed that it just seems convenient, people won't even consider they're handing off their liberty to do things off to someone/thing that does said things for them. I daresay we all actually do it to an extent already.

The sentient captcha says "Ready, set, go", so I suppose that's the cue for the discussion.

What you're actually talking about here is privacy rather than liberty, and it's been shown, time and again, people are more than willing to give up privacy for convenience--or even just a few cents.

Yeah, like other people said, that's privacy, not liberty. And I suppose I can't blame people for being willing to give up some level of privacy (though often they don't seem to understand the consequences of plastering their private information and opinions all over the internet).

Btw, that blog post is just a generic rant on how people don't grow their own vegetables anymore (and other assorted tasks), and buy them from Walmart instead, probably written by someone who never had to grow his own vegetables in the first place.

I feel like "liberty for convenience" would go a bit more like this: you and the members of your social circle are all assigned jobs by the government. You all work the exact same schedule at your jobs, but you may hate them. While this deprives you of liberty to find a job you enjoy or can actually tolerate, you all don't have to struggle to find time to get together and hang out.

We exchange privacy for convenience on a daily basis, because we give online companies our bank account/credit card/debit card information to purchase a product instead of going to the ATM for some cash and driving to the nearest place that has the product we desire, no matter how far it ends up being.

That's not loss of liberty, that's simply risking greater misuse over greater usefulness.

As for welfare vs. liberty, I'd go with liberty. The welfare state is nice and all, but since stuff like free tax funded health care seem to lead people to believe they have a right to impose upon how people live their lives to no end, it needs to go. There is no room for freedom in such a place, when the state is mothering you, then you only ever have rights, independence, and dignity of a child being breastfed.

dyre:
Yeah, like other people said, that's privacy, not liberty.

Well I see "privacy" as "liberty to mind my own business without people poking their nose in it."

Vegosiux:

dyre:
Yeah, like other people said, that's privacy, not liberty.

Well I see "privacy" as "liberty to mind my own business without people poking their nose in it."

That doesn't make sense. When you give a friend your cell phone number, are you losing liberty? Or are you exercising your "liberty to give away information to whomever you so choose?"

Liberty is the ability to govern your own actions. When you give up privacy, you are making a free choice to give away information for something in return. It's like a purchase of goods and services, except your currency is private information. Surely you don't consider spending money a violation of your "liberty to not spend money?" You're still free to keep all your money in a vault, just as you are free to never tell anyone your cell phone number...you're just exercising your right to do otherwise.

Vegosiux:

dyre:
Yeah, like other people said, that's privacy, not liberty.

Well I see "privacy" as "liberty to mind my own business without people poking their nose in it."

If you don't like credit cards, then don't get one. Plenty of old people get by on checks and cash. But don't go telling me I shouldn't get one because I choose convenience over paranoia. Yes, a lot more people have a lot more information about me than than they would have 100 years ago. But on the same token, 100 years ago I couldn't purchase a product located halfway around the world without even leaving my house, and have it shipped to my doorstep within a week.

Would my identity be less likely to get stolen if I went to the location halfway around the world myself and purchased the product with cash? Most likely. But then that sort of defeats the purpose, and once again makes the global market a faraway dream.

Imperator_DK:
That's not loss of liberty, that's simply risking greater misuse over greater usefulness.

As for welfare vs. liberty, I'd go with liberty. The welfare state is nice and all, but since stuff like free tax funded health care seem to lead people to believe they have a right to impose upon how people live their lives to no end, it needs to go. There is no room for freedom in such a place, when the state is mothering you, then you only ever have rights, independence, and dignity of a child being breastfed.

In no country that has free public health care is it illegal to use a private provider, so no freedom is impinged in that respect. I think you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater on a ridiculous level. I'll admit, in the UK, every now and then some fool will write an article saying 'why are we paying for all these fatties' or somesuch. But people make stupid whiny articles about all sorts of things, and there has been no suggestion of something like that ever becoming policy.

It is especially ironic, since in places that don't have free health care, these people actually would be judged for their lifestyles. But apparently its freedom, if its an insurance company doing it.

What the welfare state is, is a safety net, not a safety blanket. And as someone who has grown up with it, it's only really noticeable when you need it.

So in welfare vs. liberty, I'd take welfare over the freedom to starve and be refused medical treatment, which seem to be the only freedoms gained by its removal.

For most people, it would be better.
However, for those who don't want to live in their own way and not just be able to choose from a list of pre-packaged options, the non-conformists, the so-called weirdos, people with a worldview that differs fro the majority, that would be awful.
So what if it's convenient to do/say all the things you're able to when you can't do/say the things you want?
Again, most people don't know what they want and just choose from the available options. For them, more convenience would mean less time wasting.
For the ones who want to create their own options, it would mean that they would have to hide their true selves and pretend to be someone else.

ClockworkPenguin:
...
In no country that has free public health care is it illegal to use a private provider, so no freedom is impinged in that respect.

And if the the legislators who encroached on the freedom of the population in order to improve its health made sure that none of those initiatives targeted people with private insurance, all would be well. Nothing is free, so if you choose to use public health care, then your health is a public issue; but when you don't, it most certainly isn't.

I think you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater on a ridiculous level. I'll admit, in the UK, every now and then some fool will write an article saying 'why are we paying for all these fatties' or somesuch. But people make stupid whiny articles about all sorts of things, and there has been no suggestion of something like that ever becoming policy.

It's hardly just a few private people writing articles. In a welfare state, health care is a massive expense, and legislators will eventually feel compelled to intervene in people's lives in order to make them more healthy. Ostensibly because they care about them - mothering - in reality because they have a budget to balance. And thus personal freedom suffer, as your ability to choose how to live your life is streamlined.

When you do not harm anyone, what you do is nobody's business but your own. The welfare state makes what you do to yourself the business of other taxpayers, hence legitimizing intervention in your personal life to the eyes of legislators. You call that a baby, I call it an abomination in need of abortion.

It is especially ironic, since in places that don't have free health care, these people actually would be judged for their lifestyles. But apparently its freedom, if its an insurance company doing it.

They won't be subjected to any government coercion to drop their lifestyle though. What other people say can simply be ignored, much unlike what the state commands.

What the welfare state is, is a safety net, not a safety blanket. And as someone who has grown up with it, it's only really noticeable when you need it.

So in welfare vs. liberty, I'd take welfare over the freedom to starve and be refused medical treatment, which seem to be the only freedoms gained by its removal.

And I to be responsible for myself, if that's what it takes to ensure I can life however I want to the full extent it doesn't damage others. There's a fundamental incompatibility between people being economically affected by each others' lifestyles, and the unquestionable respect for the personal freedom to life your own life however you wish.

That is less "liberty for convenience" than it is "privacy for convenience." That is only one liberty, along with free speech, right to fair trial, right to bear arms, etc, and it should be up any person if they give that up.

I imagine taking up a card that has all our D, driver's license, insurance data, and bank balance data would make us far less safe, if used.

As for welfare and Liberty, I will go with liberty because the state always includes greater regulations on economy, and more restrictions on liberty, not just the ones given up for Welfare.

 

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