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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Tue Jul 14, 2020, 03:31 PM

9. a referrence to a Ben Franklin quote

that is now commonly used in support of arguments that are nearly the reverse of what Franklin was advocating at the time. (which is NOT to say that the liberty/security debate is not an important, and crucial, one)

https://www.npr.org/2015/03/02/390245038/ben-franklins-famous-liberty-safety-quote-lost-its-context-in-21st-century

WITTES: The exact quotation, which is from a letter that Franklin is believed to have written on behalf of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, reads, "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

SIEGEL: And what was the context of this remark?

WITTES: He was writing about a tax dispute between the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the family of the Penns, the proprietary family of the Pennsylvania colony who ruled it from afar. And the legislature was trying to tax the Penn family lands to pay for frontier defense during the French and Indian War. And the Penn family kept instructing the governor to veto. Franklin felt that this was a great affront to the ability of the legislature to govern. And so he actually meant purchase a little temporary safety very literally. The Penn family was trying to give a lump sum of money in exchange for the General Assembly's acknowledging that it did not have the authority to tax it.

SIEGEL: So far from being a pro-privacy quotation, if anything, it's a pro-taxation and pro-defense spending quotation.

WITTES: It is a quotation that defends the authority of a legislature to govern in the interests of collective security. It means, in context, not quite the opposite of what it's almost always quoted as saying but much closer to the opposite than to the thing that people think it means.

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Nevilledog Jul 2020 OP
Frances Jul 2020 #1
Nevilledog Jul 2020 #2
Doodley Jul 2020 #3
liberalgunwilltravel Jul 2020 #8
Celerity Jul 2020 #42
aggiesal Jul 2020 #36
DSandra Jul 2020 #4
sop Jul 2020 #5
enough Jul 2020 #6
maxsolomon Jul 2020 #7
LineReply a referrence to a Ben Franklin quote
stopdiggin Jul 2020 #9
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 2020 #18
cwydro Jul 2020 #19
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 2020 #20
flibbitygiblets Jul 2020 #10
tblue37 Jul 2020 #11
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