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This paper examines the text, "On Liberty" by famous defender of freedom and autonomy, John Mill and examines the relevance of this text in the current era of global power and vulnerability. The paper shows that in response to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 and the recognition that we are facing a worldwide network of terrorists whose singular goal is to harm the United States and its interests, we have had to re-evaluate our civil liberties. The paper questions whether our open society, our open emigration policy, our support of individual freedom and autonomy and privacy have left us uniquely vulnerable. It also reflects on how we can balance liberty with safety. The author of the paper puts forth the opinion that Mill would have called this a time for government intervention, much along the lines we are seeing now, because he would view this as an unfortunate time where barbarians put us at risk for our very safety out of which liberty arises.
From the Paper:"On the other hand, there is something to be said for listening to the complaints of the disenfranchised. Mill points out that tolerating dissent has had catastrophic results in history. Currently in the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks, not enough of a critical dialogue has been allowed. Even in times of unique crisis such as this, dissenting opinions and even criticism must be welcomed. Here I agree with Mill. He notes that "the claims of an opinion to be protected form public attack are rooted not on much on its truth, as on its importance to society." The current public policy has quietly embraced this, and unfortunately, certain truths are not shown. The darker aspects of war are whitewashed, at least from our side. And it's important to discuss whether the terrorists have any legitimate claims. Although journals like Foreign Affairs may openly analyze the situation we are in, the level of public discourse is purposely simplified and sentimentalized. This helps us ignore our own flaws as a superpower, and where we might adjust our policies in order to create more international harmony."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"On Liberty" (2003, March 31) Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/on-liberty-23036/
""On Liberty"" 31 March 2003. Web. 18 April. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/on-liberty-23036/>