Protection of Civil Liberties in Today’s Society
In the debate about whether protecting individual liberties is of greater importance than protecting society, I believe that individual liberties is the greater of the two. Without individualism what is society? It is simply a mass of people who have no sense of oneself or uniqueness. Dissecting the definition of democracy and tying it into idea of individualism can support this opinion. There are also many cases where individual liberties were threatened yet came out victorious. With these cases, the definition of democracy and even the bill of rights, we can make a strong argument as to how individual liberties should be our highest priority.
When I say it needs to be our highest priority, I do not mean that we should completely push aside the support of the protection for society. In my view you cannot have a society made up of individuals without the feeling of individualism for each and every member. If you took a society with no sense of self, you get communism. Everyone is equal; there are no unique characteristics that make you different than the others. Much of what I believe is the very ideas of the man who came up with civil liberties. John Locke’s idea was that each “individual is entitled to liberty under the natural law that governed them before they formed societies”. Of course we can look at this and say that it clearly talks about the formation of societies. But in order to maintain and form the society that we know, each
Individual must be entitled to the same liberties. What is this liberty? The basic freedom from restraint, being able to act how you think is appropriate while acting within the laws of nature.