What Benjamin Franklin actually said

In debates about freedom vs control people often refer to a famous saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin. I’ve found the saying quite striking, but recently after some reflection it struck me as quite naive and with implications leading down to anarchy.

So when I finally decided to look it up it turns out that what Benjamin actually said is very different from the popular paraphrase below.

What Benjamin Franklin did not say:

”Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.” – Some naive paraphraser

What he did say:

”They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

So it would be quite possible that he would support the following statement as well:

”They who temporary give up trivial freedom to obtain a substantial and lasting safety, deserve both liberty and safety.”



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