Ben Franklin’s Famous ‘Liberty, Safety’ Quote Lost Its Context In 21st Century

Benjamin Franklin quote: Those who would give up essential Liberty ...

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That quote often comes up in the context of new technology and concerns about government surveillance. Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor of Lawfare, tells NPR’s Robert Siegel that it wasn’t originally meant to mean what people think.



Those who do not understand history will be doomed to repeat it. This is one of the most misunderstood quotes in our history.

David DeGerolamo

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