Freedom Requires Whistleblowers: The Importance of Transparency | Learn Liberty

A free society requires a government limited
to protecting its citizens’ freedoms. It has to be accountable to them. The government
of a free society needs to ask its citizens’ permission for everything it does, not the
other way around. Maybe you’re not concerned about the invasions
of privacy that the federal government agencies are engaging in because you think, “Well,
I haven’t done anything wrong. What do I have to fear?” Maybe you think, “I like and support
this president. I voted for him.” But what about the next president? The powers that we let the government have
under one president are the same powers that the next president will have, too. What if
the next president is one you don’t support? Maybe you think he’s wrong on everything.
He, too, will have all the power that you were willing to give the president you now
support. If we let our freedom be dependent on particular
people, then those freedoms can be taken away if the wrong people get in charge. We need
instead to have our freedom protected by law that operates regardless of who the particular
people in office are. That’s why it’s so important to demand transparency and to maintain that
the government must answer to us, the citizens, for all that it does. It is our servant. So we need whistleblowers. We need people
who are willing to take a principled stand and say, “No. The government here is overstepping
its bounds.” The government owes us that transparency.

95 thoughts on “Freedom Requires Whistleblowers: The Importance of Transparency | Learn Liberty

  • I guess maybe a good example would be people who supported certain aspects of the patriot act who are now complaining about government encroachment and surveillance… to them I say you have no desire to be free. you are simply a tool where government maintains control by polarizing the populace. get 50% to sign over rights to their beloved republican president X then when our dearest democratic president Y comes along the other 50% will support the infringement on freedom from him.

  • At the present moment there are 2nd and 3th World Countries (I am sorry for the non-pc expression, but it is the most accurate) with more personal liberties than the US.

    It is only Americans who never travel that clam that they are free. Nothing could be further than the truth.

  • I hope your being sarcastic, cause and Autocracy is just a suspended election away from a dictatorship… (Cuba for example)

  • The funny fact is, now with these leaks that the US is spying on its own people, what has happened? Nothing… only stuff that has happened is people sitting on youtube bitching about how bad the government is.


  • in the next election dont vote for him. or, dont vote for canadates that you think will have the same problems. in otherwords educate yourself in politics and vote.

  • The problem here is that freedom is only a concept. More importantly, it is a concept which cannot be quantified. This means that freedom means whatever the government means at any one time. Freedom ranges from being lawless to being able to leave the country if you don't want to be oppressed. If there's one thing that politicians are good at, it's twisting words to suit them.

  • If the president has the senate, "In his pocket", so to speak, there's nothing you can do. The only legal way to get a president out of office is impeachment and the senate ultimately decides whether the impeachment leads to removal from office.

  • of course you need government as a means of protecting your basic rights.

    If one looks at history when a government is dissolved power is usually simply transferred to local warlords or city states who can protect people in exchange for some sort of good. If we got rid of government such a system would arise inevitably.

  • Democracy is the tyranny of the many vs. the will of the few. It is a voting match to see which group of citizens will be the masters of the rest, the rest being the slaves of the winners. A republic is nothing more than a Democracy with a few extra rounds of voting.

    Ultimately all power comes from the barrel of a gun, and no one is truly free under any form of government. The only free man exists in Anarchy.

    Anarchy is not chaos. It means "No Rulers" not "No Rules". Common law still reigns.

  • That's actually not the case at all. Ireland existed in Anarchy for over 1000 years. It was a millennium of peace and prosperity. They fought no wars of conquest. Repelled numerous invasions successfully. They had roads, and schools, and courts, and a common system of law, but no taxes or coercive government to force anyone to do anything they didn't want to do.

  • Only if the criminals are better armed than the law abiding. This is why the right to bear arms is a natural right.

    Everywhere throughout history where we've seen warlords take over, it was a place where the citizens were previously denied the right to bear arms. Once they destabilize the government, it's a fight between warlords for dominance. This is what happened in Somalia. The official government banned guns, this act HANDED the country to the warlords.

    Arm the people. Problem solved.

  • A free society requires a government limited to protecting its citizens? Thumbs down for presenting Libertarian ideology as the having a monopoly on freedom.

  • my friend, this is not libertarian ideology. It is the constitutional structure of the United States of America. The constitution explicitly limits the role of the Federal Government in American's lives. The constitution is the only valid place to begin a conversation about the responsibility of government to provide anything for the citizenry. Whether or not you agree with the video is wholly irrelevant, the question that begs asking is what does the constitution say about the role of govt.

  • The US constitution is document codifying the views of certain rich slave-holding land-owners of one country a long time ago. It has a lot of good in it but it's not infallible.

    Regardless, that has no bearing to what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that the professor in this video seems to be saying that if the government does anything else than protecting people then there's no freedom. Which is a highly partisan ideological position that should not be presented as some kind of fact.

  • He meant to say a government's enforcement branches should be limited to protecting people, with their permission. As opposed to an entitynthat controls people, which is what it actually has become.

  • [NEW VIDEO] The government of a free society needs to ask its citizens' permission for everything it does, not the other way around.


    #Snowden   #NSA   #privacy   #Manning   #libertarian  

  • I would say it's more academic than you'd give it credit for. If you consider the actual definition of freedom, or consider human liberty as a sum of the degrees of freedom the person has, then every time an outside entity of any kind restricts behavior, it removes some degrees of freedom. That seems to me to be a fairly sound argument from a logical point of view.

  • I don't support the current President, I think Snowden did the right thing, but I also think he needs to be put on trial.

    To do the right thing, he committed wrongs, and those wrongs need to be answered for. If we don't hold people accountable for them, what expectation of integrity or security can any of the Security Agencies expect? Or the military for that matter, when a person can just up and desert, and reveal state secrets the moment they feel conflicted, with no consequence?

  • There needs to be a gauntlet, some sort of pushback, so that we separate the legitimate instances of abuse and personal conscience, from those with less chaste motives.

  • I am familiar with the concept. In my opinion it is not worth study as is silly to think politics can be reduced to zero.

  • If there is a demand for protection, the free market, with voluntary transaction, will provide. You can't solve violence with more violence.

  • I agree.
    But I think there certain pieces of information, notably pertaining to national security that do need to be kept secret.

    Mr. Snowden- Good guy
    Mr. (or Ms. now?) Manning- bad.

  • What people who say "I've done nothing wrong" forget is that there are so many laws out there everyone has likely broken quite a few and greater surveillance can reveal that. The government obviously isn't going to arrest everyone, but with greater surveillance powers they do have the ability to choose to prosecute certain people whom they find annoying for political reasons. I think it's a point worth remembering on this question.

  • If your not on a government watch list, than like this administration you are an oligarchyist or another commie politician.

  • Quote: "Show a bank robber where the bank is and he/she will rob it; give the bank robber a bank and he/she will rob the Nation."

  • you rather get locked up and they toss away the key ?
    like this guy that made the Mohamed video, which got blamed for the embassy attack, who is still in jail without any charge filed or due process ?

  • So China and Russia are evil and USA good? Could you name a country that used nuclear weapons against milions of civilians? Only USA did this, twice. Maybe it would do it again and again, but fortunately evil Russia restored balance. Same with Snowden, while I like Americans much more, I'm happy there's one country not afraid of them.

  • Fuck this video Edward snowden was a coward and fled to a communist nation to feed them Intel. Traitor deserves to be put to death and if we have to declare war on Russia or china so be it but they will not hold a traitor from us as if they think they are more militarily powerful then us.

  • NSA data was duly regulated and only for reasonable causes access to this data was permitted. in fact it is in the interest of "innocent citizens at large". Now this matter is actually raked up just to weaken the nation and it's security forces.

  • As long as people feel complacent, they won't care one iota about freedom. By the time they do want more freedom, they won't be able to do a darn thing.

  • actually responsible and intelligent persons do not vote, voting is only an agreement to pay the debt criminals engage in to benefit themselves, essentially agreement to slavery

  • that s because the criminals in washington have their vested interest they intend to protect and will commit any crime to protect themselves from prosecution and or exposure

  • joinn in monday morning, training is more than 6 months, tell them infantry refleman for quickest entry, you will be in the back end of conflict, any wait you ll be are chair quarterback working in mess hall

  • Thank you. The moment one group of people is given the power and right to force themselves on you, it automatically stops being a "free society".

  • he didnt give intel to our enemy. He exposed what the NSA was doing after people already knew. All he did was prove that NSA is spying on us.. He gave no "secrets" to Russia that people didn't already know. He had to flee to Russia because any US allies would have extradited him back to USA where he would be killed for treason (even though the politicians are the traitors). Exposing government over stepping their constitutional bounds is as patriotic as it gets.

  • Not to many governments on this planet ask you permission for anything. They tell you what they want . If you don't do it, just know that there are going to be some unpleasant consequences for you, the naysayer .

  • The Constitution was supposed to protect our basic freedoms from govt intrusion, but since we haven't been following that for so long… Edward Snowden did the right thing IMO, he (along w/a lot of the Wikileaks info) exposed govt corruption, abuses of the 4th Amendment.

  • People seem to have forgotten that the purpose of government is to protect our freedoms. Without any government, it will just be others violating our freedoms.

  • Sorry I disagree, the purpose of government is keep the power with the powerful and the sheep producing. Your freedoms are much more likely to be violated by the government then any educated man. If the mafia demands protection money so he wont destroy your business is he really protecting you?

  • That might be its original purpose, but that does not mean that it must remain that way. The government may be the biggest threat to our freedom, but only because it has eliminated all other threats.

  • Once all other threats have been eliminated new ones are created. The war on drugs, war on terror, war on poverty etc. these are all created by the government to trick you into think they are the only way to combat these awesome enemies. Unfortunately there is only violence in drugs because there illegal, only terrorist because were an empire, and poverty because we removed the bottom rungs on the ladder to prosperity.

  • But these problems have solutions that don't involve abolishing government, which would be a very foolish mistake. Legalizing drugs would get non-violent offenders out of prison. America would still get attacked if there were no military bases in Saudi Arabia, and that isn't the reason for poverty.

  • Part of me has resigned to the idea that Americans have shit in their bed and that they can go ahead and sleep in it. I am Canadian. When did *I* vote for Bush or Obama to spy on me?

  • I would be less concerned if the laws weren't written in such a way as to fear that one day, my life could turn out to be an episode of "The Bodysnatchers."

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