Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thoughts on Civil Liberty

New evidence for us to explore the orgins of the world's first FOI legislation.

Finally, it is also an important right in a free society to be freely allowed to contribute to society’swell-being. However, if that is to occur, it must be possible for society’s state of affairs to becomeknown to everyone, and it must be possible for everyone to speak his mind freely about it. Wherethis is lacking, liberty is not worth its name. Matters of war and some foreign negotiations need to beconcealed for some time and not become known by many, but not on account of proper citizenshowever, but because of the enemies. Much less should peacetime matters and that which concernsdomestic wellbeing be withheld from inhabitants’ eyes. Otherwise, it might easily happen that onlyforeigners who wish harm find out all secrets through envoys and money, but the people of thecountry itself, who ideally would give useful advice, are ignorant of most things. On the other hand,when the whole country is known, at least the observant do see what benefits or harms, and discloseit to everybody, where there is freedom of the written word. Only then, can public deliberations besteered by truth and love for the fatherland, on whose common weal each and everyone depends. (From Thoughts on Civil Liberty)

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