How a great empire may be reduced to a small one – Benjamin Franklin was truly ahead of his time.
Though the U.S is indisputably a world power, it is comparably in its infancy in terms of actual age to many countries around the world. As a result many varied interpretations of laws and legislation are still held and disputed over. In “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One” Benjamin Franklin puts forward a list of ways a great nation can contribute to its own destruction. According to this document the U.S is on its way to ruin through its intrusive unconstitutional policies and lavish spending among numerous other atrocities.
“However peaceable your colonies have submitted to your government, shown their affection to your interests, and patiently borne their grievances; you are suppose them always inclined to revolt, and treat them accordingly… By this means, like the husband who uses his wife ill from suspicion, you may in time convert your suspicion into realities” (Franklin, 466). This quote relates to the present day more than ever before in U.S History. The U.S has used the guise of defense and homeland security to not only utilize nationwide and multi-national phone and internet metadata collection but also to normalize and legalize the practice (XKeyscore). The United States seeks Edward Snowden for leaking such confidential government, and wishes to jail him if he is extradited by any country. Other countries however that Snowden has revealed the U.S has been spying on do not feel the same way. In fact recently the European Parliament named Snowden as a finalist for its human rights award, “The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.” The U.S government gets judicial approval for such spying through the FISA court, which since 9/11 has been criticized for rejecting very few requests and has been described as being a “rubber stamp”. “Possibly, indeed, some of them might still comfort themselves, and say, though we have no property, we have yet something left that is valuable; we have constitutional liberty, both of person and of conscience” (Franklin, 468). It seems obvious to me that slowly but surely our federal government is wearing down our constitutional liberties, so slyly that many aren’t noticing. Many nations have come out demanding an explanation as to why they are being spied on. Some of these countries include The United Kingdom, Brazil, and Germany. During the little time that this information has been leaked, Brazil officials have already canceled an important meeting to D.C. due to the revelation of U.S spying. The U.S is creating a sense of mistrust amongst its own people not to mention amongst key trade and defense partners, which may hurt the country in the long run (U.S).