We need to remove free movement from the vicious circle of security

While freedoms, such as the principles of equality and non-discrimination, the presumption of innocence and respect for privacy, undoubtedly still exist, they have been relegated to the margins. A Post written by Didier Bigo and Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet, published on Open Democracy.

Freedom is that possession which permits the enjoyment of all other possessions”, wrote Montesquieu. Yet, today we are led to believe that the only way to enjoy personal safety within society, and guarantee our individual and collective freedoms, is through preventive security and reinforced controls. How have we arrived at a situation where our reasoning has been so thoroughly turned on its head that the movement of millions of people is now being brought into question in case it might – owing to the way it is organised and its great speed – lead either to the departure of combatants abroad (so called foreign fighters) or the entry of clandestine groups with violent intentions? How is it that, instead of regarding freedom as a principle on the basis of which state interference in terms of security needs to be limited, we have, like in a game of ‘Othello’, witnessed the development of a topsy-turvy rhetoric in which freedom has become nothing more than the limit-point of security, which has itself been redefined as a necessary and indeed vital level of suspicion? (read more on Open Democracy)

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