This suggests that, at least in some regions, represents a change of direction away from liberty. Where Personal Freedom has declined, the key driver appears to be the growing intolerance towards immigrants and ethnic minorities, combined with increasing social pressure on practising religion. This reflects the heightened awareness of terrorism in the United States and Western Europe, the turmoil of war in Syria and Iraq and the refugee crisis, which has overwhelmed the MENA region and brought large numbers of migrants to Europe.
It also reflects economic anxiety and paucity of opportunity, which is frequently associated with hostility to immigration, as families and individuals seek to look after themselves and their loved ones first.
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The extent of hostility towards foreigners is revealed in polling. Other nations such as France and Greece have seen widespread protests against refugees and migrants, suggesting an environment that is less welcoming to immigrants and a society with questions to answer about how it accommodates this sentiment whilst meeting its humanitarian duty to refugees.
There is a sense that Personal Freedom is improving worldwide. Sadly, though, this is not mirrored in other pillars of the Index, most notably Safety and Security. Many countries, particularly in the West, may be willing to constrain Personal Freedom in exchange for better security, or at least, the impression of better security.
When the cultural integrity of a country becomes involved in anxiety around security, political responses can significantly erode freedom. There is some indication that this has happened in Western Europe and North America , where reduced satisfaction with current levels of freedom has been one of the drivers behind lower recorded Personal Freedom in countries such as France , Greece , the United Kingdom , and the United States.
It is also in these two regions that there is a correlation between declines in Safety and Security and Personal Freedom. There is some indication that this has happened in Western Europe and North America. This suggests that greater perceived exposure to geopolitical threats, either directly through terrorism in the case of France , the United Kingdom , and the United States or due to substantial refugee flows in the case of Greece , is linked with declining Personal Freedom. In practice this can take many forms, from legislation increasing surveillance passed in the United Kingdom , to debates about whether the government should be able to access encrypted communications in France and Germany.
This is the case in some parts of Western Europe, but is not universal; Cyprus was an exception, seeing the greatest gains in Personal Freedom in Western Europe this year, driven primarily by a reduction in the length of compulsory military service from 24 to 14 months.
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Despite these exceptions, the pattern we have seen elsewhere in Western Europe and North America would explain the reduced satisfaction with levels of freedom in these countries and reflects the tension governments face when balancing freedom and security. In an increasingly uncertain world, and with public opinion seeming to welcome more robust measures to combat terror, politicians will reach easily for measures that erode liberty. This may be the right approach, at least in the short term; but in the longer term, it risks eroding the foundations of prosperity. On the one hand, it is welcome that freedoms are being strengthened on the whole across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
It suggests that worldwide more people are able to live freely.
The fulfilment of this ideal is at the foundation of prosperity. However, as we have seen, geopolitical trends — of increased migration and increased insecurity — threaten the continued growth of Personal Freedom. There are no clear or easy answers, but how governments manage the trade-off between security and personal freedoms will have implications for prosperity for decades to come.
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The gap between the largest and smallest scores has been growing steadily since , and this year the gap is the largest it has ever been. Prosperity has grown over the last year to its highest ever point.
The Evolution of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
In the last five years, countries have improved their prosperity. In many respects the world….
The largest risers this year were Portugal and Cyprus, whereas Greece is the biggest faller. Read More. Protecting personal freedom in an insecure world. Growing intolerance In Eastern Europe , Personal Freedom has been in gradual decline over the past 10 years. Right to Life itself was less murky back then since they did not have machines that prolong life nor the prospect of clone replacements.
Abortion was not officially banned nor was it on the media radar. Oh, and radar had not even been invented. When you acknowledge that people have the right to life, does that mean that they also have the right to clean air, water and maybe a right to those things that sustain life? Are things which endanger your life such as disease, lack of food, and shelter to be dealt with because they threaten your life?
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness - Wikipedia
People had the liberty to own slaves. You were at liberty to partake of any substance you wanted in the form of drink, food, or chew or smoke. Have we evolved to lesser liberty in that regard? Third, what is the scope of the Pursuit of Happiness? What is happiness to be pursued? If the founding folks had the technology of today, what would be the thread on hashtag Liberty?
It does not say obtain nor was it overwhelmingly clear what nature of happiness they were talking about specifically.