The aphorism "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" is heard in many variations. It has enough degrees of freedom to allow its use by conservatives, liberals and libertarians in various situations. It's usually stated without the important modifiers, "essential" and "a little," in order to make it more powerful. It is also almost always incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin. An implication of the dictum is that liberty and security are two adversaries in a zero sum game. I'd like to explore this concept.
First let's look at an individual as the system under consideration. If a pie chart represents the individual's liberty, we can examine two extreme cases and then those in between. If the entire pie is liberty, then the individual can do what he (or she) wants only subject to the laws of gravity, conservation of energy, biological limitations, etc. There is no one to impose any restrictions. This person in total liberty can eat what he wants to eat, go where he wants to go, and say what he wants to say. He also has no security. If the iiberty pie plate is virtually empty, the person is in bondage. The survival of the slave is totally dependent on the security provided by another.
Parenthetically, it's important to note that with respect to liberty, the terms "freedom of" and "freedom from" are totally different. For example "freedom of speech" indicates liberty to say what one will. On the other hand, "freedom from fear" indicates not liberty but security from undesired actions of others. In our pie chart, every slice of security requires the sacrifice of a slice of liberty, if this is a zero sum game. If one is a caveman, spending the night in a cave may provide security, but this comes at the sacrifice of the liberty to be wherever you will. In communal life, the security provided by traffic signals comes at the sacrifice of one's liberty to drive in whatever manner one wills. (I'm not going to escalate the examples to the level of federal government, since this would risk a partisan discussion.) Remember that I'm saying that liberty versus security is a zero sum game for an individual not averaged over society in general.
The next step is to consider two liberty-security pies representing two individuals interacting. The situation gets vastly more complicated, because new elements are added which can "eat up" liberty. Examples of such factors are conscience, responsibility and cooperation. The question in my mind is whether this is still a zero sum game.