We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...as we were speaking, I realized that my friend had wandered into a collectivist view of the value of a life. His value of liberty was not completely based on the principle of individual rights. Because if his values were firmly rooted there, he would realize immediately that the value of a life is not based on how useful to society, or how precious that person is to another.
That friend is a victim of pernicious Utilitarianism - John Dewey's contribution to the totalitarianism of the Left. "The greater good" and all that soul-crushing stuff.
There is no greater earthly good than individual freedom.
"For an Emersonian, the [pragmatist] Deweyan is likely to seem like an enlightened child, toying with the means of destruction, stinting the means of instruction, of provoking the self to work; for the Deweyan, the Emersonian is apt to look, at best, like a Deweyan...For Dewey the texture of the philosophical text barely exists, except as superstition and resistance to social change."