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.
John Kekes refreshes our memory of The Terror of the French Revolution, for which the ends justified the means. One quote:
...in declaring his aim to be a society in which “the immortal principles of equality, justice and reason” would prevail, Robespierre simply dropped liberty and fraternity, substituting whatever he regarded as justice and reason. The justification of the massacres was that those killed were enemies of the republic, counterrevolutionaries who had conspired against that equality, justice, and reason whose realization would “establish the felicity of perhaps the entire human race.” The pivot on which all turned was those principles of equality, justice, and reason, which Robespierre spelled out in a declaration that formed the basis of the Constitution of 1793. Some extracts: “Article 1. The object of every political association is to safeguard the natural and imprescriptible rights of men.” “Article 3. . . . rights belong equally to all men, whatever their physical and moral differences.” “Article 4. Freedom is the right of every man to exercise all his faculties at will. Its rule is justice, its limits are the rights of others, its source is nature, its guarantee is the law.” “Article 6. Any law which violates the imprescriptible rights of man is essentially unjust and tyrannical.”
How did Robespierre actually interpret these principles? He said: “[W]e must exterminate all our enemies with the law in our hands”; “the Declaration of Rights offers no safeguard to conspirators”; “the suspicions of enlightened patriotism might offer a better guide than formal rules of evidence.” Commenting on an execution, he said: “Even if he had been innocent he had to be condemned if his death could be useful.” In a letter advising the Revolutionary Tribunal, he wrote: “People are always telling judges to take care to save the innocent; I tell them . . . to beware of saving the guilty.”
Read it all and remember. The guy was a creepy loser. Whenever you hear "equality, justice and reason," run for the hills. It means they want to kill you: it is "rational." If someone says "freedom from the state," - go there: it means they respect the human heart and soul. As much as I like Norm Geras, I would not want to be a serf or slave on his socialist plantation. It would be soul-destroying, and could turn me into a lazy, undignified, working-the-system bum, like the blue-eyed hedonistic jerks in Sweden or the brown-eyed infants in France.