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.
Roger Scruton wrote this in 1999, at the time of the war in Kosovo, and it applies well to today. A couple of quotes:
In effect, the war in Serbia is an exercise in sanitized aggression -- force without the risk of force, violence without tears, destruction from a place of safety. Not only is this cowardly: It is profoundly counter-productive, as we are beginning to see. Courage is a higher value than safety, and a life without risk diminishes the gift of freedom. And part of the value of courage over hesitation lies in the fact that it moves more decisively, more economically, and with less catastrophic destruction, to its goal. Courage is not just intrinsically admirable; it is also the most efficient means to achieve what we want.
It is not only in war that the liberal priorities are dangerous. The obsession with health is profoundly unhealthy, and the pursuit of safety unsafe. If we believe that the state is there to cushion us from misfortune, to compensate every loss and make up for every suffering, then we automatically relinquish control over our lives, while drastically narrowing the sphere of human action. Regulations of a mind-numbing complexity now govern activities, consumer products, and employment, with the aim of ensuring that the citizen can amble through a risk-free world, picking his pleasures from shelves loaded with packaged and sanitized products, waddling onwards in a state of moral obesity. As a result, the citizen lives longer than he might. But his life is less completely his own. We have suffered an enormous diminution in the value of human existence, because we have removed risk from the heart of it. It is only by staking your life, that you fully possess it.
The whole essay is fully Scrutonic. Read it. (h/t, Reader)