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.
Somehow, the Lefties have managed to make people feel a bit guilty about pursuing self-interest. (Lefties, however, tend to be very good at making money for themselves. Everybody is concerned with their own interests.) Nevertheless, they advise folks to vote on their self-interest: to vote themselves benefits from other peoples' labor, risk-taking, and creativity.
That's the essential hypocrisy of Liberal-Leftism.
I do believe in service and duty: to God, family, country, and one's fellow man - in that order. A quote from Self-interest is bad? at Weekly Standard:
Oh, terrific. Now we have two of them--two presidential candidates, presumptive nominees of their respective parties, who insist they will not rest until they have inspired all of us stick-in-the-mud Americans to reach celestial heights of personal fulfillment by committing ourselves to a life of service. Service to what? Service to .??.??. something or other. The phrase that both John McCain and Barack Obama use is a "cause higher than yourself" or "greater than self" or alternatively a "cause greater than your own self-interest." Whatever the precise wording--for now, let's just use an unpronounceable acronym, CGTYOSI--we'll be hearing it a lot till November.
McCain grabbed it first, years ago. CGTYOSI appears in his first memoir, Faith of My Fathers. In fact, it's the theme of the book, dramatized by the story arc: McCain begins as an impetuous young midshipman resisting the Navy's attempts to "bend [him] to a cause greater than self-interest," and then endures harrowing adversity, rejects the shallowness of his earlier life, and embraces a CGTYOSI. As a candidate, McCain has fastened on the phrase as one of those prefab word-clumps that politicians automatically release when answering a question about this or that. He uses it constantly. "If you've remembered anything I've said," he often tells audiences, "please remember there's nothing nobler than serving a cause greater than your own self-interest." As McCain tells it, that cause is found in AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and other government agencies that pay people to volunteer.
I am sick of this kind of sanctimonious BS. I get paid to work towards justice. There is truth in all this stuff, but it becomes cloying quickly. After all, how many people really want your "help"? Very few. Plenty of folks want your money, though. Everybody wants that.
If you don't take good care of yourself and your family, what good can you possibly be to anybody else?
I have never felt bad about working to support my family in both the basics and luxuries of life.I was brought up in a strongly socialist city in England though which made my attitude rather rare.when my family is safe I can devote myself to other causes..using my money and time..not others...a difference socialists tend not to grasp.
I'm with you, Barrister. My husband and I have always supported ourselves, just as other self-respecting people ought to do. I refuse to be instructed in serving others by those younger and dumber than we are. I figured out well before I graduated from college in 1951 that "from each according to his abilities to each according to his need" was going to leave talented people on the short end of the stick, and lazy people lying back and peeling grapes while others did extra hours laboring in the vineyard.