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.
by Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu, 1725. It begins:
The difference between great nations and savage peoples is that the former have applied themselves to the arts and sciences, while the latter have totally neglected them. Perhaps most nations owe their existence to the knowledge that the arts and sciences provide. If we had the mores of the American savages, two or three European nations would soon devour all the others; and then perhaps some people conquering our world would boast, like the Iroquois, of having devoured seventy nations.
But leaving aside savage peoples, if a Descartes had come to Mexico or Peru one hundred years before Cortez and Pizarro, and if he had taught these peoples that men, composed as they are, are not able to be immortal; that the springs of their machine, as those of all machines, wear out; that the effects of nature are only a consequence of the laws and communications of movement, then Cortez, with a handful of men, would never have destroyed the empire of Mexico, nor Pizarro that of Peru.