May 11, 2007 - 0 Comments

"The English were well known for their disposition to provide help in emergencies. This disposition went to the heart of their conception of society, as a duty-bound relation between strangers. Their charitable behaviour was a way of emphasizing that strangers are just as important as friends -- because all of us, in the end, are nobodies. By devoting yourself to the distressed stranger you make it clear that you too are a stranger in this world. You reaffirm the distance between yourself and others, by showing that the motive that binds you to society is one of impartial justice and objective duty. The charitable relief of strangers was simply another aspect of English reserve."

- Roger Scruton, England, an Elegy, 2006.


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