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Freedom and friendship

In response to the recent horrific bombing in Iraq, I described (below) the kind of community that freedom needed to survive. I mentioned that the OED says that the words for free and friend have the same root, a word which means 'dear'. Because you are dear to me, you are "not in bondage" to me.

The (newly named) Science Timeline shows how important it was to Brits to be practical and experimental. The Liberty Timeline reveals that the development of freedom and representative government was also a practical enterprise. It was a centuries-long attempt to establish the optimal conditions for human happiness and success. (Not, of course, that everyone takes advantage of these conditions or refrains from exploiting them to the detriment of others.)

I like to think that centuries ago the British people were also moving toward freedom because they had friends, people they knew and trusted, and could work with them for something they all wanted and loved.

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