Reading a new book by Ben Wilson, 'Decency and Disorder', I came across this passage,
"William Frankland (The Whig MP for Thirsk) told parliament in 1811 that, "actions only slightly inconvenient to the community, ought not be the object of penal laws, but should be left to the controul of manners and morals". Policing the people might reduce crimes and allow the respectable to sleep soundly in their beds, but it would alter the national character, making the people servile and state oppressive. As it was, freedom fostered a, "lofty, fearless, independent spirit, the best fruit of our liberties, and the surest foundation of individual happiness, and of the nation's glory, prosperity and power".
Would that we had the courage to live our lives thus.