Steroid wrote:If I've made my positions out to be lofty or noble, I have done so in error. They're not. They're simply useful positions for me to take. Giving them names only helps to understand how I reach them. Both a libertarian and a plutocrat might want lower taxes. I think that it's better to say why I want them.
This is why I think that we have so much trouble understanding each other. I don't read your positions as being universal. I think they're your positions, that you want me to feel the consequences of. Conversely, you see mine as universal, when they're not.
Truth be told, if I thought your positions were universal I'd be absolutely terrified of the world we live in. What I am bothered by is that you are applying labels to yourself that are not accurate to you at all. It makes it very difficult to discuss with someone when there's a huge disconnect between one statement ("I care about rights") and another statement ("I don't care about these people's rights"). It's OK to not be a libertarian (I'm not one!) and it's OK to not have a simple catch-all for your beliefs (I don't have one! Though I guess "liberal" is a semi-accurate approximation. Sorta.), but that doesn't mean you should use the label of a group that you're willing to use to further your own, separate, beliefs.
The whole thing could have been avoided by not insisting that you're a libertarian -- it's not an accurate description of your belief system (which, again, is fine -- though I do think I disagree with nearly every part of that system itself), even as a semi-accurate approximation. Your belief system is more accurately described as self-interest than as libertarianism. You're willing to use libertarianism to further your self-interest, but that doesn't mean your beliefs are libertarian. You can't see the rights of others as insignificantly as you do and be a libertarian.
Steroid wrote:I'm glad you brought up the monkey sphere. When I read about that, I thought, "This applies to me," and rather than assume that I am flawed because of it, took it as a good way of understanding myself.
The interesting thing about the monkey-sphere is it's supposed to apply to everyone. If I recall correctly, it's also believed to explain why people care so much about celebrities -- they act as a common point of the spheres of individuals, allow for an easier interaction. It also explains why we're more able to concern ourselves with atrocities in Eastern Europe or North Africa than we are with those in sub-Saharan Africa: the people in one set are less "points" further from our own sphere than the people in another set.