RE: [lpsf-discuss] Mental frameworks [was: Two systems of voting]

Great post, Mike. You're way ahead of most libertarians, I'm afraid, in terms of the need to approach people from their own frameworks. David Bergland did some helpful work along these lines with his promotion of Kiersey and Bates' _Please Understand Me_.

I'm not sure self-interest, at least narrowly conceived, lies at the base of most liberals' advocacy of socialism. First, that's just the way they were socialized, and that's what all their friends believe, and most people never depart fundamentally from the belief systems they were brought up with. But more fundamentally, I think what underlies both liberalism and conservatism is people's sense of themselves as good people. For liberals, a good person is one who believes in fairness--which they interpret as roughly equal holdings--and who isn't greedy or selfish. (There's obviously some tension between these two ideals, since the first commits them to a strong valuation of material goods. Disparities in holdings aren't something they can shrug off, as they might if material goods really weren't all that important.) For conservatives, of course, virtue isn't defined so much in terms of public or social values like sharing as it is individual or private values like abstemiousness. For both, what makes their frameworks coercive is the value of justice, which we all share. In their case, what that means is that, if I'm going to be deprived (paying taxes for welfare, forgoing the pleasures of sex and drugs), then everybody else has to, too, just to be be fair.

Acree, Michael wrote:

Great post, Mike. You're way ahead of most libertarians, I'm afraid, in terms of the need to approach people from their own frameworks. David Bergland did some helpful work along these lines with his promotion of Kiersey and Bates' _Please Understand Me_.

I'm not sure self-interest, at least narrowly conceived, lies at the base of most liberals' advocacy of socialism.

You are right. No one is perfect. :wink: Some people act against their own interests for reasons like you describe:

First, that's just the way they were socialized, and that's what all their friends believe, and most people never depart fundamentally from the belief systems they were brought up with.

True.

But more fundamentally, I think what underlies both liberalism and conservatism is people's sense of themselves as good people.

I think you are on to something. I think this is definately true. And I think "good" in this sense refers to good to society at large..... which is again IMHO self-interest, because the more friends you have, the more support you have, the bigger your market is, etc.

For liberals, a good person is one who believes in fairness--which they interpret as roughly equal holdings--and who isn't greedy or selfish. (There's obviously some tension between these two ideals, since the first commits them to a strong valuation of material goods.

Disparities in holdings aren't something they can shrug off, as they might if material goods really weren't all that important.)

Interesting and subtle! This should allow for some means of exposing their two-sidedness. I wonder how to word it...

For conservatives, of course, virtue isn't defined so much in terms of public or social values like sharing as it is individual or private values like abstemiousness. For both, what makes their frameworks coercive is the value of justice, which we all share. In their case, what that means is that, if I'm going to be deprived (paying taxes for welfare, forgoing the pleasures of sex and drugs), then everybody else has to, too, just to be be fair.

I think that sums it up neatly.

-Mike