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March 15, 2015

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A huge problem is that we use the same labels for political views and personality traits.

A person with a conservative personality trait is hesitant to engage in large scale upheaval in their life, and would prefer to make incremental changes. They often suspect that the radical changes proposed by people who are less conservative don't properly weigh the chance of failure or of serious side effects.

Someone with a more progressive personality trait is willing to experiment with fairly large changes in the hope that things will get a lot better.

I tend to think that people with each personality trait should try to hang out with people from the other personality trait to get a good balance.

Unfortunately the personality traits don't map well onto our political system, but we use the terms as if they did. Then we slip back and forth between the meanings as if they weren't different things.

A recent poll found that 2% of the US population (claim to) consider a zombie apocalypse the likeliest 'end of the world' scenario. The most popular choices are nuclear war, climate change and Judgement Day though (with clear differences following political inclination).

"Brett, do you suppose it started that way because the Nazis were actually socialists?"

Well, sure. A different flavor of socialism, to be sure, but still socialists.

Modern socialists like to deny this, because Fascism managed to get such a bad reputation. Deservedly so, but the Communists don't deserve any better rep, and the socialists don't usually treat them as unclean.

"There are people *on this blog* who believe freedom of association ought to trump laws against racial discrimination in housing and/or providing other goods and services."

Yup. Let me ask you a question: Do you think there ought to be enforceable mandates that you befriend people on a race neutral basis? Date on a race neutral basis? Maybe even marry without regard to race?

Pretty much everybody believes that, at SOME point, people have to be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race. (Which is not at all the same thing as thinking they ought to!) It's a question of where you draw that line.

I draw that line at the government/private sector divide, because the government doesn't give you any choice about whether to deal with them, so it ought not have any right to engage in arbitrary discrimination among those people.

In the private sector, you've got that choice whether to deal with somebody, so you've got the right to make your own choices.

And you probably believe that, too. Or maybe you think that people who refuse to eat in restaurants run by the 'wrong' race ought to be subject to legal penalties?

The legal system goes to town on the diner that won't seat a black, but completely ignores the black who won't sit in a diner. I don't see the logic in that. The customer has rights, but the businessman doesn't? Fie on that.

Then, of course, there's the actual language of the 14th amendment. "No State" this, "No State" that.

Do I look like a state to you?

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