THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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New home, new banner, new battles

Lost wisdom

Libertarians, no matter how they may conduct themselves in private, are subjected to the blanket accusation of selfishness by their political opponents. Now-conventional thinking contrasts them unfavourably with left-liberals who "care" so very noisily when there is anyone about to take note. On this subject, in De Profundis, Oscar Wilde offered this interesting observation:-

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes them to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognises infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one's neighbour that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he?

Quite. Nominations in the comments section please for the most selfish person in Britain judged by this wise standard*.

*Not Harriet Harman, please. There is nothing more tedious than the obvious.