It turned out that her objection wasn’t theoretical or empirical; it was social. And I had been previously (marginally) acceptable in her family in part because I was even more progressive than her family. To me I had thought that our relationship was not built on a particular shared belief, but on a process of continual truth-seeking.
But now I was voicing positions (e.g., peaceful, consensual, voluntary interactions between all humans) that she knew that her family, and most of our friends, would think were per se evil. My multi month exploration had been actually exciting to me in that I was identifying and eradicating inconsistencies in my thinking and in my ethics, and coming up with a kinder, gentler approach for human beings to live with one another in peace, one with much more promise to create a more prosperous and joyous world.
I have to think that we both believe my mate’s stage-four-cancer-suffering uncle should be allowed to stop working now, and spend his last months with his wife and not laying brick. His grandfather fled Nazi Germany with a hidden sewing machine, then arrived in Newcastle with no English, no money and no property. My parents were academics and bookish, more like my other half.
The uneasy truce we eventually formed was that I did not require her to investigate her beliefs, and she would kick me under the table when I went overlong on libertarian philosophy with our progressive associates.
I would return to the office the next morning, code for a few hours and eventually we’d be back at one another again, and I’d have a new encounter to share with my fiancée.
My workmate and I were both slowly changing our positions — but cumulatively changing them quite a bit — towards a unified Live and Let Live approach, an unusual political position that I would only much later learn was libertarianism.
How can you support a party that will watch children fish food banks while vast corporations contribute nothing to the state?
How on earth can you loathe thuggishness, then vote for a former member of the Bullingdon Club?! I need to know the man I love thinks the very old and frail lady next door deserved the home help she was denied in the months before her death.
The Ultimatum My fiancée’s position though was not changing.