In this podcast, Alex Voorhoeve points out that one important problem with inequality is that it gives one person power over another. The problem isn't just that you are rich and I am poor, but that as a result of this, you can fuck with me. I do more than resent your success, I fear for my safety.
Over the last few years, I've grown into the habit of thinking of the moral emotions in terms of Haidt's five fold system, and as a part of this, I thought of all issues of equality and all sorts of Rawlsian concerns as matters of fairness. If one person is rich and one is poor, this is a problem for the "fairness/reciprocity" set of instincts which liberals recognize. But a lot of times that's not the problem. The problem is with the authority/hierarchy instincts. These are instincts that conservatives think of as moral, but liberals are indifferent to. Conservatives believe that obedience and dereference to your betters are good, while liberals think that all urges toward obedience are irrational and should be expelled.
So here's my big revelation: the authority/hierarchy instincts are not just amoral. They are immoral. They aren't just irrelevant for moral thinking. They systematically lead us astray.
If this is right, it is big. The typical liberal critique of the conservative moral emotions is that they are prejudices. The big example here are the moral emotions associated with purity and sanctity, which include the feelings of disgust we have at people whose sexual practices violate our rules. Liberals tend to reject these instincts, which is all well and good when it comes to accepting gays, but is harder to when it comes to rejecting instincts against incest.
Personally, I do accept the moral importance of some purity instincts, including the instinct against incest. But I want to go farther than simply rejecting the moral importance of the authority/hierarchy instinct. It is not just mistaken. It is systematically the opposite of true.
Ok, now I've written that. I'll see if I believe it in the morning.