I want to apologize for that last post. I understand that I sound humorless -- sometimes I wonder if I'm a little autistic. But I want to earnestly proclaim that the apparently self-indulgent passage where I listed my reading accomplishments, a section that almost certainly sounded to my readers like an effort to squelch disagreement, was motivated by a keen awareness of the fact that my audience is a) super-educated b) a liberal arts crowd c) 90%+ "liberal/progressive."
So the important point is this: what my audience takes for "common sense" does not seem common sense to me -- and, as I tried to make clear, that's not because I'm a superstitious, undereducated, God-fearing NASCAR fan (no offense, neighbors).
If it seems common-sense to most of my peers that laissez-faire reforms could not work now because of the widespread inequality of wealth and property, that's not good enough for me. And if a certain "sense" isn't shared, then it isn't "common." If we can't agree on common sense, we need to start over with the discourse... to make everything explicit, to account for our convictions and conclusions, to explain our epistemologies and metaphysical assumptions, and to justify our claims about the "nature" of humankind.
Anyway, thanks for putting up with my disagreeable attitude.