True. As I see it, self interest and social interest (cooperation and working together for the benefit of all) are at odds and balanced in most of us. The two spectra: self <—-> society and conservative <—-> liberal seem to overlap almost entirely. The strong conservative sees his/her moral responsibility as maximizing benefits for him/herself and assuring that none of his/her benefits go to others. The strong liberal sees his/her moral responsibility as maximizing benefits for all and all sharing those benefits fairly equally.
Not sure if I agree here, Occam. What you’re describing as a conservative here, sounds to me more like a libertarian. I imagine that conservatives are probably much more supportive within their own group(s) than the liberals or libertarians. The liberals, OTOH, feel the need to distribute their resources among a wider chunk of the population. I guess a libertarian would be the only one here who is unwilling to help others.
That’s a problem with trying to be succinct—one often doesn’t include sufficient qualifying conditions.
I don’t know what the libertarians you have there are like, but around here they are at the extreme conservative end of the spectrum. Self-interest does include the family and local group but definitely not society in general. The libertarians I know are extremely supportive of their extended families and their close groups, but they just don’t want to pay ANY taxes that would be used for the general welfare.