We are only ‘voluntarily cooperating’ if we have a choice to cooperate or not. We use the term ‘cooperate’, originating with human voluntary cooperation, and by analogy apply it to other creatures who simulate voluntary cooperation. But, how many of those creatures voluntarily cooperate, and how many of them only appear to, and possess no sentience (volition) at all? What is required of for voluntary cooperation?
– The capacity for shared intent.
– The capacity to determine if shared intent is beneficial or not.
– The capacity to choose to invest in that shared intent or not.
– The capacity to signal consent to shared intent.
– The capacity to punish defectors / cheaters, whether by refusal of future cooperation, punishment, or death.
So while it is true that verbal language is not required, signaling is. And that’s enough.
As far as I know, if you cannot choose, consent, and punish defectors then its not voluntary cooperation.
The Propertarian Institute