Mar 22, 2020, 1:04 PM
Reciprocity functions as the explanation of the preservation of demonstrated interest, against which people will not retaliate.
Starting with reciprocity instead of the first principle of time, the utility of cooperation, the self defense of limiting yourself to reciprocity, and the offensive defense of your interests by demanding reciprocity starts with presumption (dependency, contingency).
Time > value of cooperation > incentive to cooperate > incentive to cheat > incentive to punish, restitute, prevent > incentive to preserve cooperation (reciprocity) > incentive to produce restitution, punishment, and prevention.
So, if we said reciprocity was the first principle we would be stuck with a contingency. But once we start with the necessity of time, proximity, cooperation, incentives, cheating, suppression of it, and work up from there, reciprocity is simply the logical and empirical means of obtaining the greatest rewards and the lowest costs outside of war etc. It provides universal decidability in matters of conflict.
But It cannot function as a via positiva. It’ is not a ‘good’. It is the means by which we prevent the bad. Good is anything else that is not bad. This means people adopt a normal distribution of behaviors and we seek to use the test of reciprocity to suppress the violators thereby preserving all the value of cooperation across the scale from the individual to the polity.
The problem arises when an unsupportable number of people in any market cannot survive by reciprocal means because they have noting to trade – not even labor – and therefore we have passed the limit of proportionality (reciprocity within the limits of proportionality.) It is no longer possible for these people to obtain ANY proportion of the returns on cooperation.
Traditionally that means ‘leave this market for another’ or ‘retreat from the market into subsistence farming’ or ‘retreat from the market into crime’. From which we cull criminals by prosecution and those on subsistence by starvation and disease. Government intervention no longer provides this selection pressure.
The current human training is to seek the via positiva moral claim as a demonstration of (in dominance order) fealty < loyalty < conformity < submission to the group.
Positives are easy because we only have to imitate them. Negatives are harder, because we are required to think (problem solve).
This is why we need multiple means of communicating across a population from high empathy low precision to limited empathy limited precision, to low or no empathy high precision. And it is the preservation of all THREE means that has made possible the western avoidance of monopoly by regression to the mean of the ability of the population.