The Function And Limits Of Moral “Authority”

(important piece) (*read this*)

– Authority (via positiva) vs Decidability (via negativa). –

Judges employ the via negativa of decidability in matters of tort for the simple reason that all reciprocity is decidable. The difference between individuals, groups, and nations, is in the scope of investments one is prohibited from imposing a cost against, thereby ‘authorizing’ decidability by reciprocity under tort.

Now some groups use high investments in commons and demand high trust reciprocity, and some groups use low investments in commons and demand only low trust reciprocity. Some groups have been through the geographic, cultural, and genetic grinders of agrarianism, holding territory from competitors, and incrementally developing fixed capital, and incrementally expanding the trust network necessary for the production of advanced goods. And some cultures are either one generation removed from pastoralists, or transitioned directly from pastoralists to urbanites. In those cases we see low trust, low investment in commons, narrower definitions of investments (‘interests’), and narrower if not nearly non existent ethics.

So for more culturally advanced peoples (higher trust, greater prohibitions on cost imposition and opportunity seizure, land holding, formal institutions of military, judiciary, government, treasury, technology, science, craftsmanship, industry), and for more genetically advanced peoples (production of neoteny, and reduction of the scale of the ‘cost imposing’ classes through reproductive constraint under manorialism), the scope of decidability in matters of tort (violations of reciprocity against the scope of investments) is greater than the imposition of costs cultural, habitual, imaginable, or tolerable for less developed peoples.

The only thing interesting about this rather banal bit of empirical social science, is that women in every culture lag their men, and prefer to expand consumption and reverse neoteny, rather than accumulate such territorial capital by the prevention of consumption. And this fact is yet another expression of the difference between between the female reproductive strategy, and the male reproductive strategy. And another expression of the pre-developed people’s free riding on the land, and the advanced people’s productivity.

So when one says he exercises “Authority”, in the prohibition of, or restitution for, theft, damage, parasitism, and free riding – he exercises universal justice (via negativa decidability) regardless of individual or social group, by the defense of property.

When one says ‘authority’ in the via positiva construction of legislation or regulation, or enforcement of law, regulation and legislation, that prohibits imposition of costs against the investments made by others, he in fact acts morally – period. Just as when one imposes costs against investments made by others by action, regulation, or legislation, or command, then one acts immorally. Because that is the meaning of ‘moral’: reciprocity.

This is a terribly uncomfortable truth.

Becauses it provides an empirical measure of our contributions to society and therefore demonstrates our inequality of value, as well as the inequality of our groups and nations.

And it’s unassailable.

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