WHAT DOES STATE OF NATURE MEAN?
—“Curt, is “the state of nature” purely allegorical?”–Ryan Michael McDonald @ryanmcdonaldusa
It’s a reference to a presumption human instinctual incentives, and long-standing debate over human nature as moral, amoral, or immoral. The debate is over. Man is amoral (practical). Cooperation is just far more useful (and less stressful)- until conflict, violence, warfare is more useful.
That said, what natural conditions? Given stone, bronze, iron, or steel? On an island, a forest, a plain, or mountains? In the arctic, the temperate, the steppe, or desert? Alone, in a band, a tribe, a nation, or an empire? In the presence of kin, kith, competitors, or enemies?
By asking these questions we expose the bias, presumption, assumption (lie), of others. In my understanding, state of nature means what is necessary to survive at the least risk, lowest cost, greatest return, shortest time, greatest certainty.
ie: it’s all just physics. That is ‘nature’. Reciprocity is the only test of whether when humans act (interact) that we are not engaging in parasitism – a violation of physical laws.
Man is amoral. Even when moral, only as immoral as he can get away wit. Because that’s the cheapest (optimum) strategy. It’s called “efficiency”.
Western man simply suppressed as many parasitisms and falsehoods as possible.