[ 4/Mar/21 ]
At every level of complexity, cooperation is required for survival.
The huge issue for cooperation is that naïve cooperation is always vulnerable to exploitation by cheating strategies, and thus requires sets (evolving ecosystems) of cheat detection and removal strategies if it is to survive.
States are a level of cooperation.
States without multiple levels of cheat detection and removal strategies are vulnerable to exploitation at multiple levels. So there are dangers in states, and if states have active and healthy cheat detection and removal systems, then they can be a necessary level of complexity for the evolution of higher levels of complexity.
And governments without multiple levels of such protective strategies can become the tools of predatory strategies and thence become the enemy of life and liberty.
If any of us value life and liberty, then we each necessarily have a responsibility to ensure cooperation at every level.
And at every level, liberty demands responsibility.
Every level of complexity, every level of structure, has necessary sets of boundaries required to maintain that level of structure.
At every level, liberty has to respect those boundaries in order to survive.
The more complex the systems, the more complex and context sensitive those boundaries become.
We know of nothing more complex in this universe than a human being!
Fundamental respect for individual life, and individual liberty (responsibly exercised) has to be foundational to any higher level of structure.
So at every level, we need responsibility.
It comes down to each and every one of us, acting responsibly in the particular contexts within which we find ourselves.
Laws and rules, at their best, can be a useful guide, and people and reality are always going to be more complex than any set of rules or laws could possibly have anticipated; and we are all likely to find ourselves in contexts where we know that responsibility demands more of us than the law requires.
Complexity can only survive in contexts where such responsibility exists.
So while some levels of structure can only be provided by coordinated cooperative activity, such coordination and cooperation can only survive if we as individuals are, to the best of our limited and fallible abilities, acting responsibly.
And it seems beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that we live in a reality where all information, all understandings, contain multiple levels of fundamental uncertainties; so all any of us really have is some sort of best guess at some level; so mistakes are inevitable, which will result in messes that need to be cleaned up, from time to time.
And if we all, each and every one of us, are doing our limited best to respect life and liberty, then we should all be able to survive, and all experience what we consider reasonable degrees of freedom.
Such a thing can never be the responsibility of any class of agent alone; it has to be the responsibility of all classes of self aware agents – to the best of our limited and fallible abilities.