Hi all, hope everyone is keeping well. I’ve been thinking a bit more about reciprocity, the give and take in society and what I mean bit and full reciprocity. Reciprocity describes the mutual advantage between parties, in terms of individual interactions such as buying something or providing a service. In exchange for a good or service we exchange money, this is to our mutual advantage. Everyone gets something of value. This is what I call bit reciprocity, bit reciprocity will always be around at some level. Such as doing each other favours. However, in terms of society at large it is the dominant system of exchange. That being in bits, it is problematic in my view. It leads to poverty and allows poverty to be maintained, all be it—it shrinks at times it will always increase again. So, in my view bit reciprocity is unstable.
Bit reciprocity places value I think in the means of exchange, rather than in the means or inherent value of people. That I think describes best the social materialistic value system. Social materialism posits that a person can only exists as an interaction with the world. So namely a person exists only in transaction with the world, which I guess is true to an extent. However, it is not the whole story. The problem with bit reciprocity is that its disparic, that is leading to disparity. Disparity being the fact or condition of being unequal. So it is that it is unfair in the grand social sense, though conventual wisdom suggest, it is fair to get cash value or a promissory notes in exchange for goods and services. It is understood and is the norm that this is the case. I think this bit reciprocity is the product of an uncivilised or relatively primitive or young social order. While it still may be the case that it was useful and pragmatic, it may not (I don’t think it dose) remain to the case for the future.
Full reciprocity on the other hand would be a social system without the materialist value of money, where individuals give and take in the world without monetary barter value-based systems. It necessarily would work on or under the condition of a social contract, it would have to be understood and valued that each individual of working age and after study– works or contributes to society to exchange for other goods and services as well as care in older age and ill health. (With the understanding that those in ill health and disability are cared for in society) Thus, the promise of goods and services in return for goods and services would be inherent in the social contract not regulated by promissory notes. Ergo not on the condition of monetary wealth, as it is (already) understood not everyone is equally capable and some are disadvantaged by nature. Hence the disparic nature of bit reciprocity. It is that we are or should be aiming for an equitable society.
There would be many issues to solve within a system of full reciprocity, such as property rights. However, provide that the individual in society remains sovereign– with the notions of libertarianism and individuality, these issues should be able to be resolved. The rights of individuals should always be paramount to any social order in my view, part of that right is the right to own property and decide what is done with one’s own property especially after death and with resources. I’m not saying this will lead to a perfect society, but that it would lead to a society that is bit better to live in. Something that is more equitable, fairer to everyone and allows disadvantaged people to live a good quality of life without being a burden. That gives every child and person equal and fair opportunities to succeed in the world. The areas that would benefit most from a system of full reciprocity are, education, healthcare, social care, infrastructure as well as farming and agriculture. Thus, education would improve and not be restricted by wealth. As well as getting enough food and nutrition to all children and adults. Farmers too would get a better deal for their labour.
Another area that would be difficult to work through is the regulation of implementing ideas, currently money place a good and practical role in preventing bad ideas form using up resources. Resource sharing and access in general, would be a very difficult problem to overcome. It would be very easy to fall into massive communist autocracy that regulates such things, with application processes decided by a bureaucracy. Ownership of such resources as well would be a massive problem, such things in a system of full reciprocity would seem too necessarily be state owned. A more collectivist system seems to be necessary in such areas as resources, though I’m not convinced of that. I believe with the understanding it would have to be understood and valued that each individual of working age and after study– works or contributes to society to exchange for other goods and services. That would extend to landowners of resources, that ownership would in some sense be grandfathered in. In cases of new ownership I’m not sure how the acquisition of land would work. Some state intervention I think would be pragmatic and inevitable, though that’s not anything new nor dose it have to be so collectivist that it infringes individual liberties and rights of ownership.
So, clearly there seems to be contradiction in my values of libertarianism and individualism and I think in how we view such things under the standing paradigm, however if universal basic income is the road we are headed down. Why not have full reciprocity instead? Perhaps universal basic income is a stage we have move through before we get to the conclusion, the understandings and language necessary to have full reciprocity. Clearly, I don’t have all the answers! I just have a feeling we could have something better than we have, that this bit reciprocity system we have might not be the only system that works and might not be the best working system. I think we are very limited, limited by our current paradigm and language. I don’t live under the delusion that anything like this will happen within my lifetime or nor any time in the next hundred or so year, I do think it is where we are headed in the long run. That being the case we have to start thinking how we can achieve such a thing as full reciprocity that has primary to its values, individual liberty at its core. We have to start thinking about how to make it work without causing a such catastrophes that mar socialist and communist revolutions and takeovers. It will take better thinkers and more minds than just mine to resolve. we cant stay in these tribalistic divisions of left and right.
This is just my thoughts and how I feel about it all, so thank you everyone for taking the time to read my ramblings. Stay well all.