Non-Coercion and Societal Scaling

The Problem of People

Peace is a precarious thing. Amid our varied goals, our barely reigned passions, and XX miscommunication, it is little wonder that even in the closest diadic relationships, in marriage, that ########.

Neither is it the case that conflicts naturally abate.

(proposal of living only among the most virtuous people, even that fails)

The problem of civilization seems at its face perhaps already doomed to failure.

(limitation of the consequences of conflict)

If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye.

  • Code of Hammurabi

From Aquinas:

This law, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” was enacted to repress the flames of mutual hate, and to be a check on their undisciplined spirits. For who when he would take revenge, was ever content to return just so much harm as he had received? Do we not see men who have suffered some trifling hurt, straightway plot murder, thirst for blood, and hardly find evil enough that they can do to their enemies for the satisfying their rage?

To this immeasured and cruel fury the Law puts bounds when it enacts a “lex talionis;” that is, that whatever wrong or hurt any man has done to another, he should suffer just the same in return. This is not to encourage but to check rage; for it does not rekindle what was extinguished, but hinders the flames already kindled from further spread. It enacts a just197 retaliation, properly due to him who has suffered the wrong.

  • Aquinas, Commentary on Matthew

Similarly, from Locke:

...self-love will bias men in favour of themselves and their friends. And on the other side, hostility, passion and revenge will lead them to punish others too severely. So nothing but confusion and disorder will follow, and that is why God has—as He certainly has—established government to restrain the partiality and violence of men.

  • Locke, Second Treatise on Government

The problem of conflict magnifies the more people gather together. With every newcomer to a group comes a host of new diadic relationship that might fail--a possibility of conflict between the newcomer and each person already in the group.

  • Zoroastrianism:

    Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.

    • Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29
  • Hillel:

    What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.

    • Hillel, Shabbath folio:31a, Babylonian Talmud
  • Thales:

    Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.

    • Thales
  • Confucius

    What I do not wish others to do unto me, I also wish not to do unto others.

    • Confucius, Analects 5.12 (Slingerland translation)
  • Locke:

    The state of nature is governed by a law that creates obligations for everyone. And reason, which is that law, teaches anyone who takes the trouble to consult it, that because we are all equal and independent, no-one ought to harm anyone else in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.

    • Locke, The Second Treatise on Government

The Golden Rule and the Duty of Care

  • Fr Zossima

    For know, dear ones, that every one of usis undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth,not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but eachone personally for all mankind and every individual man. Thisknowledge is the crown of life for the monk and for every man.For monks are not a special sort of men, but only what all menought to be. Only through that knowledge, our heart grows softwith infinite, universal, inexhaustible love. Then every one ofyou will have the power to win over the whole world by love andto wash away the sins of the world with your tears...

    • Father Zossima, The Brothers Karamazov

    " truth we are each responsible to all for all, it's only that men don't know this. If they knew it, the world would be a paradise at once."

    • Father Zossima, The Brothers Karamazov
  • Jesus

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    • Jesus, Matthew 7:12
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