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the boundaries of "our" society



Dear Sanjeev:

I'll wait to hear from you about the particular draft I proposed, but in 
the meantime, here is quick rejoinder to the few notions you did bring 
up. 

> While not denying the role of govt. in many economic/ social welfare
> activities, I would like us to emphasise the FUNDAMENTAL COMPACT of
> security from agression of other human beings. I DO NOT need
> government to protect me from other animals like tigers or snakes. I
> need government to protect me ONLY from one animal: OTHER human
> beings.

Still, this government is little more than a representative gathering of 
the very animals from whom you seek protection! I will grant you that a 
certain adverserial nature arises out of elementary notions of competing 
for resources and comfort. But almost any theory of kin selection 
amongst genes and individuals now accepts that many species find 
cooperation to be completely compatible with competition. My take has so 
far been that whereas you prefer a social structure that emphasizes 
individuality, much in a constructive society must give it up in some 
measure. Even the very simplest construct, like say, division of labor, 
incorporates a compromise of individuality in favor of the collective 
interest, including for safety.

> If you look at the genetic makeup of human beings, nothing says that
> a person has an "Indian" gene or a Bangladeshi gene. That is what I
> meant by the first opening line. Political boundaries are
> ever-shifting.

And yet lions live in prides that don't mix, and ant colonies actually 
make slaves of others! Individual predators even mark their territories. 
And we are on a forum called India Policy. I cannot ask this any more 
simply - who is outside the society we wish to create? If even one 
person, on what basis? If no one, why is elevating India a purpose of 
this forum?

Tomorrow, then.

Ash

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