24 February 2011

Built down from mutuality

"It is mutuality, not reciprocity, fellow-feeling, not calculation, which is both the motive and the reward for successful co-operation. And the outcome, in utilitarian terms, is not the important point: it is the process, the relationship, that matters. " (The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, 2009; page 147). 
Reciprocity is a mechanism for engendering and maintaining mutuality but the point is not the reciprocity, it is the mutuality. Civil society is based not on reciprocal aid but on mutual aid. 
To exercise autonomy is to be willing to suffer a loss for another from whom one has no expectation of being repaid. Autonomy is not the exercise of individual rights and personal interests, it is the exercise of collective rights and mutual interests. 
Autonomy is not built up from individuality; autonomy is built down from mutuality
Reciprocation gives shape to the mutuality by ratifying the mutuality. 

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