15 May 2011

Insurance pools

When hunters and gatherers shared their catch or their kill with each other they were doing it not as an act of generosity so much as a form of insurance. 
The sharing of food production at the communal level does not elicit gratitude to those who do the sharing because the understanding is next time someone else will be lucky. Participation in the pool of insurance is not so much a matter of reciprocal gift exchange as it is a signal of membership in a people. 
Insurance pools is how we handle differential allocations of fortune rather than how we allocate the fruits of individual productivity. To the extent differential levels of productivity come into play, those differentials are managed in the political system through praise and by the conferrings of dignity and social status rather than through differential apportionments of wealth. 
The only member who is rewarded for His actions in matters of fortune is God, Who is understood to be the master of fortune. 

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