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Natural Social Contract Annotations

Control, Adequate Control, Self-Mastery

The reader will only be able to understand the purpose and meaning of this annotation and its relationship to the Natural Social Contract (NSC), if s/he has first read the Introduction section of the NSC and its explanatory and elucidating annotation.

1) With respect to the Social Meta-Needs of Freemen, there are two essential aspects of Control. The first relates to the Entitlement of Control and the Benefit of such Entitlement for both the Possessor and/or Controller and, in turn, all other Freemen. The second relates to the potential for Responsible Harm to a Freeman who is not its Possessor or Controller by something which is not sufficiently Controlled1. The latter is the reason for the subcategory of Control that I have named Adequate Control. Other forms of Control may directly affect the personal welfare of the Possessor and/or Controller (ie. raise or lower hir Lifetime Happiness), but only lack of Adequate Control will result in any kind of Violation of or Duress to another Freeman and, therefore, affect the Social Meta-Needs.

2) Possession or Control even without Possession is the necessary precondition for causing Responsible Harm or Duress through lack of Adequate Control. Since the Act of Possession and Control is a Chosen Action, a lack of knowledge of how to Control a Material Existent does not absolve a Freeman Possessor and/or Controller of accountability for any Violation from hir lack of Adequate Control. However, to the extent the Possession or Control is not due to any Action of the Possessor and/or Controller, but instead is Effectively Caused by the Action of another Freeman, the former is not the Responsible Agent. A very clear example of this would be if some very strong person took hold of my arm and used it to beat against someone else. I would still be the Possessor of the arm (although at the time, s/he would also be the Possessor with respect to certain Attributes of the arm), but I would not have Control over certain Attributes of it. S/he would, in fact, be the one with that Control, and thus, s/he would be the Responsible Agent for any Harm that my arm did, not I. Another way of looking at this, is that with respect to the Event that occurred, my Choice of Available Actions played no part. Note that this is very different than if I am ordered at gunpoint to Perform an Act that will likely Harm someone else. In that case I can still Choose not to Perform the Act (and likely cause some Harm). Even though hir (pointer of the gun) Initiated Connection with me has Altered my Choice Estimations, not Performing the Act of possible Harm is still in my scope of Available Actions (I am still Free to not Perform the Action, even though the Alteration indicates that I may be Harmed by such a Choice). Therefore, if under such a Defendable Threat, I still Choose to take a Harmful Action, any Harm done would then be the result of an Event of Responsible Harm and I would be Responsible for full Restitution for the Harm done. However, I could, in turn, Charge the Freeman who placed me Under Duress to the extent that my Rational Action was still to Perform the Act which caused the Harm, and I would attempt to recover more than enough from my Duressor to pay my Restitution to the Freeman who my Action had Harmed.

3) Because all Existents have Self-Mastery to a certain extent (they are all more closely and directly Related to, in Possession of and in Control of their Internal Attributes than is any other Existent), the concept cannot be used as any kind of separating characteristic of Existents (ie. the concept of Self-Mastery does not allow Existents to be separated into mutually exclusive Categories, as some people have thought and attempted to do (myself included for a short while). Even so, there are degrees of Self-Mastery, which reaches its highest level with Freemen who, as a result, may be said to be Self-Masters. In this regard see also the I and Non-I.

1. The insufficient Control over something in one's Possession and/or under one's Control can also most certainly cause Harm to oneself, but that Harm is not, by definition, Responsible Harm and is not related to the Social Meta-Needs per se.