Is there a 12-step program? I think, rather, the issue is one of capo use, or non-use, and the reasons for choosing either.The issue, of course, is not whether to use a capo or not, it should be the implications of capo dependence.
"Music" in the broader context, such as the interaction among musicians, some of whom seem to view capo use as an indication of musical inferiority. I'm sure, of course, none of us would imply that, right?However, as soon as people start talking about "OK", "shame" or "no shame", "accepted" or "not accepted", they are no longer talking about music. And when they start talking about strange, mandolin non-friendly, or even obnoxious keys, they are talking nonsense.
I guess my burning desire is to view others as fellow musicians, doing the best they can to make the music they love, and using a variety of strategies, equipment, and efforts to get to where they'd like to be. If that variety includes using a capo, that's a choice that's available. Emphasizing others' inabilities, poor choices, lack of technique or discipline -- talking down to them -- doesn't seem useful to me. It seems odd, sometimes, that this particular question -- what if any role capo use has in mandolin playing -- seems to call forth a certain haughtiness from those who choose not to use one. I seldom if ever put a capo on my mandolins, but I don't feel in any way superior to those who choose to do so.Unless you have a burning desire to view others as idiots...Some people set very modest goals for themselves and seek various means of minimizing their learning. Their limitiations will show...the numbing sameness in their playing....players who terrorize jams by insisting on the keys of G, A, B or C because they can play only G...
And, please, on any technical or didactical topic, never advise a beginner to do whatever it takes, whatever works for you, etc., because beginners as a rule are very poor judges of that. They may not even be clear about their goals.