I totally agree with the honesty remark. As to this being the mechanism for self-correction in transmission of the body of knowledge that is Aikido, I don't think it does the job because it absolutely depends on the student.
To my mind Judo, has more of the self correcting quality where the basic waza is laid down by the Kodokan and pretty much everything else is enforced by the competition rules. As long as the rules don't change the art will not change that much. When rules are modified, the practitioners will adjust to optimize their Judo with regards to the new rules.
This is just an example, I do not claim that adding competition to Aikido is the way to go.
So, if you believe that a subjective process of constantly examining your technique as you do it to see if it "feels" martially effective is insufficient for really knowing whether or not your Aikido is martially effective, how do you know that "Aikido is martially effective?" I'm still curious about that.