Friday, December 7, 2012

Scientific American: The Gospel of Wealth Fails the Inequity Test in Primates

While this perspective ["survival of the fittest"] may be common among those primates who live in the concrete jungle of Wall Street, it doesn’t hold true for the natural world more generally.
Darwin understood that competition was an important factor in evolution, but it wasn’t the only factor. Cooperation, sympathy, and fairness were equally important features in his vision for the evolution of life. In The Descent of Man he wrote, “Those communities which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.”
By working cooperatively, by sharing resources fairly, and by ensuring that all members of society benefited, Darwin argued that early human societies would be more “fit” than those societies where members only cared about themselves.
Scientific American
The Gospel of Wealth Fails the Inequity Test in Primates
Eric Michael Johnson
(h/t Mark Thoma at Economist's View)

3 comments:

Malmo's Ghost said...

Terrific article.

Cooperation equals propagation of the species. It was the hundreds of thousands of years of pre civilized cooperation that helped get us to where we are today (Hobbes was wrong about the pre civilized condition, btw). We would do well to mimic all the best of that cooperation in the so called sophisticated modern world if we are to maximize sound natural and human ecology going forward too.

frlbane said...

Fairness? Credit is the creation of new, temporary money. But where does the purchasing power for that new money come from? And who gets to borrow it? And who pays the lowest interest rates for that stolen purchasing power?

It all goes back to credit creation - the means by which the rich and other so-called "creditworthies"and the banks themselves are allowed to steal or at best borrow without genuine permission or adequate compensation the purchasing power of the entire population including and especially from the poor.

Matt Franko said...

Ive heard people who have 2 dogs tell if each dog has it's own dish and the owner puts food in just one bowl that dog will wait to see if the other dog gets food in it's bowl before it will proceed to eat.... interesting.... rsp,