Re: Justice and Love
Jan 06, 1997 01:48 PM
by Tom Robertson
On Mon, 6 Jan 97, "Ann E. Bermingham" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> From: Tom Robertson <email@example.com>
>> . . . Too much cooperation destroys individual strength.
>I doubt that this planet has seen that phenomena since
>Man/Woman took that first step out of the garden.
>Too much cooperation . . . what a concept!
>Individual strength would be merged into the group to create
>group strength. Independent as a person, but the emphasis would be
>on group work.
>We'd be knocking each other out of the way to help each
>other and probablly be on our way to the next level of the game.
This reflects the unrealistic assumption that human beings are trustworthy.
The more people that are involved in a cooperative agreement, the more
likely it is that at least one individual will cheat on the agreement. And
it only takes one apple to spoil the whole pie, or, as Jesus said, "a
little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough." One cheater can wipe out
all the gains of many people involved in an agreement. The less that
people's results are connected to their own efforts, the less incentive
they have to act. The more that people trust each other, the more profit
there is in cheating, since it will not be expected, and the number of
cheaters will increase. The less that people trust each other, the less
profit there will be in cheating, and the number of cheaters will decrease.
There is an equilibrium level of cheating. Too much cooperation is when
people trust each other more than is justified, the inevitable result being
that losses due to cheating, compared to the benefits of the agreement, are
more than they would be at the optimal level.
"A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality."
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