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Simcountry is an Online Digital World where you are the President of a country.
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US - 44th President (White Giant)

Simcountry: Simcountry Bulletin Board  US - 44th President (White Giant)

Zetetic Elench dam Kahveh (Golden Rainbow)

Saturday, August 16, 2008 - 06:30 pm Click here to edit this post
Veritas: We have three hundred million Americans all providing some measure of their well being toward the promotion of the welfare of the lower class. Please give me an applicable analogy in some other species, where members of the species occupying an area the size of the surface of the moon provide welfare for other members thousands of miles away. Point is, you can't, and that is why the question is valid.

The genes for altruism do not just 'switch off' because we are able to communicate and interact with people thousands of miles away. They are still active and will contribute to the provision of welfare for all, even though it might not benefit the individual.

As you seem to have missed my point, I'll argue it from a slightly different angle; that of Reciprocal Altruism. This is the idea that "if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". This theory was introduced by Robert Trivers and can be expressed in mathematics using game theory. In other words, if you pay into some sort of national insurance scheme, you benefit others but will be able to draw on that support if you fall on bad times yourself.

Combined with an element of reputation, it is also the basis of bartering which, by extension to modern times to include the exchange of tokens (money), is the basis of economics. You aren't (or shouldn't) lend money to someone who is considered a credit risk, but you might to someone who has a good reputation (credit rating) that may pay you back with interest later on.

None of this requires you to know the other people, but you can still benefit from altruistic behaviour.

It's far easier to detest government and socialism when you're not in the middle of a city, surrounded by people and their problems. If all you worry about is you, your family, and a few other people, you can see why socialism is a shitty ideology for you. You lose money to help people you don't want to help.

I haven't claimed that socialism is perfect for all situations. However, there are few 'frontiers' left now. If you want to live in some sort of semi-anarchistic lawless society, that is your choice (though it might be hard to find one - the Wild West is dead); just because it doesn't work at the Frontier, doesn't mean it can't work in cities and in society in general.

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