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What a wonderful finding!

Two rival theories have been put forward as to why: one suggests that we\’re fair to strangers because we mistakenly treat them like kin, the other that social conditioning makes us this way. In a recent edition of the journal Science, new evidence is presented that comes down solidly on the side of social conditioning. The researchers found that people who live in small groups and who grow or catch most of their own food don\’t really care that much whether they\’re fair or unfair to strangers, or whether a stranger is punished for being unfair. But people who trade for a larger percentage of their daily food and therefore live in more integrated, larger social groups, are much more likely to be fair to strangers.

So, imagine you were the sort of airey fairey lefty who thinks that the world would be a much better place if we all just trusted each other a little more. If we were nice to strangers, picked up a little more of that heavy burden of caring for all humanity rather than just the selfish regard for just ourselves and our kith and kin.

You know, a bit more agape in the social mix?

So what should be your recommendation for the economic base of the society? Should you be arguing, as such airey fairey lefties do, that we should be more self-sufficient? That we should grow our own food, produce our own energy, knit lentils by tofu light?

Actually, no, you shouldn\’t. You should be arguing that as much as possible, just about anything and everything, should be done via market production rather than household production. For it is the interaction with other people that makes us more fair, that makes us trust others more, leads us to consider the interests of strangers.

Thus there is an entirely moral case (rather than the more usually entirely mechanistic one) for globalisation as providing the finest society possible.

Ain\’t that fun?

9 thoughts on “Ahahahahaha”

  1. You seem to be confusing “ultra-green arseholes” with “lefties” again. Christ, even the Commies believed in workers of the world uniting…

    Tim adds: Well, once we get far enough away from my own views it’s difficult to make the distinction between nef, Monbiot, Caroline Lucas, Action Aid and those with perhaps at least a tenuous grasp upon reality.

  2. The Pedant-General

    But John, commies don’t trade. They are told to make things and those things then made are taken away and never seen again.

    Hence, no trust engendered.
    This is particularly true given the propensity (some would say requirement) of non-market based economies to use secret police to enforce the utopia lest anyone should question the wisdom of the central committee (or anything else).

    So you don’t even trust people you know, let alone strangers.

  3. I once read somewhere of an isolated tribe on an Indonesian Island. They have been there it is estimated for 17,000 years.

    In that time nobody has ever gone to that Island or at least nobody has ever come back.

    Yeah, interaction with people from other communities and cultures does make us more tolerant and understanding I’d say.

    On the other hand we should not be too welcoming. The insurgents might just be passing through but they could be planning to take our hunting grounds and wells off us.

  4. @3, aye, one of real-life communism’s many failings is that it destroys trust between individuals. Hence the use of “even the Commies believed”, rather than “those excellent Commies successfully achieved”…

    But that’s very different from expressly advocating cultural isolationism, like Tim’s imaginary lefties. In real life, of course, cultural isolationism is advocated primarily by the far right…

  5. “In real life, of course, cultural isolationism is advocated primarily by the far right…”

    I see.

    For example, Milton Friedman said “…people [who] live in many lands, speak different languages, practice different religions, may even hate one another – yet none of these differences prevented them from cooperating to produce a pencil.”

    Yup. Sound’s like cultural isolationism to me.

    Thanks dude, for ‘splainin it to everyone.

  6. Sigh.

    Unless you’re the kind of moron who describes people who identify *themselves* as far right as “left-wing” purely because you don’t like them, then “far right” refers to unpleasant chaps like the BNP, Pat Buchanan, etc, who don’t give a monkey’s about economics as long as there’s plenty of hanging, flogging and kicking out the darkies.

    Friedman isn’t a fan of hanging, flogging or kicking out the darkies, and hence isn’t far right. He’s, oh, what’s the term… oh yes, a ‘libertarian’, a concept that some people here might be familiar with.


  7. Pat Buchanan is a fan or advocate of “..hanging, flogging and kicking out the darkies.”? Hum. Can you give us a reference (or two) to support that slur or were you just using a broad brush?

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