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3 comments
  1. pinbalwyz

    This is similar to the paradox of the commons–and isn’t really ‘hypothetical’ at all. We’re seeing it in all its variations around us daily. A man who steals a goose from the commons is arrested while another who steals the commons itself is rewarded. In this small rural mountain community (Mason County) called home, there are pork commissioners on record, e.g. Jay Hupp, LITERALLY boasting about lusting after the resources essential to our survival and quality of life. (http://amicuscuria.com/wordpress/?p=287) There may be more varied types of cooperation in nature than a simple dichotomy, but it’s easy to see greed is rampant despite cooperation being our only glimmer of hope for sustained survival.

    I do agree, however, that robber barons do more than simply steal the commons–they set an example of avarice others emulate. Reagan comes to mind–a President who made conspicuous consumption and flaunting of wealth socially acceptable…fashionable even. We may each die alone, but we’ll all breathe shit together!

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