Prisoner’s dilemma and society

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The prisoner’s dilemma is a canonical example of a game analysed in game theory that shows why two individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interest to do so. (see’s_dilemma). So from a logical perspective is not obvious that cooperation is the best (optimal) approach, the only way to propagate cooperation in society is to make cooperation a core value of the society you live in.

The European society values give priority to cooperation in general. Different parts of Europe in deferent degree, as the more a country, is developed, the more cooperative are its citizens (e.g. Scandinavian part of Europe vs the Balkans). Even with the rise of nationalism being a step backwards to cooperation, it is more of a reaction of some less cooperative nations joining the club.

The Americans are strongly divided: liberals – cooperation, the right – individualism. For the liberals – it’s logical behaviour (Golden rule…), for the right is paradoxical. The predominant part of the right is evangelism oriented, and their values are supposed to proclaim mercy, humility and cooperation. The Donald is the brightest (almost cartoonish) example of every man for himself values the right propaganda has been distributing the last 50 and more years.
An interesting case is the so-called Soviet bloc (now greatly reduced). The propaganda machine was trying to establish selfish and cooperative values, but only to allow a small circle of functionaries to use that “sheepish” crowd for their profit. A similar pattern is widely used in a religious context, as the evangelist denomination is the best example of that.

Categories human condition, society


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