I’ve pondered many times why we tend as a society ‘shoot ourselves in the leg’ which means not cooperating, most likely bashing each other just to ‘get to the top first’ and do anything required to get such desirable success, position of power or having ‘more than others’ which even at times implies damaging, abusing and harming others which is the foundation of this current dog-eat-dog world.
We can ask ourselves: well, why aren’t we working in a win-win type of mentality where we are living in solidarity and we cooperate and we get to live in mutual reciprocity as individuals? And in researching a bit more into this, you get to find Game Theory of course which is essentially that mathematical assessment behind all our decisions when for example, seeing ourselves in a game with two or more people wherein essentially there is a choice available: to either act in the interest of both/all the players involved or you decide to simply act in selfishness, in self-interest and only care for your own benefit – the latter seems to be the most popular and common drive of our everyday decisions.
What has been demonstrated in the BBC Production by Richard Dawkins Nice guys finish first – is that this kind of behavior has been observed in human beings playing games wherein they have to continually decide either to cooperate with the other players – which would actually lead them to make more points/more money whichever they are gambling or gaming for – than if they only think that ‘you know I rather get ahead of you first because I know that you will most likely retaliate back – in this we’re constantly existing in a ‘defensive mode’ because of knowing beforehand that we tend to – from the get-go – act in self-interest and so protect ourselves from others’ attack. So he actually shows how people seldom begin with a cooperative starting point or in a mutually supportive frame of mind.
Within this what is explained as a supportive game strategy is known as Tit for Tat. So for example, if the other player decides to cooperate, then you follow through with that decision the player made and cooperate back – so if the other person defects, then you defect as well which means: ‘If you jump = I jump’ – ‘if you don’t = then I don’t jump.’ So in this, there is a sense of stagnation as in there’s no perceived major loss or major win – yet, this is perceived as a ‘stagnant’ because there is no agreed or explicit agreement established to Cooperate and so build up together, because it would be possible to create such framework or starting point IF we as human beings for example explicitly decided to cooperate and to have a mutually beneficial foundation and so, made a decision to work together, to have an agreement to make of Success something that is Beneficial for both parts – instead of just for a few individuals.
So in this Tit for Tat strategy, success is in a way guaranteed because it is always like playing ‘nice’ or playing ‘clean’ – whereas it is also proven that people that decide to play ‘dirty’ or ‘cheating’ eventually end up at the bottom fighting/playing against each other and so losing – of course in some games they are meant to be the winners. So then we have to also consider how games are structured to make of the people that cheat, that lie, that play ‘dirty’ the ones that get to win. It’s then the rules of the game which we have to change in order to decide cui bono in our everyday social agreements.
Success is currently measured with whether you are ‘winning’ over another individual – or it could become the definition of creating a supportive, cooperative outcome wherein all parties involved that cooperate with one another get equally benefited – this is the definition of win-win solutions, it is the definition of what is Best for All.
But the reason why this doesn’t work as such yet is because our usual first move, our first starting point, our first decision is not founded upon the consideration of ‘I’m going to Cooperate’ ‘I’m going to Bid for the Common Good/ For the Common Goal’ and instead, the immediate and innate move is actually out of Fear, out of ‘wanting to survive’ first, out of wanting to be ‘The Fittest’ – and this is where the whole Survival of the Fittest mentality has been actually blatantly used and made popular to manipulate our own – and already existent – desire to survive and desire to get the most money and desire to be the strongest because we have considered that That is ‘the most power’ one can get and so the meaning of success.
But if we look at it: it is simply an idea, an equation in our minds that ‘the one that gets the most, is the most powerful/the most successful’ – yes of course, at an individual basis you can have all the money and be the king of the hill, but if you look at the entire reality it’s as if you cannot really get into a better position economically speaking without making someone poorer or diminishing their ability to improve themselves too, or taking from the others to make yourself richer – which is the what’s currently happening with our growing inequality: some accumulate wealth and so provoking economic stagnation at all levels of society.
So in our economic system, we have to come to an Agreement – a without-greed solution as the sound of the word a = without and greed – that we don’t have to continue living in this mentality of ‘Survivalism’ and ‘Fighting for each other’s desire to win,’ but instead realizing that the greater success, the most stable relationships, the most reliable and cooperative systems start when both/all parties involved as the whole community or society decides to act in the interest of everyone. So that’s the real definition of success wherein it is no longer the ‘Survival of the Fittest’ mentality which has been exploited from what has been witnessed in the animal world. So it’s as anything, you get to be conditioned to then also fight for your own survival once that throughout time, throughout various cycles of relationships between individuals one gets to realize that ‘well if I don’t get anything back with me cooperating, I don’t want to remain the sucker, so now I’m going to fight once again to get to my own success.’
Richard Dawkins explains the value that is implied within self to have that starting point of ‘being nice’ or ‘playing nice’ which is deciding to be cooperative, to look for the common good – and to also not immediately retaliate when seeing that the other one is defecting/ not cooperating or attacking, because then: once that one gives into that attack, of course you become part of the ‘cheaters’ as the ones that play ‘dirty’ and so forth.
All of this of course boils down to what should be a common agreement: instead of constantly fearing that one and another is able to win over you or that you have to attack to get the most. Why don’t we rather realize that if we build up societies that can cooperate with one another, it will be easier to keep each other alive and eventually efface or weed out and purge the abusers, the greedy ones and make them extinct because one can actually decide that: if you get the benefit = then you have to give back to society for example. And so giving that starting point: if you get this benefit, then you must cooperate, then you must be considered part of the whole group. Because what we tend to do as human beings is that of course we want to get the benefits but we don’t want to really do something, in terms of reciprocity and giving something back, which is not the expected ‘forced labor’ type of mentality, but simply regarding one’s life to be a +1 person that can contribute to make things work in a supportive manner in this world.
So we have to teach each other that selfish mentality leads us to parasitical relationships wherein some work for example and some others don’t yet benefit from the taxes paid by the ones that do work. And that’s actually one of the main and common type of dissonances that exist whenever someone talks about providing a Living Income or Money for people to live, and they say ‘well there’s always going to be someone that will be benefiting from you’ and do just like the Cheaters in the game that will simply get the benefit but they won’t give anything back. But if we don’t create a platform and an actual system that can work in a symbiotic manner, in a reciprocal supportive foundation, then we just create this mind game within ourselves as individuals, which is the starting point of our speculative financial system in fact. Instead of rather realizing ‘well, what in this system – for example in our economic system – is working in a way that this kind of abuse can happen? Why haven’t we established the rules of the game in such a way that if we cooperate, we get used to the idea of mutual or reciprocal benefit as the road to success?
And so we can instead educate ourselves of the various ways we’ve come to destroy each other – and even the initial self-interested individual will be left out and won’t be able to ‘win’ any longer – if they don’t get into the new societal principle which is ‘you support me, I support you, we support each other to win.’
So in essence, it’s quite interesting because game theory or ‘gaming’ in itself wouldn’t exist in such a complex manner if the starting point of both players was obviously to support each other as equals – the ‘struggle,’ the ‘fighting’ and the eventual conquering of one over the other would simply not exist. Therefore, we actually make our lives very complicated when we are constantly ‘strategizing’ and ‘scheming ways to win,’ cheat and live by the law of the least effort.
We have been indoctrinated culturally – and maybe even at a genetic level – that you have to win, you have to get the most, because you can die if you don’t get the most, if you don’t hoard all that you can because that’s your security, that’s where the power resides, that’s what success is: to get the most. And in that, any sense of cooperation, common agreement, commonality, common ground … all of that is feared – why? Because no one wants to end up being ‘the sucker’ which is explained also in the video on how tickbirds cooperate with each other to take off each other’s tics. So there are three kinds of tickbirds. First kind are the ones that cooperate between each other, then there are the ones that take the ticks off birds ‘B’ but birds ‘B’ decide that they don’t want to cooperate and take off the ticks of the other bird, so that makes him a cheater. But then, there’s the third kind: the ‘sucker’ who is the bird that goes taking off ticks and he never gets anything back meaning, no one takes his ticks off. So, both that lose are the one that abuses the others’ voluntary move to take off his tics, and also the sucker because the sucker is actually doing it all for others – but he’s not looking after himself either.
That’s also interesting when it comes to this idea that you have to give to everyone else but not to yourself because that is also not considering yourself as an equal, it’s just the law of equality that can really get things stable which means: not abusing, not devaluing yourself either, but just finding that equilibrium which in all ways, it’s simply acting in the best interest of everyone. And within this, learning that there are more benefits in fact when we cooperate and we consider each other’s benefit than if we live in this constant ‘scheming’ as an offense-defense balance which, if you study International Politics for example, that’s the whole thing that you learn, offense-defense balance: if you attack me = I’ll retaliate, if you retaliate this way = I’ll retaliate this other greater way – if you stop shooting = then I will also stop shooting.
And we are witnessing this right now with the whole sanction process between Russia and the US, it’s the whole cold war scenario and the sanctions are actually going to be upgraded toward Russia. So Russia had been quite ‘pacific’ within this all, it had taken certain measures to ban certain foods from the EU producers, but now it’s like ‘Ok so if you US/EU upgrade these sanctions = I will also upgrade my sanction which will be airplanes won’t be able to fly over Russian airspace.’ So what are we witnessing here? The actual development or starting point of wars in essence, it’s the war mentality and as I’ve explained in the beginning this exists within us even when we play a silly board game wherein we are constantly scheming how can we win, how can we cheat, how can we get the most and so in essence we end up abusing each other, destroying each other and getting the least success.
This is something that I’ve been very aware of in the society that I live in wherein I would see that corruption is the king of the world – or at least very, very common and socially acceptable. And I also saw this for myself when even playing this board games like monopoly and so forth, whenever I didn’t play ‘dirty’ or ‘greedy’ I would obviously lose because I was expecting everyone else to be equally ‘good’ or ‘compassionate’ and I was around 6-7 years old. And that’s when I got told by my older cousins that ‘You know, if you continue that way you won’t ever win. This world is about cheating, it’s about being greedy, it’s about making others suffer’ That was my enlightening revelation of how the world operated similar to a Monopoly game.
And that’s in essence the tragedy that we have created when we’ve come to believe that “Success = Winning over others” instead of realizing that REAL Success implies cooperating and establishing win-win solutions that benefit everyone.
So we actually have to create a common agreement, a pre-planned system to get cooperation going and so maximize the benefits for everyone – and I’m actually paraphrasing what Richard Dawkins said. Why haven’t we done this at an economic level? Why do we keep shooting ourselves in the leg?
It’s about time that we completely get this notion of ‘The Survival of the Fittest’ as our starting point in reality out of the equation and rather realize that it is cooperation and reciprocity and mutual benefit that creates the real success, that is and should have always been the law of how this physical world and ecosystems operate – that is what makes it prevail, function and be sustainable – not the constant wars fighting to get each other’s land, money, territory, wives, etc. because it really exists at all levels in our minds: constant competition, constant desire to retaliate, constantly ‘watching out’ what the others’ move are so that we can then decide how we act.
I do also agree that in order to make this work, we do require to unite because that’s what makes the strength. As I mentioned, if I was playing with my cousins and they were all playing the ‘cheater’ mode and I was playing in the ‘cooperative’ mode, obviously I was the one that lost every time – but what if it was four ‘cooperative’ ones vs. two ‘cheaters’ and the games was designed to support the cooperative ones?
We decide the rules of the game, we decide that it is about time that we make the cooperative ones the successful ones, the ones that are aligned to the new principles that we have to create to make our world function for the betterment of everyone. So this is absolutely what I want to create and what is also proposed as part of the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal, we aren’t fighting against ‘the powers that be’ – we don’t want to leave anyone ‘out of the equation.’ An Equation in Equality means: Everyone Benefits – yes. And that is a Win-Win Solution and that is what will ensure that we realize that No Wars will be required, that we don’t have to constantly ‘aim’ at winning over others through abusing them, but rather live the realization that if we enhance our living skills and personal development while supporting each other to create mutual benefit, we will all thrive as a civilization – and that’s the new Race that will redefine our humanity. This is the kind of change that we must create within ourselves to make of any provision of a living income an effective solution to our world crisis.
Providing a Living Income as a Living Right will prevent us from making our first decision based on survival and fear and so agree to have a clear starting point to support our common success.
- Read the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal to find out what it implies and how it can be financed
- Watch our Google Hangouts on our YouTube Channel
- Read the Equal Life Foundation’s Bill of Rights: Our right to life can only be assured with money, and our Bill of Rights has a direct way to be financed with the provision of a Living Income
- Watch our Equal Life’s Fundamental Human Rights presentation and share it around