The idea in evolutionary psychology that our ethical intuitions are ingrained into our genetics seems repugnant and counter-intuitive to many. It seems obvious to so many commenters of the topic that the selfish gene should program only for selfish behaviour. And so the nuance of the idea, that cooperation is more successful than competition and so is selected for by evolutionary success, is lost on many. There exists an example of an analogous system, whereby the intuitive answer is simply not the correct one.
There is a grocers’ company set to break the €100 billion mark in the next 5 years, become the leading grocery provider in Western Europe (overtaking Tesco and Carrefour) and is over seen by a German multimillionaire. Now, when it comes to business, we can all take a fair guess that it’s not a premium-chain… But, making the most profit through a premium chain would be the same assumption as evolutionary success coming from selfish behaviour. Lidl (and its parent company: Schwartz Group) is set to become the leading grocery supermarket, on the back of budget groceries (at good quality), while paying its staff quite reasonably. That success, the success of the budget supermarkets, is analogous to the success of cooperative behaviour over selfish behaviour.
There’s an interesting aside, where what you would assume works (in economics) simply isn’t so. Canada, with a higher minimum wage than America and free healthcare, now has a richer middle class than America. This, in turn, reminds me of my idea of having political parties replaced by an information system: we have enough information to actually look at whether Canada is just lucky, or whether their economic policy just works. We can compare it to other countries. (And Google should do it…)
Anyway, that’s my quick brain dump between lists. (Generating, editing or reading lists is apparently a manager’s job *yawn*)