So whenever you feel inclined to talk about progressive policies, civil liberties and other inspired ideals, please remind yourself that people of this country cleared grocery stores out of toilet paper out of sole fear that "other" people would do it before them.

They did it in your liberal city, your conservative small town, on the coast, in the fly-over country, be they hipsters, rednecks, farmers or yuppies. They did it twice.

This country is beyond salvation…

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@isagalaev Its actually scary how fragile our collective social contract with one another actually is. Confuse or remove the rules, and the majority of us will regress into barbarians.

@trevdev this is one of those things I keep in mind when someone preaches how wonderfully we would all live together if it wasn't for a handful of evil sociopath billionaires/capitalist/dictators etc. (add any flavor). No, it's not a handful. The majority of people are pretty selfish and will throw others under the bus if they gain anything from it. The only reason our society exists is that people aren't *actively* malevolent either.

@isagalaev @trevdev

I believe that the percentage is between 30 and 40 percent. Not a majority, but not a negligible nuisance either: a real threat.

@seachanged @isagalaev This sounds reasonable given the current political climate, but do you have sources for these numbers? I'm curious enough to read them.

@trevdev @isagalaev

No source but me. I take my numbers from observations of how people act when they sign up for an obligation that they can cancel without consequences or effort to themselves. Cancelling out of casual social arrangements shows a defection rate of between 30 and 40 percent.

"Throwing someone under a bus" takes somewhat more effort, and might serve to reduce the defection rate.

Some people defect reflexively. I shun them when I can, or at least don't pull them close.


To be clear, the one of those items does not negate the other.

One can talk about progressive or humanistic ideals without having to address the social contract and its degradation by defectors, or the fears induced by government incompetance and opportunisticly distorted markets.

One must. Ideals are distinct from implementations.

Redemption is usually an illusion, fostered by powers and elites and imaginary beings, usually clearly or cryptically detrimental to the redeemed.

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