Friday, March 19, 2010

Capitalism has made society 'kinder': study

  One for the Capitalist column.  With our country sinking into socialism, I though this article very interesting.

Free-enterprising, impersonal markets may seem cutthroat and mean-spirited, but a provocative new study says markets have been a force for good over the last 10,000 years, helping to drive the evolution of more trusting and co-operative societies.
"We live in a much kinder, gentler world than most humans have lived in," says anthropologist Joe Henrich of the University of British Columbia, lead author of the study that helps topple long-held stereotypes.
The finding, reported in the journal Science, suggests people trust and play fair with strangers because markets and religion -- not some deep psychological instinct inherited from our dim tribal past -- have helped shape our neural circuitry over the eons.
The 13 researchers on Mr. Henrich's international team spent time -- and played clever psychological games -- with more than 2,000 people in 15 different societies.

The study also suggests world religions, such as Christianity and Islam, were a potent evolutionary force, favoring the growth of complex societies by reinforcing fairness and trust.


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