The Obvious Appeal of Socialism – Part 2

Badwater Basin – 85 meters below sea level – Death Valley – Click to embiggen

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
     Alexis de Tocqueville

We humans are generally nice to each other. This should not be surprising since being nice is an evolutionarily stable strategy. Those societies in which the practice of the “be nice to others” strategy was not generally and systematically followed did not survive, and those societies in which people were nice to each other survived and prospered. Being nice aids survival because we are social animals and therefore must cooperate to survive. Mutual cooperation is part of our evolutionary endowment.

Anatomically modern human beings have been around for between 200 and 300 thousand years. Our brains and our cognitive abilities were shaped by Darwinian evolutionary processes. We are superbly adapted to navigating the environment that our ancestors lived in, and survived long enough to produce the next generation. Continue reading