Does Cooperation Lead to Socialism?
By Arnold Kling
Kevin Kelly says yes:
Did we really believe we could collaboratively build and inhabit virtual worlds all day, every day, and not have it affect our perspective? The force of online socialism is growing. Its dynamic is spreading beyond electrons–perhaps into elections.
Thanks to Russ Roberts for the pointer.
It may help to talk about three ways of facilitating cooperative group efforts:
1. Economic incentives.
2. Voluntary actions for non-economic motives, including altruism, desire for recognition, and so forth.
3. State power.
As an economist, I respect (1). However, as a civil societarian, I also respect (2). It is (3) that raises concern. If people come to think of socialism as (2) and not (3), then fine. But if they come to think of (3) as being the same as (2) or a natural progression from (2), then we’re in trouble.