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Is greed good? Research from the U.S. suggests inequality in a culture makes that society stronger

Are greedy bankers good for society? Egalitarian civilisations ‘are weaker’ than those with inequality. Shortages of food affected the poor more, but the upper classes were able to maintain hierarchies. In equal societies everyone suffered the same, making those cultures less able to adapt to difficult conditions.

Societies with entrenched class systems thrive better than those with a strong egalitarian streak, suggests new research from the U.S.

When the lower end of society has less than the upper classes, it makes people more likely to emigrate in search of better conditions, according to the team at California’s Stanford University.

The team used a computer simulation to model two factors – stability and rates of migration for two types of society, one ‘egalitarian’, and one unequal.

The results make surprising reading.

In the ‘stratified’ cultures, with a rigid class structures, shortages of food or money affected the poorer people more, while those at the top were less affected and social hierarchies remained intact.

The survival of the ruling class – and the social structure that put them in place – meant that such societies could adapt more quickly.

By comparison, in societies which operate along more equal lines, deprivation is shared between the population.

They bear the impact more widely and are thus less able to adapt, and slower to recover.

‘The fact that unequal societies outnumber egalitarian societies may not be due to the replacement of the ethic of equality by a more selfish ethic,’ as originally thought,’ said cultural evolution specialist Deborah Rogers, lead author of the study. ‘Stratified (unequal) societies simply spread and took over, crowding out the unequal populations.’

Cate Blanchett as the 16th century English queen Elizabeth I. New research seems to point to the idea that societies ‘evolved’ inequality and a ruling class to help them survive

This difference in ‘survivability’ was most easily seen in the early stages of human societies.

‘This is the first study to demonstrate a specific mechanism by which stratified societies may have taken over most of the world,’ Marcus Feldman, an evolutionary biologist at Stanford.

‘Inequalities in socioeconomic status are increasing sharply around the world. Understanding the causes and consequences of inequality and how to reduce it is one of the central challenges of our time.’

Seat of learning: The research grew out of a PHD paper at Stanford University in California

That means the unequal cultures grow and spread across the globe, while the equal culture is displaced, adding to the list of reasons why communism failed as a societal model when faced with capitalism.

The research, published in the science journal PLoS ONE, leads to the galling suggestion that the ‘bankers bonus’ culture ultimately keeps our society strong by a driving sickened and struggling public away in search of a better life.

The research paper grew out of PhD work by the cultural evolution specialist Deborah Rogers, though she is now a researcher at the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany.

Various theories have been put forward for the development of inequality and hierarchical societies in the early years of human civilisation, with some suggesting it was to do with control of crop irrigation systems, while others have said it occurred slowly as a result of small differences in wealth due to inheritance.

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  • Jean-Francois Morf

    Parents said to children: never play casino, or you will be punished!
    Children played casino, loosed everything in 2008, but instead of punishment, they became 15 trillion $ debt recognition from their parents!
    Children immediately played casino again, creating from nothing a quadrillion $ liquidities (google: quadrillion $ derivatives), selling cheap CDS, selling cheap PUT options on market makers banks stocks, selling short the parents bonds, insulting their parents for being insolvent, treating them of PIIGS (it’s a calumny, but it’s a self fulfilling prophecy)
    And in 2011, children are now ruined again, because some Israeli casino gamblers has been more twisted then the children, and the winners has again taken all the 15 trillion $ out of the children!
    (If you don’t understand, the parents are the governments, and the children are the bankers)

    i- = Illinois
    CA = California
    LU = Louisiana
    M = Michigan
    N = Nevada
    NY = New York

    i-CALUMNNY states will go bankrupt?

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  • Ferrarello

    The biggest scum bags on earth are George Soros and Warren Buffett….who make BILLIONS from capitalism, and then use their money to destroy it so no one else can make a LIVING in peace. 90 % of Americans are against these UN-constitutional wars…but can do nothing about it. Our system of government has been compromised.

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