Ethics Don’t Scale. Naval Ravikat Comments about Socialism

This recently popped up in my you tube feeder which gave me some food for thought:

Naval Ravikat quoting Nassim Nicholas Taleb (or words to the effect):

(starting from 4:40 in the above video) ‘With my family I’m a communist. With my close friends I’m a socialist. At my state level, I’m a democrat. At national level I’m a Republican and at the federal level I’m a libertarian’.

Mr Ravikat elaborated ‘The larger the group of people you have massed together who have different interests; the less trust there is; the more cheating there is; the better the incentives have to be aligned; the better the system has to work, then the more you go towards Capitalism. The smaller the group you in. You’re in your kibitz, you’re in your commune, you’re in your house, you’re in your tribe, by all means be a socialist…..but when you’re dealing with strangers you want to be a real socialist? Then great, open all your doors tomorrow. Please come everybody and take what you want and see how that works.’

I looked up a little bit about Nassim Nicholas Taleb based on Navar’s comments, and I found this from Fractals of Change:

Ethics don’t scale, Taleb says in his latest book, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life.

People tend to be virtuous in small groups, he says; but, once the groups get large, ethical rules lose their force with respect to the group as a whole although not within the subgroups. This can and does lead to inter-subgroup hostility and bad behavior. People do things to members of other clans that they wouldn’t do to clanspeople. Because virtue doesn’t scale, you can’t just declare everybody to be one huge group and have a nirvana of good behavior and trust.

Naval’s comments reminded me of Jordan Peterson discussing the communist mindset in this interview with Dave Rubin:

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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