People think it's impossible because all they have ever known is appreciation being shown with money.
Call it money, call it barter, call it woozigroops
, there's always some medium of exchange or method of comparing the value of goods and services and/or the merit of individual people, and those with more have greater power than those without. Further, there will always be people who will game the system to give themselves a greater share of the woozigroops, and unless the system is set up in such a way that those people can be excised from the society, they'll "win" eventually.
In short, the selfish actors will always beat the unselfish actors given a lack of means to regulate behavior. Said means requires a hierarchical structure of some kind, and that inevitably leads to governance. The trick is to make the government composed of unselfish people, which is nice on paper but impossible in practice.
Then the whole society gets wiped out by another more aggressive one. We have evidence; those few "idyllic" tribes that we encounter in unspoiled wilderness... they're dead ends, culturally speaking. The only reason they still exist is sociological curiosity.
edited 21st Dec '11 11:15:52 AM by Fighteer