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Discussion Main / InYourNatureToDestroyYourselves

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Aug 13th 2014 at 8:33:35 AM •••

Under Real Life, we currently have this:

  • In Real Life this trope tends to apply on a species level rather than an individual level as each individual tries to ensure its own survival at the expense of others and by extension the species as a whole. This is the essence of competition and while the survivors usually end up stronger there may come a time where there aren't enough survivors to perpetuate the whole.
    • Otherwise known as the Tragedy of the Commons.
Um, no. That's even close to what the Tragedy of the Commons means. The Tragedy of the Commons is a concept from economics concerning what happens when a resource is owned by no one (or collectively by everyone, which amounts to the same thing). In this situation, no one has an incentive to limit their own consumption of the resource (since what you don't take, someone else will), so the tendency is for everyone to take as much of it as possible until it's destroyed. This does not happen if the resource is privately owned, since the owner has an interest in preserving and responsibly managing it. The Tragedy of the Commons is not about individual survival, species survival, or competition, and therefore has no relevance to this trope. Consequently, I am deleting the reference to it.

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Oct 25th 2013 at 2:27:03 PM •••

The page says "there's a reason the United States never had a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union: they didn't want to be destroyed themselves. note-But damned if both weren't just itching to condemn millions of the other side's people to fiery death." One could argue that the real (and most important) reason the US never had a nuclear exchange with the USSR is that we didn't really want to condemn millions of their people to fiery death, and that any indication that we would have wiped them out if it wouldn't result in our own destruction was really just political posturing.

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