Man is a fool

In economics, we are familiar with the so-called aggregation problem: what is valid and good for an individual does not have to be valid and good for everyone.

For example, imagine a football stadium with 80,000 seats. Every spectator is sitting and having a good view of the field. If the first viewer stands up to have a better view, it may be good and valid for him. All other viewers behind him see worse. They also have to stand up to see well again. If they do, the same goes for all of the viewers behind them. Ultimately, all 80,000 spectators have to stand up to be able to see as well as before.

A particularly clever viewer now comes up with the idea of stepping onto his seat in order to be able to see even better. All viewers behind him now have to do the same to see at all. In the end there are 80,000 spectators standing on their seats. When they leave the stadium, nobody will have seen better than at the beginning. But everyone had to stand for that, at an additional price, to have to clean all seats.

500 years ago, at the beginning of modern times, we humans came up with the same idea. If we all got up to do our “professions”, then all of this “work” would give us the same view of the game as the privileged nobility and priesthood in their elevated front row seats. When everyone finally had gotten up 250 years ago, some in the industrial revolution came up with the idea of “working harder” to get an even better view of the game. So we all tried harder and took every burden to stand on our seats. Those who did not had no chance to take part in the game.

Today, 500 years after the beginning of modern times and 250 years after the industrial revolution, we are becoming conscious of our situation. We have all worked extremely hard to achieve our positions and yet we do not see better than before. On the contrary, we are all getting tired with no prospect of any improvement. However hard we try, we won’t get a better view of the game. And when we will leave our seats, we will have left a completely dirty stadium.

The only solution is to get off your seat, clean your place, and sit down again. The price is high. There is no prospect of this game anymore. Everyone around thinks you are crazy, anti-social and lazy. You become a misfit and outsider. You are not taking part in the game anymore.

But maybe there will be some who understand.

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