Does the Law of the Jungle Work in Economics?
To understand how and why Gini’s Community Governance System works, why the Gini Platform is based upon egalitarian principles, and why broad-based wealth creation and distribution is so important to every human ecosystem, it’s useful to briefly explore the biological basis of human cooperation.
Every Ecosystem is Governed by Something. Some ecosystems are governed by highly centralized governments, like in communist countries. Other ecosystems are governed by ruling elites who manipulate their economic and political systems to preserve their wealth and power, like in the United States and many other countries. Other ecosystems like Bitcoin and virtually all other cryptocurrencies today are governed by a tiny number of techno-oligarchs that have overwhelming crypto wealth and hash power within their networks. Finally, some ecosystems in nature are anarchic and have no premeditated governance structure at all; and thus, we often say they are governed by the law of the jungle.
Should Economies Be Ruled by the Law of the Jungle? Some people believe markets should never be touched by any kind of regulation. They perceive human economies as governed by the law of the jungle. From their perspective, the survival of the fittest is the only way to perceive an economy. They ignore the Capital-Labor Duality and all the cooperative elements and shared contributions that actually create value within every economy and society., They ignore how adversarial competition is generally destructive and reduces overall value creation and capital formation. They often point to other animals in the animal kingdom and say short-sighted, shallow and self-serving things like:
All of creation is governed by the law of the jungle. Innovation, productivity, and all the things that make capitalism great are based on the survival of the fittest. Therefore, we cannot allow government to interfere in any way with the operations of a free market.
Free Markets are a Euphemism for the Law of the Jungle. We often hear people talk about free markets as if they were an economic reality, but pure “free markets” are a fantasy. In fact, pure free markets are simply another label for the “law of the jungle.” With this awareness, it’s easy to see why pure free markets are a fantasy: The law of the jungle inevitably leads to tyranny by the biggest and strongest entity in any ecosystem.
Pure Free Markets = Tyranny. After a political or corporate tyranny is established, it’s nearly impossible to overcome without a wealth- and capital-destroying violent revolution or international war. This is because the law of the jungle enables the biggest and strongest entities in the ecosystem to manipulate the political system and destroy anything that attempts to compete with their power. This destroys the so-called free market and leaves the victims of tyranny no choice but to engage in violent protest and resistance.
The Law of the Jungle Produces Monopolies. Many people believe that gigantic corporations will eventually fail due to their own laziness, incompetent management, lack of innovation, etc. Of course, companies of any size can stumble and fall, but the phenomenon of perpetual returns to scale enables some companies to grow into gigantic corporate cannibals with so much inertia and power that it’s technically and logistically impossible to escape their tyranny.
Long-Term Ecosystem Sustainability is a Higher Priority than Short-Term Self-Interest. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company so thoroughly dominated the U.S. energy sector that no meaningful competition could ever emerge without government intervention. The same was true for AT&T, International Harvester, American Tobacco, and Microsoft. Other monopolistic companies today like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Walmart and others harm human ecosystems over the long-run, even though they might claim to be giving consumers what they want in the short-run.
Obvious Problems Should be Easy to Fix, but Systemic Corruption Blocks Solutions. The idea that short-term self-interest is often destructive to long-term sustainability is obvious to any conscious adult human. So, why doesn’t humanity already have more equitable and sustainable economic and political systems? Systemic corruption blocks thoughtful, rational humans from fixing these obvious problems. That means humanity will never see any meaningful solutions emerge from any major government, IMF, World Bank, World Economic Forum, or any entity that exists within the global system of economic and political control that was created by self-serving and short-sighted politicians and bankers in the U.S., Britain and France after World War II. (If you’re not sure about this, read all the economic and geopolitical history books in the Gini Book List.)
The Human Animal. Because humans (especially certain humans with a genetic predisposition) have an endless appetite for wealth and power, the human animal should not be perceived as merely another jungle citizen. No, aggressive human animals are far more destructive: Instead of using their evolved intelligence to improve the quality of life for their species, they often use their intelligence to fabricate self-serving rationalizations about why they believe they’re entitled to extract wealth from their species and the entire planet. Then, the self-destructive instincts in a relatively small segment of the human population are amplified by the behavior-corrupting incentive structures embedded within the toxic form of bank capitalism that dominates our planet today.
Supply & Demand in the Jungle. Human animals that subscribe to puritanical Libertarianism often use their intelligence to reduce the entire animal kingdom to the artificially simplistic construct of transactional supply and demand. But they conveniently ignore how the supply and demand for corruption and illicit wealth expropriation increases in a society when the supply of wealth and political power in the general population decreases. They ignore the fact that ecosystem stability and broad-based prosperity is a byproduct of broad wealth distribution, not concentrated wealth and power in the hands of a few jungle kings.
The Law of the Jungle Does Not Work in Human Ecosystems. Humans share over 95% of their DNA and brain structures with other non-human primates. So, what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom? The computational power and plasticity of the human neocortex, which results in more complex culture. Cultural complexity produces a thin veneer of human civilization, which is an evolutionary adaptation that promotes sophisticated forms of cooperation. These unique features of human biology produce cultural resistance against any economic or political system that is based on the law of the jungle (aka pure free markets).
Human Biology Resists Pure Free Markets. The symbiotic biological human instincts for individual freedom and group cooperation are rooted in the human need for psychological certainty and ecosystem stability. Individual freedom gives us control over our own destiny, which maximizes certainty; human cooperation gives us ecosystem stability, which maximizes the availability of food, water, shelter, companionship and other biological necessities. These instincts compel humans to fight against any form of tyranny that destroys certainty and ecosystem stability, which produces instinctual resistance against unsustainable concentrations of wealth and power.
Cooperation is Humanity’s Equilibrium State. This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but the natural equilibrium state of every human ecosystem is a deeply cooperative environment that resists the self-destruction produced by anarchy and the law of the jungle. This equilibrium is only disrupted when a tiny number of sociopathic humans engorge themselves on wealth and power.
Cultural Vampires Create Cultural Violence. The unsustainable engorgement process inflicts trauma on the ecosystem, which predictably and inevitably triggers a violent, self-preservational response from other ecosystem inhabitants. This results in clan warfare, which, in the modern world, is amplified by profit-driven media companies and self-serving politicians who create, perpetuate and feed on the divisions within human societies like cultural vampires.
Debunking the Law of the Jungle Analogy. People who justify gluttony and greed with the “law of the jungle” argument conveniently ignore the fact that no other animal seeks to conquer and dominate all other species on the planet. Lions, bears, birds, elephants, fish . . . do not perpetually expand their dominion to consume all the resources and opportunities on the planet, thereby causing other groups of animals to starve and become corporate slaves to jungle kings. Virtually all other animals kill only what they can realistically eat. They never kill to hoard 1 million lifetimes worth of food and wealth in a planetary empire of gilded nests. Only short-sighted and gluttonous human animals do that.
Free Markets Are Necessary, but Not Sufficient. To be clear, a relatively free market that enables humans to engage in mutually beneficial value exchange is an essential feature of every stable and prosperous human society, which is why the Gini Decentralized Exchange exists. But free markets alone are not enough. The Capital-Labor Duality is the engine of value creation within every market-based economy and society. Thus, all fiat and crypto markets degenerate into the law of the jungle and corresponding destruction of broad-based wealth and political freedom whenever an ecosystem is dominated by a tiny number of gigantic corporate cannibals, gobbling up all the resources and opportunities within an ecosystem.
Gini is Not Afraid to Fight for Ecosystem Sustainability. The premise that a free-market economy should be based on the law of the jungle (aka, pure free markets) is a nonsensical, self-destructive, world war-spawning, ecosystem-killing delusion. The Gini Platform and corresponding ecosystem are designed to take these real-world realities into account. Additionally, we are not afraid to point out the egregious logical fallacies at the rotting core of all major fiat and cryptocurrency systems on Earth today.
Being Rational, Self-Aware Humans is Not Activism. The Gini Community is not about activism per se; we are simply self-aware humans who are building technical systems and human ecosystems that are consistent with the laws of human nature, the laws of physics, and the laws of Mother Nature (i.e., Earth’s ecological environment). The self-destructive fiat- and crypto-based economic systems that dominate our planet today violate every one of those areas of our planetary existence. Specifically:
- Perpetual corporate growth is not sustainable because the laws of physics constrain every system in the universe.
- Perpetual corporate economies of scale concentrates financial and political power in the hands of a tiny number of corporate executives/shareholders, which inevitably results in weaponized wealth concentration, human rights violations, tyranny, and violent revolutions.
- Virtually all other animals kill only what they need to eat and they don't stomp on their ecosystems and strip the planet of all natural resources in a perpetual orgy of cannibalistic wealth-hoarding until there is nothing left for other animals.
No, we are not activists; we’re simply rational humans doing what is necessary to create a more stable and sustainable planetary ecosystem.
For all those reasons, the Gini whitepaper presents an alternative socioeconomic operating system for humanity that we call Gini Capitalism. It is a viable path for humanity to escape the tyranny of bank capitalism and the self-destructive, gigantic corporation-dominated "law of the jungle" that is distorting and destroying the economic and political systems in many countries today. Please join us.
 Axelrod, R., & Hamilton, W. D. (1981). The Evolution of Cooperation.
Gini is doing very important work that no other organization is willing or able to do. Please support us by joining the Gini Newsletter below to be alerted about important Gini news and events and follow Gini on Twitter.