I know the video is more than 16 minutes long, so for those who don't like videos, here's an excerpt.
"Think about playing a game of Monopoly, except in this game that combination of skill, talent and luck that earn you success in games, as in life, has been rendered irrelevant, because the game's been rigged.
You've got the upper hand. You've got more money, more opportunities, and more access to resources. I want you to ask yourself, how might that change the way that you think about yourself and regard that other player?
We ran a study at Berkley to look at exactly that question. We brought in more than 100 pairs of strangers into the lab and with a flip of a coin randomly assigned one of the two to be a rich player in a rigged game. They got 2 times as much money. They got to roll both dice instead of one. Over the course of 15 minutes, we watched through hidden cameras what happened. It was quickly apparent that something was up. One person clearly had a lot more money than the other person, and yet, as the game unfolded, dramatic differences began to emerge between the two players.
As the game went on, the rich players actually started to become ruder toward the other person; less and less sensitive to the plight of those poor players and more and more likely to showcase how well they're doing. When the rich players talked about why they had inevitably won in this rigged game, they talked about what they'd done to earn their success. They became far less attuned to different features of the situation, including that flip of a coin that had randomly gotten them into that privileged position in the first place.
Now this game of Monopoly can be used as a metaphor for understanding society and its hierarchial structure, wherein some people have a lot of wealth and a lot of status, and a lot of people don't. What my colleagues and I have been finding across dozens of studies and thousands of participants across this country is that as a person's levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and their feelings of entitlement, of deservingness, and their ideology of self-interest increases.
I don't mean to suggest that it's only wealthy people who show these patterns of behaviour. Not at all. But what we're finding is that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to pursue a vision of personal success, of achievement and accomplishment, to the detriment of others around you."
Thoughts? I think this is a reasonable combatant to anti-socialism ideas.
(*expects half.note to rage at me* :P)
First impression: Even non-rigged monopoly games turn out like that - half the fun of the game is winning lots of money and rubbing it in you opponent's face as they slowly go bankrupt (its actually a terrible game if you think about it :P).
Haha! That's a good point. Not quite what the video is trying to say, but amusing still. It does raise the objection that the metaphor is using a game and we know games are not the same as real life. But it does bring up some interesting observations that are found in real life circumstances.
Don't worry, I'm not going to rage at you, Jubilex. :P
Actually, in a way, I kind of agree...
I'll have to watch the whole video, though, and get back to you some other time.
God bless. ♥
If you get time, I am interested in what you think :)
The only reason I disagree with this (the anti socialist side of me) is that I could be the one who tosses the coin and becomes wealthy. If it was even then I could never take that advantage.
I just realized by my own standard I would be fine with a monarchy as long as I was the monarch. Having the monarch vote on the monarchy is just a wee bit biased I think. XD
"Having the monarch vote on the monarchy is just a wee bit biased I think."
That is sort of the same as what happens with wealthier and more well-off classes in society as well.
We actually did something like this in my moral theology class (I go to a catholic school). There were more players, all placed in various social classes. I was one of two lower class players in my group. I tried to organize a communist revolution, but nobody went for it ;D
In one group's game the upper class player actually displayed some noblesse oblige, but no others did. Nobody got too vicious, but that was simply because the teacher was in the room the whole time. All of my impressions of the game correspond with what the study observed, just to a slightly lesser degree in some cases.
I'm curious what the study found about the players who lost the coin toss. Personally I relate to that person far more than the rich player. And, to be brutally frank, I think that anyone who doesn't feel apalled by the results of the study and what it says about our society suffers from an incredible lack of compassion.
Maybe that's a bit harsh, but it's still my opinion. I hope nobody is too offended