Greek & Russian vendettas

From Telegraph, thanks to blog reader James for sending it my way:

“In countries such as the US, Switzerland and the UK, the freeloaders accepted their punishment, became much more co-operative and the earnings in the game increased over time.

However, in countries such as Greece and Russia, the freeloaders sought retribution – exerting revenge on those who had punished them – even the model citizens who had paid their way. Co-operation for the common good then plummeted as a result.

[…] In societies where this behaviour is widespread and the rule of law is perceived to be ineffective – that is, if criminal acts frequently go unpunished – anti-social “revenge” punishment thrives.”

A very interesting article. 😉

1 Comment »

irbis wrote on March 8th, 2008 at 12:50 PM PST:

Very interesting article indeed.

However, there are naturally many sorts of Russian, Greek & British people, and simplified old ethnic boundaries and stereotypes may gradually mean less and less in the future world.

The world is gradually becoming a huge global village. Of course there will still be many different cultural groups but they will often be global and mixed too, not having strict ethnic or regional boundaries anymore (although, of course history, environment, language etc. still mean a lot).

Also, when the article referred to the World Democracy Audit evaluation of countries’ performance in political rights, civil liberties, press freedom and corruption, I have to add that I’ve seen many such lists of countries by international rankings, that may each one place a bit differing countries as the best or the worst. Such complicated evaluations cannot completely avoid being subjective and simplistic to some extent. However, of course such lists – like the following four too – are worth reading and do give some hint and direction about the general state of things in various countries:

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International
Democracy Index by The Economist
Freedom in the World report by Freedom House
Quality-of-life index by Economist Intelligence Unit


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