I remember spending a lot of time in my teenage years wondering how societies are possible. Noticing how difficult it is for people to get along, I wondered what the key mechanisms are underlying the impressive stability one finds in societies whose members can number in hundreds of millions, and even over a billion.
It took me a while to realise that this apparent achievement had been puzzling humanity practically since the first complex societies began appearing.
There is the Hobbesian idea of the social contract where there is some giving and there is some taking.
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