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Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics Paperback – 17 Jun 1993
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28 November 1998
People are admired for very different forms of attitude and behavior. Some traits seem to be universal like cooperation, courage, wisdom, etc, but others fall into two diametrically opposed codes of conduct. These two codes of conduct can be described as selforganising systems of survival, shaped over time. One set is related to people in the business environment, and the other set is related to people in guardian roles like government, army, and police. For example: in business any form of violence is absolutely forbidden; governments fail their duty, if they do not use violence in the appropriate way. Both forms of conduct (ethics) are nessecary: the guardians create the safe and stable environment for the business people to create wealth. Systemic corruption occurs, if the integrity of one of the codes of conduct is breached by taking a value from the other. For example: if business people use violence, it quickly becomes organised crime. The book is laced with many examples from everyday life and is very well annotated from history and anthropology which makes the reading light for such a serious subject.