Thursday, October 23, 2008


There is a small tribe of people. More than half of the farmers lost their years crop to disease but a few farmer's crops seemed to survive. Those farmers do not want to share their crop with the other members of the tribe. Many families will starve in the winter if the farmer's do not share their bounty with the other members of the tribe.
Both sets of farmers worked hard all year long on their crop, but one set just had bad luck.

Should the tribe council force the lucky farmers to share their crop with the rest of the tribe?

1 comment:

Tom said...

Certainly depends on several factors, like what the tribal traditions are, whether or not food can be found elsewhere, etc. In a general sense though, I'd lean towards, "No", they should not "force" the "lucky" people to share.

Neighbor Matt and I talk about this kind of thing from time to time. This kind of scenario has many possible path. Those who lost their crop may offer to work for those who still have crops in exchange for food. Or trade goods, even painful trades.

One has to question the nature of the scenario. Were the unlucky farmers also complete assholes? Or have they always shared in tougher times? In our neighborhood we all help each other so if something catostrophic occurs, we'll take care of each other. But there is also a reason why there are so many gun owners around here. Because if something terrible does occur, some others who have never contributed may feel like we MUST "share" and try to take what they think they deserve. A lot like we see going on in this country.

In the tribal situation, if all things were indeed equal (an impossible theory) and the "lucky" farmers did not share, the others would do what was necessary to eat, even if it included banding together and taking what they needed. The people would work that out.

Setting the precedent that if things go bad you can simply take from others has a ripple effect and sets a dangerous precedent. Folks need to prepare for themselves in case something bad happens. Relying solely on a crop and not having a backup plan is a mistake. But if you surround yourself with people who you'd be happy to help, knowing that they'd help you, this entire scenario goes away.

It seems like an unfair scenario because it doesn't take into account all of the human factors that could lead to such a situation.