Quote Originally Posted by omaha View Post
The value of which I speak is individuals maximizing their own utility.

Everyone does it. Everyone always has. Everyone always will. Its just our nature.
This is the basic principle of utilitarian philosophy and rational-actor economics, and there's a lot of research in economics, primatology, and anthropology that takes issue with it.

This isn't very on-topic for "industry news", I guess, but there's an interesting monograph by David Graeber called _Fragments Of An Anarchist Anthropology_---it's available as a free PDF download, I believe---that includes some analysis of the countervailing anthropological evidence. (He's a polemicist in some ways, of course, but he's also a competent academic anthropologist and a pretty good writer. Whether or not you agree with his thesis, the evidence he adduces for it is interesting.)

It just doesn't work very well to try to explain social-animal behavior in terms of "individuals maximizing their own utility". By the time you get done defining "individuals", "maximizing", "their own", and "utility" in ways that are meaningful in that context, the phrase doesn't mean anything like what it sounds like at first blush, and you might as well have started from a whole different framing.