This is why you hate politics

I’m the King of the Castle; you’re a dirty rascal. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear


A zero-sum-game is a game of winners and losers. For every winner, a loser; for every loser, a winner.

A zero-sum-game is a game of gains against losses, of distribution, of competition, of conflict.

I gain X at your expense. My gain of X is balanced exactly by your loss of X.

By necessity, a zero-sum-game is an attempt to gain advantage over others, employing tactics and power.

In a zero-sum-game, we are not all in this together. We are divided. Our interests are not the same.

The reality is that most people live their day-to-day lives playing a non-zero-game. We seek win-wins. We are not in conflict with our friends, our families, our neighbors.

We prefer harmony over conflict, co-operation over competition. We negotiate and share and look for the greater good.

Life in a healthy human community is not a zero-sum-game, but politics is a zero-sum-game.

You belong to Party X. I belong to Party Y. One of us must defeat the other.

A vote is a unit of marginal utility. We compete for votes.

My 51% of the votes does not give me 51% of the power, or the authority, or the right to govern and to legislate. I get it all. Your 49% of the vote gives you 0% of the power.

In everything other than politics, we seek to make the pie bigger. We want to ensure everyone gets a slice, and that we deal with others as much as possible in a spirit of fairness, respect, and co-operation.

In politics, I must win and you must lose. We cannot share. We are in conflict. We can not cooperate. The values and morals of ordinary human life do not apply, and must not apply.

A zero-sum.

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