The Spectrum of Exchange
On page 72 of Richard Sennett’s book Together: the rituals, pleasures, and politics of cooperation, he outlines five different ways social animals engage:
- Altruistic exchange (entails self-sacrifice)
- Win-win exchange (both parties benefit)
- Differentiating exchange (partners become aware of their differences)
- Zero-sum exchange (one party prevails at the expense of another)
- Winner-takes-all exchange (one party wipes out the other)
In animal terms, this spectrum runs from the worker ant which offers up its body as food for other ants, to the wolf whose exchanges with sheep are invariably lethal; in human terms, the spectrum runs from Joan of Arc to genocide.