“por supuesto, falsear datos domiciliarios para matricular a los hijos en el centro docente que más convenga a la familia es un acto reprobable, pero la responsabilidad de la investigación recae sobre los empleados de la Administración. Es su trabajo, y cobran por él. Trasladar la responsabilidad y las funciones policiales a la ciudadanía es propio de las dictaduras, de todas las dictaduras habidas y (toquemos madera) por haber”
“People gain visceral pleasure in more than just leveling and cooperating. They also enjoy seeing punishment meted out to those who do not cooperate (freeloaders, criminals) and even to those who do nos contribute at levels commesurate with their status (the idle rich). The impulse to bring down the wicked is served in full measure by tabloid exposés and true-crime stories. It turns out that people not only passionately wish to see wrongdoers and layabouts punished; they are also willing to take part in administering justice – even at a cost to themselfves. Scolding a fellow motorist who runs a red light, whistle-blowing on your employer, reporting an ongoing felony to police – many will perform such services even if they do not know the miscreants personally and risk paying a cost for their good citizenship, at the very least by loss of time.
In the brain, the administration of such <<altruistic punishment>> lights up the bilateral anterior insula, a center of the brain also activated by pain, anger and disgust. Its payout is to society in greater order and less selfish draining of resources from the public commons. It does not come from a rational calculus on the part of the altruist. He may at first include in his ruminations the ultimate impact on himself and his kin. Authentic altruism is based on a biological instinct for the common good of the tribe, put in place by group selection, wherein groups of altruists in prehistoric times prevailed over groups of individuals in selfish disarray. Our species is not homo oeconomicus. At the end of the day, it emerges as something more complicated and interesting. We are homo sapiens, imperfect beings, soldiering on with conflicted impulses through an unpredictable, implacably threatening world, doing our best with what we have.