Are human beings, as consultants, researchers, and the authors of business books have thought for years, fundamentally motivated by self interest? Or is there a deeper cooperative instinct that drives human beings to work?
Those are the questions that fuel Yochai Benkler's investigation in The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest. In it Benkler challenges the rather embarrassing idea that people are primarily selfish by citing examples — from collective farming to neuroscience to the world's richest corporations — demonstrating that people are a lot more cooperative than they get credit for.
Benkler spoke with David Weinberger about his new book for this week's Radio Berkman.