Chapter 1

Introduction: the Co-operativeImperative

‘I have seen a man on the bank of a river buried up to his knees in mud, and some men came to give him a hand and help him out, but they pushed him further in up to his neck’

Abba Paphnutius, Hermit of Egypt,Fourth Century AD

‘The golden rule is to help those we love to escape from us, and never to try to begin to help people, or influence them, till they ask’

Friedrich von Hugel, Letters to my Niece, 1852

Money, power and sex. The history of the world can be told in three words, yet a fourth word – co-operation – has an important history of its own. People's desire to help each other and work together for the common good is a characteristic of human beings, though so, of course, is competition ...

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