Potlatch of death
Evolution : Agalmics : Potlatch
Biologists have always separated spite and altruism as two different traits – either you are nasty to non-relatives or nice to your relatives – but they are actually the same. If you take a sample of adults and one family does well, somebody else has to do badly. If you help your relatives eat more quickly, it leaves less food for the competition. For example, bacteria on a piece of food have a limited food supply, so they produce toxins that are poisonous to other bacterial strains. Although this strategy is costly in terms of the energy expenditure required, it will be favoured because it increases the relative abundance of the poisonous strain by eliminating competing bacteria.
A gene that causes an individual to spend their time being nasty to others means less time reproducing – so it doesn’t make sense that a spiteful gene should spread.The scientist sayeth.
So maybe an account of the potlatch competetive altruism. Being highly altruistic is in fact an acquired and useful evolutionary trait - kindness kills, etc. Mayhap we could look at how co-operative productive altruistic behaviour could drive out agressive military social strategies, or maybe I'm just over-egging the agalmic pudding again.