[T]he idea, generally, is that you encourage community and cooperation by removing the safeguards that would keep you safe if you’re antisocial or don’t try to cooperate. What’s interesting is the corollary argument that social safeguards actually encourage antisocial behavior; they assume such behavior is going to occur, they plan for it, they legitimize it, and therefore ensure it will exist. Does this mean that the more we regulate or try to make our world safer, the more we’ll actually be making our world more chaotic, and less safe?
A very interesting premise that I generally agree with.
Strict rules, in many ways, serve as a way to rationalize away responsibility. The people don't feel a need to protect each other because there are laws that will protect us.
It's similar to the idea that people are more likely to help out if no one else is around. If you're the only one capable of rescuing someone, you are probably going to feel a greater personal responsibility to act. But when there are plent of others around, it's easy to just think one of them will do it. The problem, of course, is when everyone thinks that way.
Read the original Wired article.