Reasons Not to Trust Others’ Goodwill and Solutions


We are often tempted to build systems based on the goodwill of others. However, reality is not that simple. Today, we will examine why it is unwise to easily trust others’ goodwill and look at solutions to prevent this.


1. Corruption Exists Everywhere

Unreasonable aspects exist in many parts of our society. This is one reason why systems relying on individual conscience are bound to fail. While many people act conscientiously, a certain proportion does not.

2. The Tragedy of the Commons

In economic science, there is a term called ‘the tragedy of the commons.’ This refers to a situation where individuals, acting in their own self-interest, deplete a shared resource, leading to the exhaustion of that resource. A classic example is fishermen who overfish for their own benefit, eventually depleting the fish in the lake.

3. Examples of the Tragedy

Such tragedies are commonly observed around us. Indiscriminate littering in public places and excessive resource usage are examples. These cases illustrate the flaws in the system well.

4. The Importance of Systems

When designing systems, we cannot rely solely on individual conscience. Even if most people act conscientiously, a few will break their promises for personal gain. Therefore, effective systems must take these people into account.

5. The Need for Regulation and Law

Some may think that regulations or laws suppress individual freedom. However, these regulations and laws ensure that individual freedoms are broadly guaranteed. Regulations and laws allow us to live in a safe and fair society.


We cannot rely on individual free will, goodwill, or conscience. Humans tend to break even their own promises easily. Therefore, systems based on the goodwill of others are inevitably destined to collapse.

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