Game theory and politics

Does anyone know about game theory? I recently read a game theory application to politics: “Everyone would be better off if Republicans and Democrats collaborated. However, [game theory rightly predicts that] each party rationally selects a strategy (warfare) that leads them away from this outcome.”

It does sound like game theory could illuminate our political system’s mechanics and dysfunctions, but it seems to me to have some limitations too. E.g. does game theory presuppose a zero-sum partisan basis for politics (i.e., like football, if they score, we lose)? That certainly seems to explain present US politics, but is it necessary? Is it possible that two or more parties might see themselves as advocating different strategies for reaching the same goal (i.e., our differences are real but we are all on the same team in terms of the ultimate objectives — fair, secure, harmonious society, etc.)? Can game theory account for a game in which players are all on the same team but stake out different strategies for advancing team interests? Or does game theory lock us inexorably into the warfare/battle paradigm. That is, perhaps the avoidance of collaboration is only “rational” relative to the winner-take-all paradigm that undergirds game theory. But what if there were other paradigms. Could there be a paradigm with other premises that make the “rational” decision more collaborative? Could game theory account for such a paradigm?

I am just pondering the world of ideas here without any actual knowledge of game theory, so feedback is welcome.

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Trump Eulogies

Per the new fictional non-fiction genre of the Trump eulogy, here is my contribution:

Poor George. Sweet guy. Like a kid. Gee-whiz George. Couldn’t tell a lie. But the Brits were laughing at us. I love the Brits. I got Brits working the greens at Mar-a-Lago. Great for managing the shithole country workers. But they were cleaning our clocks, while Gee-whiz George was busy telling the truth. So I says to him, “George, you gotta storm the airports.” And he says, “There ain’t no airports.” And I says, “George, you see that crowd out there. Biggest crowd ever. They don’t want facts. They want entertainment.” No, Gee-whiz George could not tell a lie. So he had a failed presidency. And I’m here today to save his image by telling you about the great storming of the airports at Yorktown and Fort McHenry. And I can tell you, my friends. Believe me. Wherever Gee-whiz George is today, he is looking up and saying, “Trump was right! Thank God for Trump! Thank God for a winner!”

(Click images below for links)

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