AoS has a “Fudamental Concepts” post about the zero-sum mentality, which it identifies with leftism, getting a lot of things convincingly right. Unintentionally, however, it exposes the limits of conservatism, and — even more unintentionally — suggests why NRx is something else.
Zero sum games are wars, and market (or catallactic) economics are indeed different. It was by putting war to bed too early, that conservatism destined itself to the ratchet of defeat. Treat an enemy as a business partner, and you lose, over and over again.
The payoff matrix is easy to draw. Re-purposing a prisoner’s dilemma quadrate works fine.
Treat “Stay Silent” as a positive-sum contract, and “Confess and Betray” as stubborn zero-sum antagonism. Searching for positive-sum engagement with a committed zero-sum opponent is the loser’s game that the mainstream ‘right’ has been playing for centuries. It’s the reason libertarians are so often dismissed as smart imbeciles (or worse). There’s business, and there’s war, and only the latter is definitely not going anywhere. In reality, (positive-sum) capitalism depends upon (zero-sum) counter-revolution. Otherwise, the right ‘stays silent’ while the left ‘confesses and betrays’. Our little matrix, and the course of recent global history, equally exhibit where that leads.
Positive-sum is the civilized order at the end of a far dirtier process. In the interim, if it hurts the left it’s worth doing, unless it hurts you more.