Cheaters, Suckers and Grudgers

monkeysThe concept of “Cheaters, Suckers and Grudgers” is used within the Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins to examine various evolutionary strategies within a population, here is the chapter in question:

Suppose a species […] is parasitized by a particularly nasty kind of tick which carries a dangerous disease. It is very important that these ticks should be removed as soon as possible. […] An individual may not be able to reach his own head, but nothing is easier than for a friend to do it for him. Later, when the friend is parasitized himself, the good deed can be paid back. […] This makes immediate intuitive sense. Anybody with conscious foresight can see that it is sensible to enter into mutual back-scratching arrangements. […]

Suppose B has a parasite on the top of his head. A pulls it off him. Later, the time comes when A has a parasite on his head. He naturally seeks out B in order that B may pay back his good deed. B simply turns up his nose and walks off. B is a cheat, an individual who accepts the benefit of other individuals’ altruism, but who does not pay it back, or who pays it back insufficiently. Cheats do better than indiscriminate altruists because they gain the benefits without paying the costs. To be sure, the cost of grooming another individual’s head seems small compared with the benefit of having a dangerous parasite removed, but it is not negligible. Some valuable energy and time has to be spent.

Let the population consist of individuals who adopt one of two strategies. […] Call the two strategies Sucker and Cheat. Suckers groom anybody who needs it, indiscriminately. Cheats accept altruism from suckers, but they never groom anybody else, not even somebody who has previously groomed them. […] the cheats will be doing better than the suckers. Even if the whole population declines toward extinction, there will never be any time when suckers do better than cheats. Therefore, as long as we consider only these two strategies, nothing can stop the extinction of the suckers and, very probably, the extinction of the whole population too.

But now, suppose there is a third strategy called Grudger. Grudgers groom strangers and individuals who have previously groomed them. However, if any individual cheats them, they remember the incident and bear a grudge: they refuse to groom that individual in the future. In a population of grudgers and suckers it is impossible to tell which is which. Both types behave altruistically towards everybody else […]. If grudgers are rare in comparison with cheats, the grudger gene will go extinct. Once the grudgers manage to build up in numbers so that they reach a critical proportion, however, their chance of meeting each other becomes sufficiently great to off-set their wasted effort in grooming cheats. When this critical proportion is reached they will start to average a higher pay-off than cheats, and the cheats will be driven at an accelerating rate towards extinction. […]


This has some rather interesting implications for humans and human soceity when played out on a grand scale, and you will start to find many of the concepts rather applicable to in the modern culture war of progressivism versus tradition.

The suckers are your average Blue Pill sheeple who are still going by the old social script, they go by the playbook and they have the mistaken notion that they will be repaid in kind for what they are contributing. The Blue Pill Beta male is a good example, he follows his social conditioning thinking that he will be rewarded in the end for holding up his end of the bargain only to be friendzoned, taken to divorce court and generally made use by being the chump for the cheaters.

And we have your cheaters of course, people who intend to make full use of the system for maximum personal gain and advantage without giving in anything in return. Progressives, feminists and Social Justice Warriors fit well into this mould. They have a victim narrative that places themselves as the ultimately oppressed, demanding a free transfer of power and resources to themselves without ever seeing to give anything in return.

Asking for unqualified power and resources is a pretty common thing for SJWs, and it’s not just limited to trigglypuff in America asking for people to donate to their Patreon, we have one nice example right here:

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 5.37.54 pm

Note that nowhere in this who setup does Sangeetha say s

Feminists set up social structures to ensure that women as a group can extract maximal benefits and resources from soceity without needing to give anything in return. As Kenneth Minogue sucintly puts it “They suppressed almost completely the idea that their project involved a transfer of power and operated entirely on the moralistic principle that their demands corresponded to justice.”.

Basically progressives, SJWs, feminists and their ilk intend to make full use of the system to extract maximal benefits, but have little intention to repay any of that. Why should they? After all it’s their right.

And as long as there are suckers in Blue Pill sheeple and Beta Chumps, they can keep this scam running.

Ultimately cheating is not an evolutionarily stable strategy- as cheating gives the cheaters an advantage their numbers swell to the point that the population of suckers they extract those advantages from cannot sustain them. Being cheaters they have been getting ahead not by generating any real value for civillisation, but instead by gaming the system. Cheaters are ill-equipped, nor do they have any intention of, maintaining civillisation even if it’s collapse means disaster for them.

This is where the grudgers come in, and this is where you should be as a masculine man. Being a grudger means you put your back to the plough to keep things running but at the same time you are no sucker who thinks you will be rewarded simply by doing the work, you know there are lazy and unscrupulous people out there who are out to take advantage of you.

It is the job of grudgers to fight the cheaters, to make sure that the cheating strategy is not only contained, but utterly stomped out and eliminated. Unfortunately, modern soceity is conducive to the conduct of cheating, so the grudgers are going to be busy folk.

Look at the people in your social circle, how many are suckers? How many are cheaters? How many are grudgers? The suckers are useful and generally harmless people that often need to be protected, the grudgers you can be ideological allies with as you will share the same worldview.

It is the cheaters in your social circle that you need to give a hard time to, these are the people who are of no use to anyone except themselves and will have no qualms about betraying the group if it so suits them. Do not have any dealings with them, and if necessary you may need to engage them aggressively to drive them out of your company. Remember that cheating behaviours can be contagious if they are allowed free reign, so nip the problem in the bud before it starts.


  1. I just stumbled across this same thought regarding politics and Dawkin’s evolutionary stable strategies..

    The growing horde of useful idiots (suckers) enables the progressive elites (cheats) to make life hell for the remaining patriots (grudgers).


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