Fairness and cooperation reinforce each other. Cooperation may be described as what
you put in to a situation; fairness refers to what you get out of it. If people
are treated fairly (whatever that means in the context) then they are more motivated
In modern “primitive” societies of hunter-gatherers, there is egalitarianism (a very
flat power structure with all members of the group contributing to decisions) and
distribution according to need, so that all members of the group are cared for.
Our nearest relatives, the other great apes, do not share like humans do; typically,
high-ranking individuals dominate the proceedings and eat first. It is thought that
egalitarian sharing in the human way evolved because we started scavenging and capturing
large prey animals where there was a lot of meat to go around and cooperation was
necessary to secure a carcass or kill the prey.