In this section, we will seek to answer the question, “Where is there any society based on mutualism and cooperation?” This is done from a perspective of ‘simple’ or pre-industrial societies, modern nations, intentional communities, alternative institutions, social movements, parallel subcultures, archetypical figures, and daily anonymous heroes. We will review in some detail certain samples of these different benchmarks, emphasizing that they need not be perfect to serve as alternative models, and end by asking whether or not conflict and competition would have any appropriate place in a culture of peace.
These few examples suffice to show that we are surrounded by diverse cultures of cooperation and peace which, while plentiful and pervasive, are largely obscured by the dominant culture of selfishness and violence. In fact, it is because of these elements of mutualism that humanity has been able to preserve its cohesion and vitality. They offer a rich reserve of non-adversarial strategies and resources for sociocultural change. Finally, they offer indisputable proof of the possibility of a different world, as per the famous truism of the renowned social scientist and peace activist Kenneth Boulding: “Whatever exists is possible.”