According to Thomas Hobbes humans are evil bastards that must be controlled by a coercive entity we call the state. Hobbes’s beliefs can are demonstrably false by the simple fact that a species of inherently bad individuals would be unable to cooperate well enough to establish societies. Such reasoning is ignored by statists though so other evidence must be brought to the table such as this recent study that demonstrates people, in general, act socially “well” even without established rules:
Millions of human interactions were assessed during the study which included actions such as communication, founding and ending friendships, trading goods, sleeping, moving, however also starting hostilities, attacks and punishment. The game does not suggest any rules and everyone can live with their avatar (i.e. with their “game character” in the virtual world) as they choose. “And the result of this is not anarchy,” says Thurner. “The participants organise themselves as a social group with good intents. Almost all the actions are positive.”
The entire paper can be read here. What I find most fascinating is the fact that these results were obtained through simulation as simulations, virtual worlds existing without real consequences, are where people like to act out their darker desires. You can put somebody in front of a copy of The Sims for very long until they start burning and or drowning the various sims in their household. Yet even in a simulated environment where people have ample opportunity to be assholes to one another in general people were acting positively instead of negatively.
The study also demonstrated that the golden rule certainly applies are positive actions were usually replied to with positive actions while negative actions were usually replied to with negative actions. In other words people are generally good and the rule of “don’t be a dick” applies.