This section is from the book "Principles Of Sociology With Educational Applications", by Frederick R. Clow. Also available from Amazon: Principles of sociology with educational applications.
Loyal cooperation can go on within any group only on condition that the apportionment of benefits and burdens among the members is just. There must be standing rules for all alike, then no one can complain of being unfairly treated. Between rival organizations rules are necessary to keep them from resorting to methods of winning that would be subversive of the ends for which those organizations exist. Groups are naturally very selfish, but with organization they may rise to lofty heights of altruism.
The organizations which conduct interscholastic contests, for example, while they use every effort to win, want it to be in accordance with the rules of the game. They make provision for the entertainment and convenience of their opponents; they may even refuse to take advantage of an accident to an opponent's equipment. All of this comes about by developing a sentiment of chivalry toward opponents, but it rests at bottom on a realization that victory would not be worth much unless arrangements were known to be such as to give the victory to the best man or team.
The pure justice-motive, then, crops up oftenest in the dealings of equals, in such fields as war, sport, trade, business, and politics. It is the natural regulator of emulation. . . .
Now what reconciles men of violence to one another and keeps them in the paths of peace is not the affectionateness of Tahitans . . ., but that voluntary limitation of one's claims that flows from a sense of fairness. ... All that nature does to fit men for just dealing is to give them self-control and reflectiveness. From the standpoint of peace and order the race most hopeless is not the hard and aggressive race, but the race afflicted with seething, explosive passions. Self-control, or the power to inhibit the passions, gives a man time to remember, to hear the other side, to discuss. Reflection favors that thought-out type of conduct which marks the fair-minded man. ... - Ross, Social Control, pp. 27, 29.