It is cooperation that distinguishes a society from just a bunch of people living together.
What is cooperation?
Cooperation is contributing to the common good (sometimes at the expense of one’s own self-interest).
For example, when you volunteer to take an “action item” at a meeting you are doing so not in your own self-interest, but rather in the interest of the group. You are cooperating.
Contributing to a charity is another example of cooperating. It doesn’t benefit you, but it benefits society as a whole.
Cooperation, on both a small and large scale permeates any healthy society. It is what distinguishes a society from just a bunch of people living together.
— The above is a summary of a portion of The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki