Call it what you want but at the end of the day it is a link scheme to increase your rankings which is against google's TOS. No one does it for the natural clicks
even having a links page, really, is having a "link scheme to increase your rankings." it's a matter of opinion... but we all know that google doesn't punish someone only for acquiring links that they're only acquiring to manipulate search engines. we all do it. how we do it might differ.
Can I use this network to force a competitor out of a prime keyword phrase? Point masses of text links reading: "blue widgets" so that he has far too high a ratio of incoming "blue widgets" links pointing to him, dropping him out of the SERPS for blue widgets?
if google punished this, then yes, you could do that. which is why google doesn't, and never will, punish you for having incoming links. you can't control what links to you, and google knows this.