I'm sure Google would like webmasters to stop linking to one another. Bing and Yahoo would like the same I'm sure. Less referral traffic would mean that ordinary users would have a greater reliance on a search product.
Before Google starts beating the quality drum again, their webspam team really needs to address content theft. I'm seeing small/micro business websites being replaced in Google's serps by those that have stolen our client's "quality content" by merely posting it on a blogspot subdomain and spamming it with links. Google needs to drop the whitelisting of their own properties and respect an original authors work, regardless of where it may reside.
Remember that if the content you create is really of a high standard that is worthy of natural links, it is very likely to be scraped as well. There's nothing worse than seeing hours of research, image/video editing benefiting thieves instead of your clients. Google is culpable in these situations because they can identify and rank the originals if they want. Apparently Google does not want to, especially when the stolen content is getting traffic to one of their properties.