Competition or Co-operation

Definitely feels like the tectonic shift of the last few years has been factual relativism – where objective truth as a barometer of shared reality has morphed into subjective truth as a totem of tribal identity.

It’s pretty clear that despite all the fake news warnings – people still defer to whatever unsourced version of reality they most identify with – but couldn’t help thinking about how science itself can be warped to legitimize a socio-political agenda – partly by conspiracy and partly by cock up.

Amazing how ‘Survival of the Fittest’ – a questionable term in itself – has managed to embed itself into the very architecture of late capitalism. That idea of evolution as competition does make sense on a species level – the most adaptable rather than the most rigid live on – but within a species – the idea of competition driving progress is arguable at best.

The reason humans dominate the planet is precisely the fucking opposite of competition – it’s co-operation. Through our shared abstract constructs – money / god / law etc we manage to co-operate on a mass scale and build endless new layers through sharing ideas, knowledge, networks and resources.

Communism unfortunately fed into the logic of competition as progress because it was a fucking disaster – but just because paternalist statism doesn’t work doesn’t mean cutthroat social Darwinism does.

Add in an adversarial legal system where objective truth is measured by competing sales pitches, and the patterns within our ‘Western model’ do sharpen into focus.

And yet – the grown up part of me can’t help admitting that competition probably isn’t all bad and probably does drive some elements of progress – it’s just tragic that co-operation has been cast in the role of do-gooding bollocks rather than a core evolutionary engine, while competition is fetishised into ‘the natural order of things’.

Surely the greatest achievement of the human race is creating structures that enable co-operation?

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