"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Mar 19, 2013

By Way of Reply

Competition is an ideology. It is an assertion of the primacy of a single perspective, in a cosmos which permits neither primacy, nor single perspectives. "Competition for survival" is an ideological, almost spiritualized, overlay upon observed phenomena. Ants do not compete to win their niche. They do not have a war plan, a game plan, or victory as an intended outcome. They do ant-ish things, and sometimes this works out for colonies of them.

Competition is itself a moral claim about an amoral world, but it lacks any of the grace or efficacy of other moral claims, like cooperation, mutual aid, nihilism or apathy, because competition asserts as its fundamental and only claim that those who win are better for having done so.

"Better how?" is rarely answered, because to do so is to lay bare what competition really proposes, as a way of life: "I have defeated you, and now I will not only eat your life, I will memorialize this act of cannibalism as history, religion, culture and law."

Competition, as a moral claim, assumes that cannibalizing the lives of others is not only good, it's an improvement over all other ways of thinking or being human.

10 comments:

anne said...

my fine ly tuned opened the pg here , of bal. , then i went about with the smaller and smaller of what needed to get/be done in my walk up flat here , now looking in at this a little (of how each of us different looks in ,of little able of time , in a moment, or other sway of time , ), by way of reply to some man out there again on something , and still never addressing me , a very very fem. wom.

Jack Crow said...

anne,

Are you wondering why people find it difficult to reply to your posts?

High Arka said...

anne, I think that ultimately you've replied not only to the memetics of the issue that was originally raised, but spoken also to the deeper meaning of "response" itself, in how the nuances of preponderance ask us each to reconsider our own presumptions about the matter at hand.

tsisa said...

I can't even read this shit. Are you kidding me? Oh right. I gave up on you.

Jack Crow said...

Kidding about competition, tsisa? No. People produced by systems which value competition will be competitive, on the whole, but that doesn't demonstrate anything except that the application of an ideology shapes ideological views of the world.

Think Finland.

anne said...

try pen jack .. ,you can do it , read it again and again when you are very weary , - some back ..not grounding.. in song to put on while trying -walking in the air (from the snowman ) anne marie sanderson

Jim H. said...

Cooperation is, I'm afraid, subject to the same analysis: an ideology, almost spiritualized, overlay upon observed phenomena, a moral claim about an immoral world...

Grace? Efficacy? I'm not sure what those mean in this context. Thinning the herd so the fittest make it is a certain sort of grace. And it's certainly efficacious!

'Better' is off-track. Lucky, maybe. Survivier, if that were a word, would be more descriptive.

The leap to cannibalism lost me.

I'm not saying competition and especially warfare are inevitable in the natural world. I certainly hope not. I read the other day that someone has developed a nanofilter that can desalinate seawater with minimal energy input. Once competition for scarce resources such as water and renewable, sustainable energy is rendered economically unnecessary by plenitude and affordability and availability (big assumption, I know), our human energies can be turned to the sort of more productive, hopefully cooperative, endeavors.

Technology, however, is amoral; is not a panacea. Can be captured, exploited by haves against have nots.

How's this instead: competition is an atavism...

anne said...

back in for a moment , of this post , something of it reminds me of cu's using the word power .. and how the use of a word changes so finely of tuned ..in a migration

tsisageya said...

You think I can't quit you? Think one more time.

Jack Crow said...

Jim,

It's too bad you responded as if I was arguing that I wasn't using an overlay subject to the same standards of critique.