> Short-term, it is hard to see how war and competition, which are both based
> on WIN/LOSE cultures, could possibly benefit all in any way. Some evidence
> is that in almost all capitalistic countries (eg USA, UK, Australia, Brazil,
> SE Asia), the gap between the rich and poor continues to increase. The
> unempowered and weak always lose without help.
Neither war nor business, nor competition are based on a WIN/LOSE
culture. This is an incorrect and yet widely held belief in the
discussion. Let me make this clear for you:
War is about survival, about ideas, about property, and about
territory and resources. Resources are expended not invested.
Competition is about making your self and your opponent better.
As a result of competition, even in a tie you get better. A tie in
war is devastating to both parties. A tie in busienss is lower
prices and increased product offerings for others--this is
also good. Competition is about extending the accepted boundaries of
human capability. Few wars are fought on the notion of extending
Business is about creating wealth. It is about utilizing resources
of capital, labor, knowledge, and markets to increase the usability
of the resources of the earth to make lives better.
More importantly though, is this notion that somehow the rich
getting richer in comparison to the poor is perverse. Of course they
get richer they are applying not only their labor, but also their
knowledge and capital to creating wealth. When the poor apply all
three, they get rich. There is a culture of poor and its not
something to be celebrated.
SO perhaps rewarding people based on performance is a mental model
that some of us hold dear. Perhaps the Darwinian notion of what
survives succeeds is another metaphor for "might makes right", but
what if your version is wrong? What if these models are right and
you continue to maintain that it's cooperation not competition that
works best? What will happen to you and your genetic material?
What if as Eddy states that the unempowered and weak always lose
without help, actually propagates a weakening of human spirit? Even
if you were born wealthy or to the middle class, you are only a few
decisions away from poverty. What should a learning society do about
this--foster competition, encourage cooperation, or engage war on
The role of competition and cooperation need to be looked at in a
manner which extends human capability.
Charles Barclay 2404 Maile Way
Dept. of Mgmt & Ind Relations Honolulu, HI 96822
University of Hawaii Fax: 808 956-2774
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 808 956-8545
"The marketplace is much too Darwinian to permit that much
discussion." DEC CEO Robert Palmer assessing the effect of managers
working together in management decisions for foreign operations.
BusinessWeek 1994 Special Issue--21st Century Capitalism