Jan 25, 2013

Collaboration Versus Competition

Throughout history the extremes can be seen between the drastic difference between collaborators and competitors; Stalin-ism being the hyperbolic version of collaborators needing brute force to get to get tragic results--Fascism at the other extreme needs the same excess of force as well just to maintain "competitive" advantage of the regime. The difference can also be demonstrated through the prism of education as both being successful in their own way, Korean primary education system heralds competitiveness for all their children while Finland's schools are buttressed by collaboration so much that it bans private schools altogether.

At heart of the difference between these worldviews, is the holder's priority of 'others' vs. 'self'. Those that internalize collaboration to lead their lives seek to put others above themselves, while competitors believe themselves to be superior (whether or not facts bear that out) and is of the most ultimate concern when making decisions. So when individuals hold the belief that there is a end of civilization in the very near future (ex. Alex Jones), they do so with a sense of schadenfreude from preparing for an apocalypse that would devastate those that will be left starving and in a barbaric state of a nature. The hyperbolic individualists that without irony will brag that they never need anyone else (à la Craig T. Nelson’s claim “When I was on welfare, nobody helped me.”

Collaborators on the other hand seek out to improve their lives along with as many others as possible. Though err on the side of over-intervention and unrequested involvement, collaboration has the hubris of taking joy of helping--not whether or not the target of the help wanted the help are actual benefits from the assistance, but self-righteousness and smugness from completing a task no one asked for.

In the paradigm of government and public policy, the competition worldview believe that less government the better with expectations that private market will provide a general benevolence both domestically and abroad. They will point out that America’s drift towards empire is due to a “statist” government not giving way to the liberty of the individual. As Rand Paul arguing that Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans private businesses to discriminate based on race was  unnecessary since it was simply ‘bad business’ to exclude a large segment of the customer base. It ignores that the individual that is on top of the heap tends to far less than benevolent towards everyone below and needs to be restricted to maintain a common well being. It also ignores the reality that the foreign policy that are criticized for being excessive and militaristic were all done at the behest of private businesses.

Collaboration has its excesses as well, mired in consensus building tends to lead collaborators to inaction or action that is far from effective. United Nations is an example of excesses of collaboration, to a paralysis through analysis, while American actions done in name of humanity concerns is just lip service and actually done for the benefit of corporate profit motives.

So in my humble opinion, their needs to be a moderation between these two views (a leaning towards more collaborative than competition) and neither proponents should hold to a purist view of either side.