Competition and cooperation

Every living being on this planet obviously¬†managed to survive, and deserves the name ‘winner’. According to the common paradigms surrounding evolution, this means the living entity successfully ‘competed’ against others to maintain the state of aliveness. But does that make much sense?

Even the simplest form of life, single-cell organisms, needs a cooperative environment much more than competitive elbows to fight off others. If the environment ‘competes’ with bacteria, ie becomes toxic for them, they can’t live at all. Only ‘cooperative’ environments support life.

While many people mistake ‘environment’ for the nice backdrop of¬†photos in exotic places, it usually contains more life than the person in the foreground of the photo. All plants and animals humans consume for food have been alive, not competing for an abstract imaginary universal food called money, but creating the self-sustaining support web of life.

Competition exists, although usually arising from opportunity, and not as a normal way of life. Especially mammals seem to spend more time on grooming each other than contesting their social ranking. Not even predator and prey compete with each other, yet create a dynamic balance which supports diversity around them.

Humanity acted often like ecological terrorists, deliberately upsetting the dynamic equilibrium of eco-systems they invaded. At least since the British Empire some people engage actively in geo-engineering the planet. The continents known as America, Africa, Asia and Australia had to cope with introduced species, transforming the eco-systems in unpredictable ways.

Pigs coming to America by boat with Christopher Colombo ‘competed’ with the native wildlife from one perspective, cooperated with it from another. The introduced ‘food’ source made life easier for the invader, the transformation of the eco-systems made life more difficult especially for more complex beings including humans.

The rise of the dominator society needs competition, and the firm believe in its primacy as survival tool. It acts as the screen to project the illusion of nations, religions and corporations on. A firm understanding of the value of cooperation obliterates nationalism, fundamentalism and materialism. The dominator society managed to create a system which bases on the competitive ‘struggle for survival’, as well as the implicit cooperation of the dispossessed.

Humanity has been indoctrinated with the ‘winner’ meme, and lack of imagination means only fight can make winning happen. Cooperation creates win-win situation, synergy, a whole system bigger than the sum of its parts. Each human can win out, without the need for losers. This attitude exists after the cataclysms, and on smaller scale throughout history in some groups. Common sense, decency and facts can easily dismantle the myth of scarcity as foundation of the current global economic system. Fear-based propaganda keeps it alive.

The current economic model made it literally to the top of the pyramid of economic systems, mainly by out-living its competition in a process of continuous violent pre-emptive self defence. It fails to provide access to the abundance of this planet for all members of the human family, and endangers the ability to sustain large numbers of human beings. The evolutionary tree of economic systems needs for branching to liberate the planet from domination and economic slavery.

Motivation

The dominator society exploits the common misconceptions about the role of humanity in the greater scheme of things in many ways. Humans get distracted from exploring their inner nature by the suggestion to trust in experts.

The idea of genetic determinism still informs many opinions about human nature, generations have been indoctrinated to accept a programmed second hand reality. Many people buy into the suggestion to a slave to genes, hormones and physics, seeking remedy for health problems with clever mechanics for the human machine.

Humans have two basic internal systems of reward, immediate and delayed. In early childhood, delayed gratification needs to be developed. Mature people usually have acquired the skill to decide upon immediate and delayed gratification in any given situation.

Classical conditioning utilises reward and punishment, both of which can be delayed or immediate in case of humans. It taps into what Buddhism calls the major cause for suffering, craving and aversion. Suffering, due to too much craving for material goods, fear of losing them and the aversion to many things seem like the predominant state of being for many people.

Not all the desires humans naturally display need to lead to suffering. Maslow described the hierarchy of needs, with food and shelter on the lowest rank. Happiness and acceptance also belong to the category of experiences humans naturally aspire to.

Many cultures determined the heart as primary, reliable decision maker, yet nowadays, distracted by the marvels of technology, believe in the primacy of the mind runs rampant. This makes it easier to control society simply by giving empty promises, especially about gratification for actions taken.

The concept of heaven and hell looks like the oldest meme influencing human behaviour on the basis of delayed gratification and punishment. From a modern perspective the emptiness of these promises becomes very apparent, as authentic accounts of this mystical realms simply don’t exist.

As the ‘after-life’ doesn’t fit too well into the scientific paradigms of the modern world, the promises of delayed gratification became more mundane. Annual increase in salary, holidays and pensions suggest ‘heaven’ on Earth, weekends, entertainment and drugs tap into the immediate gratification process.

As people spend most of their time in their minds, they lose their ability to distinguish between their own experience and vicarious experiences. While the promises given by the dominator society didn’t hold true for them, they heard the story of others often enough to believe in a genuinely fair system.

The attention given to the mind often distracts from the present moment. Humans can shift their awareness in amazing ways, yet it takes initiative or good examples to master one’s attention, and shift it to a useful space. Obsession with one’s own mind has become an epidemic within humanity, as one of the building blocks of slavery.

A mind disconnected from this universe can be afraid of anything. Living in fear, however, prevents rational thinking, and trains human beings to act in ways inconceivable from the position of a self-aware entity in an interdependent environment.

Societies flourish by cooperation, and disintegrate by a focus on competition. It will take some well experienced souls to provide enough examples and insights in the necessity for cooperation to stop the cataclysm for the human species.