n Transcends Competitio n
Pope Francis has been causing a stir lately with his vocal critique of the ‘everybody is expendable, business as usual’ status quo. He has rebuked the Corporatacracy, calling it a “globalization of indifference” that is “unjust at its root”. He has been an advocate for the poor and the homeless. In his recent speech prepared for World Peace day, January 1st 2014, Pope Francis said that fraternity between every individual is the prerequisite for peace. We want peace, and we want to collaborate with friends on the grounds of mutual respect. The problem is that we have been conditioned by society to believe that life is competition, that it is battle, and consequently that in order for there to be winners there must be losers. Fraternity transcends seeing others as losers, and Cooperation transcends Competition.
The Competition model is based on scarcity of resources, and the highly-misconstrued ‘survival of the fittest’ concept. It is survival by force, survival of the most ruthless. Violence is inherent and ‘beating the enemy’ is the driving Ethos. In the competition model, people don’t have time to help others because time is money and generosity is self-sabotaging. People are currently so consumed by their own financial difficulties that they cannot afford to help others. If we collectively continue living life through the competition mindset, inequality and apathy will push us towards societal collapse.
The Cooperation model is based on diversity and mutual aid. Cooperation is ecological, utilizing individuals within the same environment. The Taoist concept of nature is that it is “Self-so”. Each living being grows independently, yet they find harmony with their environment. Competition is ‘winner takes all’ whereas Cooperation is ‘we can all win if we work together’. Working towards common goals forms community bonds that enrich the network by making it more interconnected and dynamic. The Cooperation model starts with giving positive feedback to others or referring another’s work. Podcasts often recommend other podcasts because many people are producing great content and because we are all in this together. Through fraternity we can make room for everyone as they are, and we can begin cooperating towards meeting everyone’s needs.
We cannot continue to live in an economical paradigm that results in desperate poverty and starvation. Bottom line, no exceptions, no life discarded and forgotten. I don’t believe there is a Utopian solution to these problems, but I do believe that through fraternity and absolute care for our fellow man that we can raise the global standard of living.