For quite a while now I’ve noticed how often metaphors of war and competition make their way into our every day lexicon. Now I’m not one for political correctness so I don’t get all bent out of shape about it but it has become a very curious phenomenon and I’m more and more jarred by references of this type when I hear them. (The Charlie Chaplin video on the home page is a good example with all his references to fighting.)
I have grown up in a world where Darwin’s competitive “natural selection’ paradigm seems to have taken over our ethic. It has certainly taken over our economic ethic (except when it hasn’t…i.e. big bank bailouts) But I have read recently that the emphasis on competition for species survival may be overly one sided. Co-operation has evolved right alongside competition as an effective means of perpetuating survival. There’s no reason why they should be mutually exclusive at all. Since I’ve been paying attention I’ve seen many examples of “strangely” cooperative behavior between species. Have a look at two of them below. Its the ethic of cooperation that has inspired the un bank and the suggestions on ending fear in your economic life. In another post I’ll explore the health benefits of co-operation as opposed to the stress created in competitive environments.