Fairly recently I noticed that a society cannot long flourish unless there is a proper balance between cooperation and competition.  If you lose one, you will inevitably lose the other.  Our society is far off balance in the direction of competition. 

I have run across a couple of other examples.  An extensive part of the recent ECONOMIST (Emerging Market Multinationals ECONOMIST vol. 402 no. 8768 page 11 and special section following page 54) focuses on the number of emerging economies in which the government acts like the owner of what in the West would be a giant corporation. 

Of course the newspaper is against that.  Their editorial policy is that the economy should run itself with as little governmental tampering as possible.  That, we are supposed to believe, is why capitalism triumphed over communism.  Only communism is still around and in places, at least in China, it is doing quite well.  Their position of course is just wait; they’ll get their comeuppance.  I’m sure they will.  Only ours seems to be coming first.

Goodness knows we deserve it.  For many years it was rather standard for a big corporation to move it’s manufacturing to a place where wages were lower and restrictions fewer, disrupt the local culture by paying the best local talent to work in the factory, and then when a cheaper place beckoned break camp.  Obviously if the local economy could not compete, the obvious safeguard was for the local government to set up such enterprises and run them for the benefit of the country.

I am all for freedom, and communism does not have a good record in that regard.  But a certain degree of cooperation, yes it looks like its time may have come.

On a different front altogether, there is a report of global warming.  (Extinctions Underestimated NATURE vol. 481 n0. 7380 January
12, 2012 page 116 reviewing Proc. R. Soc. B http//  As things warm up, of course, species will be threatened.  Some will go extinct.  Others will move their ranges to higher latitudes or higher altitudes.  The point of the article reviewed is that some which might otherwise successfully relocate will fail to do so because of COMPETITION.  Either the local population of a form adapted to a similar niche will prevent the incursion or the newcomers will drive the local population to extinction.  The assumption, quite reasonable, is that some species will adapt faster and some move faster than others.

Well and good, and I’m sure it’s all true.  But something is missing.  Cooperation doesn’t even come up for a mention.  Consider a predator and its prey.  Without prey the predators starve out.  Without predators the prey eat everything and then starve.  And if the temperature has force done to move and the other has not managed to do so, there can be starvation of both even though both species are still around somewhere.

But nowadays it’s all competition.  The notion that some forms depend on each other is a blind spot.

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