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Cooperation Or Competition? (Aka Evolve Or Die)

“Only the strong survive.”

“It’s a dog eat dog world out there.”

“The cream will rise to the top.”

Clever. Clever manipulation, that is, when used to promote a predatory economic system that rewards greed and suppresses cooperation. The concept of only the strongest of a species being worthy of survival is pertinent to the animal kingdom where a remarkable balance with other species is important for the survival of all. Is it proper for the human race, though? Are we not our sister’s and brother’s keepers? Hasn’t developing a large brain and attaining the ability to think creatively given the human race a level of intelligence in which we are able to help each other survive instead of competing AGAINST each other? Is it not a worthwhile aim to help other people make their lives better? That would appear to be an evolution of sorts.

“Just looking out for number one.”

However, many people seem to think it’s acceptable to take what they can while they can and that other people are just “competition” to be “defeated”. There are others still who have parlayed cunningly clever “survival of the fittest” propaganda and the twisted, egomaniacal ideas of Ayn Rand into a philosophy of bloodthirsty individualism. This combustible mixture of extremist ideologies has led to a cannibalistic, “winner take all” system of Social Darwinism that has retarded human evolution. The purveyors of this system seem to be of the opinion that only certain people deserve to enjoy life and that taking care of yourself can justify destroying the way of life of entire groups of people. (Examples range from the continuing 500+ year genocide of Native Americans to the bloodthirsty system of slavery to the modern day manipulation of the global economy and funnelling of dangerous drugs into inner cities.) They preach a rigid, dogmatic creed that there are winners and losers in life and that it’s all there for the taking if you’re strong enough, tough enough and “smart” enough. (Yes, it is amusing to think intelligence has much to do with “success” in modern Western life.) 

People aren’t born with the willingness to gauge life on possessions. It is a sickness inflicted on us by the current rulers of society, the “corporate elite”. They use a well-planned barrage of propaganda to set the groundwork for an unnatural, predatory system that teaches us to look at fellow human beings as commodities to be bought, sold and traded. They cleverly persuade the masses into taking part in this pathetic masquerade of human accomplishment with a two-pronged attack of parading their ill-conceived examples of what happiness is and denigrating ideas that don’t fit neatly into their single-minded system. On a societal level, they justify this cunningly evil scheme with a different technique of manipulation. They tell us that OUR society can only flourish by vanquishing our enemies (who want to destroy OUR system) and by imposing our will on all who either get in our way or simply don’t understand that THEIR system is wrong and OUR system is right. We are also told that we must “conquer” and “subdue” the planet. This is militaristic ambition cloaked in a veil of “success” and “prosperity”. And, obviously, it isn’t how a race of sensitive, civilized beings would evolve.

What many people fail to realize is that our society is out of balance. We mistakenly believe that we are individual beings separate from each other. We suffer from a delusion that we can attain happiness as distinct entities concerned primarily with ourselves and by collecting possessions that define who we think we are. We’ve forgotten what is truly important while striving to “make it to the top”. We fail to see that this only blinds us from the reality that we are all part of one life. That is the reason for the deep unhappiness so many feel. And when people buy objects to comfort themselves, they are merely trying to fill an emptiness inside with more useless possessions that will only perpetuate the disease they feel. This disease – or “dis-ease” – is a failure to understand the cause of the uneasiness. We are not living in harmony with other life on the planet – including each other. We are a sick, unhappy society and until more people are awakened to this truth, we will continue to treat our collective sickness with more psychologically toxic, mind-made prescriptions of false paradise.  

Human beings are inherently good. Left to our own devices, many people would realize the immorality of what is being done in the name of “progress” and attempt to live a balanced life appreciating people for who they are instead of for what can be taken from them. We’d be more inclined to appreciate the natural beauty of the world instead of looking at it as something to profit from while collecting objects of dubious value.

There is reason to hope that humankind will survive the suicidal combination of a complacent, well-behaved society of followers devoid of creative thinking being ruled by a class of cannibalistic predators who believe they are invincible. The increasingly delusional attempts by the ruling class to subjugate the masses can lead one to believe that they will go too far. This overreaching could create a backlash – though in two distinctly separate ways.

One would be a spiritually influenced revolution in which people develop a more pronounced sense of compassion and learn to think for themselves. They would refuse to be divided by hate and ignorance and develop more understanding, rediscovering the strength to decide for themselves in what direction they’d like to move as a society. They would learn once again to take responsibility for living in harmony with the planet. Greed would be questioned, selfishness looked down upon and laws enacted that would allow empathy and justice to become integral parts of a humane system of governing.

Another  possibility – one less conscious, but potentially powerful nontheless – would be a destructive revolution in which people wrest control of society from the current rulers in an attempt to install a more just system in its place. This second prospect, however, would be dangerous. It would be too similar in behavior to the current era of violence humankind has been staggering through for millenia. We need to evolve as a race to start living peacefully on a planet with finite resources. The insanity of violence and greed must end before it leads to societal suicide.

Maybe the human race is ready for a drastic change – a shift in consciousness. How much longer can we continue to delude ourselves into thinking that everything is fine as we use all the natural resources of the planet without figuring what to do after they are gone? How much longer can we leave toxic waste in place of natural elements without realizing we are poisoning all life on the planet – ourselves included? How much longer can we continue to lie, cheat and steal to attain possessions and not expect to lose them through those same tactics being used against us? How will countries like the United States and China continue to invade sovereign nations and steal resources without expecting the rest of the world to decide they’ve had enough? Will those ravaged and pillaged nations band together and start a war that they have no intention of seeing an end to? Will THAT mark the end of human life on Earth?

Yes, I’m asking a lot of questions, but maybe if the human race had been doing more of that the past century or two we wouldn’t be facing the very real possibility of extinction today.

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