The competition-less society

The competition-less society

Kinda fundamental to the star trek message, I do think its inevitable that we will move beyond ‘competition’ and the very concept of that is what is in question here.
After thoroughly enjoying the Olympics I was left with the disturbing notion, that it was all just a load of nationalistic dick waving and baseless competitiveness.
Are we all being like a load of big babies, like when we were kids and we won our first race getting a little buzz of joy at that winning.
Yet what is winning when we are not its creators, nor even authors of its thoughts? Did we create our bodies and environments? Unless we place restrictions upon peoples freedom of movement, then nations are meaningless. The very notion of competition can only involve prejudice.
I’d hate to be the heterosexual guy who got allocated the tickets to the men’s beach volleyball lol.

Before long the machines we build will have better recognition and dexterity than we do, cheap labour will become pointless when machines can do everything faster and better than we do.
Re-use will take over from recycling when manufacturers can make containers from artificial diamond, then we can all work together in mutually supporting business networks.

Mass immigration and mass populations will no longer be required when we have machines making everything for us, maybe most products will be produced from 3D printers in our garages. I think the movement of cheap labour is unethical anyway, not to mention that we are bringing up our children to be a load of unintelligent, back-stabbing, nationalistic, infantile, prejudice numpties, skulking around the planet with their big clumpy boots destroying our grandchildren’s garden.

Problem; would competitionlessness [as opposed to un-competitiveness ~ because that makes it sound like a failure], remove much of what we think is enjoyable and good about the world and what it is to be human, perhaps even some aspects of the artistic process?

Would we stop creating without competition? Hmm well, with machines doing all the work humans will mostly be artists, programmers, inventors and technicians ~ thinkers! Would the human mind stop working? I don’t think so, I feel we would just be creative at a far higher degree of sophistication!

Thoughts ladies and gentlemen?


I’m pretty sure future technologies will be abused. Maybe they will declare war on some alien race they’ve found. Who knows for sure?

Physical exercise is beneficial, so is mental, etc., even spiritual to some and maybe moral and cooperative exercise too whatever those would be. Ambition seems to be a natural emotion for humans and a little competition amongst those in their prime age would be a fun motivator to improve if wanted. And then there are those who almost seem to have the genetic composition to shine. Phelps comes to mind with his outstanding physique for swimming. Some people were just born to do what they do really good.

I can’t imagine a competition-less society any more than I can imagine a society without cut-throat competition, unfortunately. Tanya Harding is an example.

Competition is a good thing to learn. It provides challenge. Where would humanity be without challenge?

If taught properly, what is competition is a positive motive to excel. Competition should celebrate those who excel - both winners and losers of any particular competition. In a beneficial competition, one is either a learner or a teacher, and to excel, one is both at the same time. The striving isn’t to win, but to be the best you can possibly be while learning from those who are even better.

But why do I have to be better than you?
People can live life for in and of itself, observing and responding to its beauty without one-upping another


I agree future tech will be abused, but will also be beneficial.


What if improvement means no competition? what about the vast majority who don’t win?
Perhaps I am not saying don’t be good at what you are good at, just don’t make that a prejudice. What will it mean when there are no longer any records to be set, because humans have reached their maximum efficiency? We cant keep setting records unless we feel that one day humans will run at 100mph.


Not out of a job because the capitalists have got in cheap immigrant labour to do your job for less?
Without competition, why would humans not still want to achieve skills and be what they want to be?

With future tech you cannot have part of the business networks going under, we will have to be mutually supporting or the chain will be broke.

This will also lessen the risk factor people use to substantiate their claims for a greater share of wealth, and hence could provide the platform for fairer wealth distribution.


Good point but is it a fallacy, who celebrates the losers? Some people cried because they got silver medals, and we are constantly being told to be winners and only that.


Exactly! Especially in England I think one-upmanship and snobbery is massive, although I think contrary to our more humble ethics. I just don’t like that aspect of society and I certainly hope one day we can move beyond it to more salient features.


I actually think that the most interesting thing about this thread is the fact that constructs like country and nationalism were mentioned.
As far as I’m concerned, those concepts are detrimental to today’s society even if they were useful in the past.

The Olympics are a perfect example of this. Americans are rooting for the American athletes, Germans are rooting for the German athletes and so forth…
Why ? On one hand, you gotta ask yourself, why do you root for someone? Simply because they were born in the same place as you ? Who cares ?
On the other hand, why is it important that your country wins ? Is it going to become a “better” country all of a sudden? Will your existence be somehow validated just because you live in the country that won most medals ? Will you finally be convinced that you really are better then Brazilians, Chinese and Australians ?

The things that we truly care about, or should care about, like quality of life, education, health system are all things that cannot be accomplished in a pissing match.

Patriotism and Nationalism are things that we need to do away with if we want to improve society.

It is not competition that is the problem; it is ruthless rivalry, cut-throat competition that is the real problem. Monopolies can be a problem.

I have a discussion of this issue in my booklet ASPECTS OF ETHICS, pp. 15-18, {click on the link in the signature below}. You may want to check out that philosophical dialog: It explains the difference between a friendly contest (which is competitive) and a business which uses sneaky tricks to destroy its rivals in the same industry or line of business.

Until automation and robots take over completely - and we still don’t know how to design any to pick the fruits and vegetables from the farms anywhere near as efficiently as human labor - commerce will go on, there will be companies in the same field, and one of them will strive to outsell the others. That doesn’t have to be unethical. Competitiveness does tend to sharpen workers up; the employees at Facebook wanted to do a better job than did MySpace, etc.
Unemployment leading to lack of basic resources to live on is the problem. Needing money to consume food is the problem. A Resource-based economy is a good solution. Learn more about it.

I agree with volchok about nationalism and ethnocentrism; patriotism, though, can have some value.


Spot-on! Can you believe we completely agree about something!

I might add that the spoils of capitalism have winners and losers and Africa and the third world generally are definitely the losers, exploited to the full. Why arent we all ‘worldish’ and why don’t we look after all human beings equally!

I realise it wont happen over night, and that philosophical ideals are only ever partially applied, but we philosophers have to keep pushing the boat out in the vein hope that improvements will be made.


This is true but for how long, I feel that 5-10yrs and recognition software in computers will be able to recognise objects as well as humans. Then that machines will be equally or more dextrous than humans. That aside, 3D printers will be able to make virtually any small scale product incorporating different materials by the year 2017 ~ as I am informed. We can already make virtually anything from a single material.

I agree that ruthless competition is the first obstacle to overcome, people need security and that can only truly come from mutually supporting business networks imho. To get rid of cutthroat capitalism I am tempted to think that we have to become competition-less, as competition itself is endemic to the whole structure and ethics or current backwards capitalism.

Its all moving very, very quickly!

lols “nationalistic dick waving”…so true…so true…

i think that while our children may be as you said… in the end it will result in war which may in the end result in a one world order of sort that would probably end up not being so bad… its just the shit in between that willl be harsh

I find this a bit confusing. How do we add up all the good and bad effects of technology and decide whether it is good or bad?

If humans were nicer and wiser technology would easily be almost pure good.
But humans are f-ed up.


I don’t see war I see change ~ at least that’s my hope. In fact it could be a very positive enterprise we all partake in, though I do understand that humans aren’t very easy to work with.


Well you are right of course, but I have faith that the tech will surpass the lesser human attributes. Good and bad will be decided by utility perhaps?

When they first made the printing press, I was told that many people tried to suppress it.

Now we have a world of globalization.

I imagine technology will become some sort of super corporation process that is sold around the whole earth.

There will still be secret military technologies, but the public technologies and medicines will move forward.

Ideally the super corporations that sell the technology of the future will want economic stability and free trade so that they try to stop wars so that they can sell to everyone without restrictions.

That is just one of many possibilities but it’s me trying to make a positive idea about it.


I really hope it will be the vehicle that replaces corporations, the whole ideal here is to remove power.

The super corporations may want to sell to everyone, but they are also happy to subjugate our rights and freedoms to their clients. Its frankly ridiculous and unintelligent, and belongs to the very things humanity needs to rid itself of.

You’d do best if you were able to improve human nature, otherwise everything that passes through their hands will be effected.
How do we do this?
Maybe it will naturally happen once our biological technologies become good enough, or cybernetic implants might become great aswel.

“remove power” is a term that leaves me silent.
I’m thinking you mean remove the corruption and imbalances of power.

I think the whole system of religion and power and stuff is outdated.
Who will replace all these things with something better?

I don’t have allot to add other than it is a bit of a paradox that it appears only humanity can heal humanity. If any improvement happens it will have to be done by the same humanity that for so long has had problems that it has caused.

war and change are often interchangeable.

You don’t need to be ‘better’ than me. That’s what I was leading up to. Many of the games are called ‘team’ games when they’re really individuals competing with themselves–kind of a “can I do better than I’ve done before?” Swimming, diving, running, jumping, gymnastics, archery, shooting, epee–these are individuals competing against themselves. The runner who ran the first leg of the relay on a broken leg, according to the stories, wasn’t necessarily thinking about the ‘team’–he was thinking about doing his job.

That’s an important thing to learn; otherwise, how many people faced with limitations would simply give up?


If one’s only motivation is competition, then in my book, they’re ill.

Wiki on Competition:

Competition in biology, ecology, and sociology, is a contest between organisms, animals, individuals, groups, etc., for territory, a niche, or a location of resources, for resources and goods, for prestige, recognition, awards, mates, or group or social status, for leadership; it is the opposite of cooperation. It arises whenever at least two parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared or which is desired individually but not in sharing and cooperation

As you can see, competition is defined by rivalry between two parties. A competition is where one’s success, is dependent, on another’s failure. Therefore, to help oneself, is not an act of competition.

Why do you eat? Why do you breath? Why do you sleep? Your argument is that competition is the only way to motivate people. Who are you competing against when you go to sleep at night?

I think your representation of competition’s benefits are misguided.