The Economy of Cooperation

COMPETITION

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”—Mark Twain

“Competition justifies cheating because it robs effort to reward talent.”   —Math

i used to wonder why, in high school, they never taught me about how credit cards work, especially in a Capitalist society where such knowledge would seem to be a prerequisite to participate in. or what a mortgage is. or how the stock market works. or how to invest my money. or how to make a budget. or how much income would be required to live in a certain area. or what type of job i should get. or what my civil rights are. or what the U.S. Constitution means to my life. none of this was ever seriously discussed, things that would affect me for the rest of my life….. and then it dawned on me—it’s the competitive environment that motivates our leaders to hide their motives, to intentionally keep us in the dark.

in a Capitalist society, competition is king. that means you’re always competing against your neighbor for finite resources. i.e., either you get the money or your competitor gets it. and the best way to generate the most money is to have access to better information than your competitors.

unfortunately, this affects everything. the best way to beat your competitors is to cut them off at the knees before they even start the race. the best strategy is to attack them when they’re young and vulnerable. this is why school age children are taught such useless information. it’s not in a Capitalist’s interest to educate his future competition. it’s best to make your competition dependent upon you for everything. that especially includes information.

instead of teaching children how to manage their money, why not create a money managing service to do it for them? then you can profit off of their ignorance. instead of teaching children how to invest their income, why not create a business to handle that fundamental gap in their knowledge? their blind spot is your windfall. instead of teaching children to be accountable for their futures, why not just capitalize on their failures by creating markets to exploit their lack of independence? offering low cost fish to starving people is much more profitable than teaching men to fish, who will only use that knowledge to open competing fish stores and cut into your future profits.

this is the mentality of a capitalist whose first goal is to compete not clarify, whose first instinct is to monetize not educate, whose primary aim is to eat the smaller fish, not teach them how to survive until they grow big enough to eat you. not even children deserve mercy in a capitalist economy because there’s no incentive to educate a future competitor.

it’s easy to fall into a competitive mindset. as children, we were always comparing what we got to what our friends had. we grew up being rewarded for our competitive efforts by the same adults whose own parents weren’t mature enough to realize the long term damage this self-preservation attitude would wreak on society. so they incentivized us into believing that competing against our peers was essential to our success in life.

 

this is why Social Justice Warriors were bothered when they learned that, at a White House dinner, Donald Trump was served two scoops of ice cream while everybody else only got one. the same voices from their childhoods that conditioned them compare their portion against everyone else’s portion, is the same mantra they chant today to remind us all that we should subordinate our needs to promote what’s “fair.”

fairness

now, you may be thinking, “fairness doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to focus on,” until you realize that Social Justice Warriors use the term “fair” the same way lawyers substitute “legal” for “moral”; their intention is to get competitive-minded jurors to focus on equality instead of necessity. by luring their attention away from Justice—what their clients deserve—to focus solely on fairness—what society owes them, they’re able to circumvent accountability while still getting credit for being moral. it’s the difference between sugary Halloween candy that’s owed to your body and eating healthy a turkey sandwich that’s right for your body.

fairness is only concerned with equal treatment not moral treatment. in Trump’s case above, the competitive mindset of the Social Justice Warriors leads them to compare their lives to Trump’s life. “i don’t have what he has! something must be wrong!”  because the amount of Trump’s ice cream is greater than theirs (the pinnacle of inequality!), they conclude that he must be immoral.

but equality is not an indication of morality because it doesn’t improve people’s lives. in fact, it destroys them because it destabilizes their ability to rest. true morality is solely concerned with equilibrium—a state of rest achieved when everything is functioning.

the universe isn’t at rest because there are an equal number of stars and planets, neither is the earth at rest because there are an equal number of continents on both sides of the planet, and neither are we at rest because we have an equal number of heads on our body. rest only comes when equilibrium is reached. this means that everything must be placed in a position that will create order with every other object around it; the sun’s position must not only harmonize with the earth’s position, but it must simultaneously maintain the correct distance from every other star and planet around it as well. if it suddenly moved from its correct position, this would have disastrous consequences on everything.

similarly, people must maintain orderly relationships with everyone around them. if we start removing or adding things for the sake of equality, we’ll fuck up their harmony. arbitrarily removing a daughter to match another family’s loss or even adding a father to coincide with a gay couple would harm everyone involved. this is because equality only takes one person or one group into account but fails to take all people on the planet into account. thus, equality is a lower standard than proportion. equality may boost our self-esteem, but proportion is what we require to live.

e.g., if we shrunk the heart to make it equal in size to the kidneys for the sake of fairness, we would ruin our entire body. the harmonious relationship each organ has established with every other organ in the system would collapse. it might seem virtuous on the surface, but since this new design completely disrupts our ability to function, it’s actually immoral because it puts our very life in jeopardy. equality would destroy the equilibrium achieved by proportionally sized organs.

let’s look at another example. if we were to give both children and adults an equal amount of food for the sake of fairness, we would end up lowering the standard of living for the adults. achieving equality with the children means taking away food that the adults require to function. equal treatment would undermine the harmony created by giving both child and adult proportional amounts of food.

if we tried it the other way around and made the children equal to the adults, we would end up giving the children too much food. they would end up throwing it away. in both cases, to achieve such fairness, we would have to disrupt the equilibrium of their lives.

similarly, if we treat people fairly by giving them equal amounts of money, we are again neglecting to consider what each person requires to live off of in their respective locations. it’s more expensive to live in Hawaii than Idaho. but equality ignores this all-important aspect of equilibrium. thus, equal treatment both robs people of what they need to live and wastes everyone’s valuable resources. no rest is possible when equal treatment is our goal.

even our political systems fall victim to competition. Conservatives champion a Walmart Strategy that pits one company against another, this leads to the rise of a few rich corporations competing against a resentful mass of poor people. there can be only one winner. the vast majority will end up losers. as Walmart grows richer, their dog-eat-dog mentality destroys the community around it as the losers will suffer from a lack of income.

Liberals, on the other hand, have a Welfare Strategy. although they correctly prioritize the community over the individual, their accountability-free execution can never meet the needs of society. they still behave as criminals who feel entitled to stealing the sacrifice of others. but nobody will be motivated to sacrifice for the community if the fruit of their labor is distributed to those who give nothing in return. in other words, if we try to operate without any objective performance standards, we can’t hold anyone accountable for refusing to work. and if personal sacrifice isn’t required to obtain government benefits, work simply won’t get done. the economy will eventually collapse.

different approach, same competitive mindset and same disastrous result. the only difference is instead of battling each other for resources, they prefer that the government does their dirty work. this is like telling your friend to carry out the bank robbery that you to planned, so you don’t feel as guilty about it.

instead, we need the efficient dynamic already established by the family, which means we need to marry accountability to necessity. this means we need to shift our focus from competitive survival to cooperative happiness.

justice

the reason why truth always wins is because a thirst for justice is built into our DNA. it’s our innate standard. we instinctively acknowledge its direction and dimensions even if our own embarrassing behavior contrasts with our stated beliefs. whenever critics try to deny us Justice, we expose them. yes, inferior laws are a burden to follow, but we realize Justice itself is required for any relationship to work. we take comfort in knowing that Justice is mathematically stable and that just outcomes produce stable environments.

NWA’s “Fuck tha Police” anthem can’t be denied because a Just response to an unstable application of the law is a self-evident violation of our innate moral code that every revolution in history recognizes; our early playground experiences already reveal to us that a Just exercise of power produces a leader (the kid who shares his toys) while an unJust exercise of power produces a tyrant (the kid who always changes the rules of the game so he wins). in fact, without Justice, we would have good reason to fear every single man, woman, and child we met on the street!

Justice saves us from having to imagine a  dog-eat-dog world—without any leashes. without any brakes. without any restriction. without any reason…….

without any hope.

Justice is solely concerned with making sure everyone functions so our society runs in an orderly fashion. when everyone has what their design requires to work, equilibrium is achieved in their relationships. rest is now possible for society as a whole.

but this concept is difficult for our generation to understand because their competitive-minded parents spent 99% of their energy arguing with their children about “fair” treatment under their rules, and only 1% was allotted for proportional treatment to help them meet their ultimate need for human companionship. that’s why today’s families end up in legal battles over what constitutes a “fair” bedtime. this of course stems from the children comparing their bedtime to their friend’s bedtimes. “but mom! Sally gets to stay up past 8! why do i have to go to bed at 7!?? you’re being unfair to meeee!!!  instead of making a Principled decision about how much sleep a child’s body need, they’re stuck arguing over equal treatment under the law.

once again, the driving force behind these type of legalistic arguments is our competitive focus on equality. our generation has been neurotically taught to compare their abilities, accomplishments, possessions, social status, occupation, and condition to everyone else’s. this is how a competitive society determines your value to the world. your athleticism, your intelligence, your income, your school grades, your girlfriend’s attractiveness, your dick size, your work output, your children, your personality—all of these things count towards your final score which is graded in units of self-esteem. and since the winner’s score isn’t based upon his own capacity but rather the shortcomings of those who failed during the comparison stage, it creates the artificial ceiling for everyone else’s value. this of course limits the amount of self-esteem points available. the more you compete, the more you learn the terrible secret of competition—every self-esteem point your opponent gains represents one self-esteem point you’ve lost.

such comparisons naturally lead to a hostile ranking system where the most skilled, most accomplished, most able people end up on top, while the rest of us fall somewhere below. i.e., the stronger and smarter they become, the weaker and dumber we all feel.

but comparison, especially in relationships, ignores the essential nature of function. that’s why competitors sacrifice their own instinctual desire to relate to others just so they can develop an unnecessary skill designed to beat others. this is like ignoring the point of making a shoe to focus on improving its ability to hammer nails better that a competing shoe. in the process of honing this misguided application of the product, its once necessary function is ruined.

similarly, if your concern is based around your ability (what you can do) instead of your capacity (what you’re meant to do), you will unknowingly sacrifice the point of your existence.

comparing yourself to others can never answer the question of what you’re fundamentally designed to do because building your self-esteem is the goal of competition, not creating efficiency. cutting the proverbial fat off your activity  is the sole concern of function. an ability, in and of itself, can never generate efficiency. to understand why this is impossible, we need to examine the nature of comparison.

Better Vs. Best

competition and cooperation are like night and day; when one flourishes, the other is kept at bay. and since cooperative relationships depend on our ability to motivate other people to actually LOVE US (not just like us), they are not our default experience. in fact, if you don’t know what type of relationships you have, then you’re definitely already competing against everyone.

there are only 2 choices in life: using necessity as your measuring stick or using other people as your measuring stick. either you’ll measure your life by what you require or you’ll measure it by what other people have. the former leads to cooperative harmony while the latter ends in a Sisyphean nightmare of competitive disappointment repeated for the rest of your life.

man’s ingenuity has been shaped by the competitive environments he creates. we get better products, better service, better prices, better looking, better incomes, even better ideas. but while we’re busy reaping all these great benefits, we’re being robbed of our most important asset: a satisfying life.

Michael Jordan’s competitors serve to sharpen his focus while he plays against them, and they help expose the flaws in his execution. they help him develop his ability as the greatest basketball player in history. but this does absolutely nothing to help him function as a human being. the competition can only elevate his stature, his position in life. but it can’t fix his disposition. it can’t make him comfortable in his own skin because it can never meet his fundamental need to make other people want him. in fact, it does just the opposite; the more competitive he becomes, the less his friends can stand him.

Jordan is legendary for his competitiveness. there are many stories of him getting angry over a simple game of cards or golf. the fans don’t know this because they don’t spend hours hanging out with him every day. but his teammates understand that what makes him great as a competitor is exactly what makes him repellant as a human being; to elevate his self-esteem, he must lower theirs. this is why many great competitors recognize the importance of gaining a psychological edge over their opponents and use “trash talk” to accomplish it. they refer to this as ‘getting into their head.’ Jordan will try to psychologically beat his competition down—even friends—so they’ll perform poorly during the game.

again, this is par for the course in a competitive environment. the quest to be better than other people is ultimately the very dynamic that undermines your need for companionship. just because your opponent may acknowledge your superior skills doesn’t mean he enjoys your company. resentment often lurks behind a mask of politeness in every competitive realm. unfortunately, as all great competitors understand, it’s lonely at the top.

this is why people become lawyers in the first place. if they lack the social skill required to get respect from their peers, they’ll attempt to manipulate the rules to engineer the outcome in their favor. when the goal is to protect the substantial emotional investment you’ve made into your identity, whether you win by skill, luck, or cheating becomes irrelevant. since you’ve emotionally equated the outcome with your value to the world, you’ll go to extreme, petty, legalistic lengths to preserve this delusion.

i found this out the hard way playing gin rummy against my dad. learning how to finally beat him permanently damaged our relationship. he even refused to play any future card games with me after one particularly bad loss where rule manipulation became the central point of contention. i.e., if you’ve ever accused someone of cheating during a competition, be prepared for war.

one famous childhood game almost makes a tradition out of arguing over semantics. mention Monopoly™ and anybody who’s played it will quickly confirm the contentious atmosphere it produces among friends and family alike. just buying someone’s coveted property can create bad blood in a hurry.

competing easily distracts seduces everyone from focusing on what they need (companionship & having fun) to focusing on how they feel (strict rule enforcement & comparing scores). in fact, the cut-throat dynamic we apply to Monopoly™ is the some dog-eat-dog attitude that governs us in the real world where self-esteem scores are tallied by our individual incomes. that’s why millionaires don’t really care about what they can afford to buy. their primary concern is with the amount of money they’ve made because their standard is based off of their competitor’s revenue, not their actual spending habits. thus, the size of their bank accounts determine how they feel about themselves. and while this lower competitive standard rewards or defeats their self-esteem, it does nothing to make them useful aka desirable to anyone.

let’s compare men to women. who’s stronger? men. who’s smarter? men. who’s more accomplished? men. males planned, built, and now maintain civilization. women pale by comparison.

but that’s like saying your hand is better than your foot. one is only ‘better’ than the other when comparing application, not function; if we pit men against women in a contest to see who can get pregnant the fastest, men would lose. same with a breast-feeding contest or a Mothering contest. men would suck at trying to replace a function they were never designed to fulfill. ‘better’ is only a proper adjective to describe a comparison of results, not a collaboration of functions. for this reason, the notion of better is relegated to competitive environments. ‘best’ is reserved for cooperative relationships because only cooperation is concerned with function. this means that those who cooperate are those who function while those who compete are those who experience dysfunction. only a proper equilibrium achieved by the efficient application of complementary functions merits the distinction of ‘best’. in other words, those who function are, by definition, the best.

unfortunately, since competition forces its participants to focus on who’s better, there must always be a loser. when i slam my logitech mouse against the wall after losing another game of Slither™, it’s not because i’m prone to violence. it’s because i imagine the other players mocking my humiliating loss. and sometimes it’s not just my imagination. teabagging—stuffing your electronic nuts in another player’s mouth—was invented by Halo gamers to antagonize their rivals. i.e., competition brings out the knives. this is why ‘better’ is a venomous standard that always generates animosity between those competing for its title.

this is why competitive relationships negate romance. it’s impossible for a couple to remain happy while one partner is making the other miserable. that’s like trying to enjoy a family dinner while your wife is busy berating you.

those who compete are cursed because the man who defeats his opponents always dies alone; it’s impossible to compete for your opponent’s affection while causing their humiliation. when your success depends on their downfall, you will only inspire resentment when you celebrate their sorrow. this is why the most dangerous adversary of all competitors is loneliness. it is the default reward of any person who considers himself ‘better’ than another.

those who fail at cooperating will preach about the virtues of competing. if your parents neglect to teach you how to be accountable to your thoughts, you’ll end up offending your peers. you’ll hate playing relationship-based games like hide-n-seek where your unlikeable disposition is revealed. this will lead you to invent a competitive sport like football or baseball where your social incompetence can be hidden by your competitive skill, where suppressed opinions defer to conquered objectives, where value is judged by how often you win instead of what type of friends you’ve made.

cooperation depends upon developing the ability to govern others with your beliefs. competition depends on your willingness to accept a standard inferior to necessity. getting token praise supersedes meriting real love. i.e., you want to relate to people, but competition tells you to conquer people. you want people to love you, but competition makes them envy you. you want to belong to the community, but competition reminds you that only the winner is necessary.

the cost of competing is high; your self-esteem goes first because this is the trophy everybody is really competing for—to see who’s the best, to see who’s worth the most to the world.

your knees go second because although it may not feel like it, your body actually suffers the majority of damage damage during competition. chess players lose their minds over their mistakes. basketball players lose their knees because of the torque of pride is so severe. children lose their fathers when the stubborn tradition of the legal system competes against the immovable ethics of principle.

and hope goes last because it’s the most determined coach in the world, bent on conditioning you to believe that victory is waiting just around the corner. and when you finally catch up to it, you realize it’s nothing more than a lonely voice making a hollow promise: victory matters.

but Michael Jordan, Bobby Fischer, Floyd Mayweather, and even Donald Trump all have problems relating to people. all great competitors misunderstand the difference between winning and mattering. the lower standard they’ve established only allows winners to remain relevant to their competition. once the competition ends, their significance to the world disappears.

Mike Tyson once famously called all of his championship belts “garbage”. even he realized the meaninglessness of competition once he left its seductive rose-colored promises behind.

whereas cooperation creates relationships necessary to govern a society, competition creates the resentment necessary to destroy them. whereas cooperation creates affection within a community, competition breeds enemies by cultivating callousness to both insult and injury. whereas cooperation alleviates the burden of human suffering, competition conditions the world to disregard the suffering of losers. cooperation’s end goal of building a happy community is undermined by competition’s end goal of crowning a lone winner’s self-esteem. those who cooperate are motivated to love, which ultimately produces new life. those who compete are depressed by the hatred they feel towards their opponents. war becomes their release.

cooperation

cooperating removes all the time and energy you waste on comparing yourself to other people and puts the focus back on your necessities. instead of lowering yourself to measure your opponents—do i have more than they have? you begin to raise yourself to match the immutable standard of necessity—am i getting the relationship i want? now instead of merely honing an arbitrary skill, you begin to develop your essential function as a human being.

a man should be in charge of a woman….

but the end result of his reign over her must be her happiness. otherwise, he is not qualified to lead anyone. thus, the goal of every leader is to serve those who follow, specifically meeting the needs of every follower.

and because the goal of cooperation is to get what you need, competitive criticism no longer stings. it can only confirm or deny if you’ve reached your goal. but it can’t actually prevent your progress. this is because when you cooperate, you’re already addressing the greatest need you have. since competition ignores this need, competitive criticism is no longer relevant to you. now, whenever someone points out that you don’t compare favorably to another, it doesn’t matter. because your focus has changed from what they have to what you want, you’re no longer motivated to care about winning a comparison contest that won’t ultimately make you happy. when you replace better with best, the harshest public scrutiny ends up being your greatest ally on the road to building cooperative relationships.

relying on the Principle of Necessity safeguards you from being deceived by the unstable standard of another’s performance. whenever necessity becomes your focus, cooperative relationships are always the natural result.

but just how valuable are cooperative relationships? valuable enough that people are willing to pay with their own lives to achieve their ultimate standard. Love—the mutual fulfillment of necessity—is worth dying for, so say family members, spouses, best friends, and anyone else who’s truly experienced the ultimate form of cooperation. Love not only soothes suffering, it motivates you to drop your entitlement mentality (fueled by your self-esteem) and work (aka self-sacrifice) to maintain it.

LOVE ISN’T AN ACCIDENT.

when you experience genuine Love with another person, it means you’re able to satisfy their companionship needs and they’re able to meet yours. both of you must be FULLY able to speak your minds to one another to meet this fundamental requirement of cooperative relationships. if you refuse, then nobody will be motivated to sacrifice their life for you. i.e., if such motivation is lacking, that just indicates the presence of competition and the absence of cooperation in your life. you’ll be stuck competing over self-esteem points once again.

it’s fully under your control to make people Love you…

instead of resenting people for not giving you what you think you’re owed, you need to realize that you get exactly what you deserve from people because their motivation to care about you is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. i know that nobody has ever told you this stunning fact before. you always thought relationships were complete matters of chance.. or if they have told you things are under your authority, they’ve never taught you how to meet this burden—nobody has ever taught you how to make other people give a fuck about you. and what they taught you about money, possessions, intelligence, and petty skill, was all a gigantic fucking lie. because competition doesn’t produce love. it produces resentment in the losers. i learned, the hard way, how to eventually do things the easy way. i’m going to show you how, and i’m gonna cut out all the painful mistakes that i made along the way. i’m gonna spare you the heartache and just tell you exactly what to expect. so you can either trust me the more each prediction proves true. or you will know i’m a con artist and can stop listening to me from that point forward.

BE SKEPTICAL.

again, nobody has told you this before. nobody has ever taught you how to do this CORRECTLY. now, for the first time in your life, we’re going to do this the right way. and we’ll know it’s the right way because we can always check the MATH!

happiness is not something you have to fight over. you get the companionship you’re looking for with just a sentence. with just words. just your own beliefs. even just by starting out with the incorrect ones, even the bad ones, even the wrong ones, even the immoral ones.

i cannot overstate this point:    

don’t stay stuck competing over self-esteem points for the rest of your natural fucking existence.

let’s get to it.

Public Scrutiny & Leadership