Rohan Baviskar


The article on Why do we believe in competition? By Tobias Werron talks about a historical-sociological view of competition as an institutionalized modern imaginary. Before reading the article and based on what we discussed in our classes, I believe competition exists in every single field. Political scientists focus on party or state competition, economists focus on market competition or sports scientists focusing on contests, these are some good examples given by the writer in the article. In my opinion the whole focus of the article is on modern forms of competition and uses comparative perspective to develop a historically grounded concept of, and research perspective on modern forms of competition. Each and every concept in the article has been explained with details and a lot of theory on competition from various sociologists, economists and historians has been used systematically to explain the change in competition from early eighteenth century to mid-nineteenth century and from mid-nineteenth century up to 20thcentury. Social scientists tend to look at specific forms of competition but have not developed a more general understanding of what competition means or entails.

In the early 18thcentury when the term competition was actually tossed it was meant for economic markets only. But the competition gradually increased and is now observed in non-economic fields as well. Some classic example of competition in non-economic field which was given in the article is of student competing with others for grades. Well, I do not agree with that statement. Competition was there even before we were introduced to the grading system. It existed right from the admission process. So, saying that competition between students came into existence after the grading system I believe is highly debatable.

The concept of third-party competition explained in the article is helpful and healthy for the development of the society. Some pros and cons were also discussed about it but we should be aware that every coin has two side and it is up to us what should we see and accept. So, I feel the third-party competition is healthy but excessive competition possibly lead to inclination to adapt to the tastes and interests of the ‘masses’(readers/voters/consumers).

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