Hutcheon’s View of Agon

Throughout the journal Rhetoric and Competition, the author Linda Hutcheon critiques competition in today’s society. Back in 2000, Hutcheon has been a prominent speaker at the Modern Language Association. Her invitation to such a convention represents that her studies are well respected in the academic field

  She claims that we have fallen into the idea of corporate capitalism. This culture of corporate capitalism is forcing students to fiercely compete against one another starting at a young age.  Students are trained to not cooperate with each other, but rather race their friends in everything they do, with the mentality that only the best will succeed and the rest would fail. Your peers and colleagues are your enemies because they are your future opponents the moment you begin to work in the real world. Even before that you are competing with them for things as basic as a university. Everyone fears that if they are not perfect they will never be able to fulfill their dreams of success.

Bateson has similar views on competition as Hutcheon. She believes that competition is negative and that collaboration will get more things done. Since Bateson is a climate change activists, she bashes America’s current policies towards climate change. America in recent years has chosen not to collaborate with the rest of the world to tackle the climate change problem. She also mentions that babies in the US are trained to be independent from the day that they are born. Babies live in isolated rooms and are trained to figure stuff out on their own. Even in the education system in America, children are trained to figure problems on their own and minimalistic focus on collaborative work.

Werron, on the other hand, takes his view to the opposite extreme of both Bateson and Hutcheon. He states that competition is good and is necessary to fuel innovation. He studies globalization and believes that the interconnected society is positive. Globalization has been a more prominent term in our daily lives. Everything we do today is influenced by what occurs on the opposite side of the world. Free competition allows ideas to flow more freely, thus able to foster innovation.

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