Something More Than Just Competition

Linda Hutcheon questions many times in her paper the destructive force of the rhetoric and competition collaboration that constitutes the academy today. She bases the idea of competition as something that demolishes another by a means for survival in society compared to Bateson who conveyed many times that competition is individualism. Hutcheon does faintly take into account a need for interdependence rather than independence for a change in the academy, similar to Bateson although she bases her whole article on independence as a problem in competition. Hutcheon further persuades us into rethinking the idea of counter-discourse to provide a new way of thinking, writing, and acting academically. Many of the times in her paper she yearns the reader to rethink the idea of competition as something we can mature from, and how not to demolish others through who is more dominant such as either/orbut by inclusivity and plurality as both/andthrough counter-discourse. 

Many of the references in Hutcheon’s piece gives insight into the thoughts many scholars have about the academy such as the struggles between gender and counter-discourse. This is very different from many of Bateson’s examples which provides more casual and general views of competition as a problem that leads to the illusion of independence. However, this idea of competition in both article and paper do subtly portray competition as something that allows the world to flourish. As to say that without any competition we would not have created buildings, bridges, solar systems, etc., for the economy and the capital to advance into the world we live in today, or as William Blake’s words referenced by Hutcheon reveals to us that “without contraries is no progression”.

Rhetoric and competition are very terrifying when being the demolished, however, the guilt of the demolisher is also very agonizing. Sometimes the art of persuasion can always fail competition and leave with a feeling of emptiness. This collaboration of rhetoric and competition should not be taken as something we should degrade as evil but a learning experience to contemplate the understanding of others. As humans we are mutually implicated by competition yet the way we face it differ, if we could change this concept as something inclusive and plural how would the world be today? We attribute the ideas of persuasion and opposition as something excluding and victimized, on the other hand we should rethink this independent concept as a need to work together. 

Hutcheon continues to question why there is a need for degradation and dominance over another in agon and how all this will lead to violence within the academy. This resonates in the concept we discussed in class about whether competition is about struggle or fighting. It depends is always the answer whether it is both a struggle and fight or either, but we can also see competition as not only from the problem instead from its solution. We go day to day concentrating on the actions of the people around us while ignoring our own needs; this is human nature to judge one another, to require and want more than others by demolishing what they have to gain a sense of superiority. However, one is not better than the other instead we should rethink counter-discourse as both/and not either/or. This can be shown in the zero-sum game also explained by Flo where as instead of both sides losing, it is better to choose a peaceful outcome that benefits both sides.

Every time Hutcheon questions the reader it is evident the sincerity in her words from her firsthand experience in critique scholarship in the academy. Through that experience she encourages us to change this idea of rhetoric and competition as not only a collaborative possibility, however, a less agonistic one in which we can thrive from. A collaboration between rhetoric and competition strives for a change to rethink this idea of counter-discourse as something interdependent.




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