Interesting how anthropology sees cooperation as the “starting point for every known human community”, while the three mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation all view cooperation only as a response to competition. These theories of evolution focus on cooperation and competition as opposites, you can have one or the other. Although the anthropological view contracts this by believing cooperation and competition can coexist.
Molina focused less on discrediting the theories on the evolution of cooperation and making a hard stance on which theories are correct or incorrect. Instead Molina structured the article to inform the reader of any relevant information and then introduces new anthropological ideas of competition and cooperation. Instead of discrediting the existing mechanisms of the evolution of cooperation Molina suggests viewing cooperation and competition differently may help to better understand them. By first stating the theories of evolution and then introducing the partially contrasting anthropological views of cooperation and competition help to build Molina’s argument that although these theories of cooperation evolution are helpful, for further analysis it would be best to adopt the anthropological view of competition and cooperation coexisting in social structures.
While reading this article I was interested in in the contrast between the ‘moral economy’ Molina talked about in relation to the peasant social network and the ‘wolfish’ behavior mention by Hutcheon. Molina mentions members of a ‘moral economy’ regulating competition so that it doesn’t get to the point of annihilating their opponent, although some competition is still allowed. Moral economy in context of peasants is focused on collaborate to form mutually beneficial relationships to maintaining livelihood. This is a major contrast to Hutcheon reference to the ‘wolfish’ behavior preformed in academia and within the classroom. Both Hutcheon and Molina suggest that a certain degree of competition can lead to annihilating one’s opponents although Molina focuses on the balance competition and cooperation in order for the outcome to be mutually beneficial. While Hutcheon notes that this strong a focus on ‘winning’, competition as opposed to cooperation, leads to zero sum competition instead of a mutually beneficial relationship.
In the reading response by Josiah Medin on Rhetoric and Competition by Linda Hutcheon, he suggests that for a society to function it cannot be completely void of competition. He states that society should function like a ladder with some rings positioned above others. I found this relates to the idea of prestige sphere and subsistence sphere mention by Molina when talking about tribes. There is competition (prestige sphere) in the rankings of the rings on the ladder, as well as egalitarian cooperation (subsistence sphere) between the rings that all share the same job in order to form a functioning ladder.