In an article published by Psychology Today, various authors under the name of Molina worked together to present their opinions on “Cooperation and competition in social anthropology”. This article targeted towards other anthropologists and individuals interested in competition, deconstructs typical attitudes about the viciousness of competition and instead brings to light how it exists harmoniously in the world alongside cooperation.
Using three examples of mechanisms within society, Molina highlights the differences of tribes, hunter-gatherer band’s and peasant moral economies. Yet in the end ties together how they are all similar.
Molina addresses the hunter-gatherer ways of those past who were dependent on one another for their very survival. Living in moderate size groups individuals in clans would partake in “continuous redistribution” of goods to ensure equality of some sort and the well being of all members. This demonstrates that even during the primitive stages of mankind humans had desires to keep competition away by sharing and cooperating with one another. Cooperation in itself was the building block towards the modern day world as we know it.
However Molina doesn’t brandish competition in as harsh a light as compared to Bateson and Hutcheon. Instead they acknowledge and accept the existence of it and state how it is present in all societies. Although it is an idea humans would be better off without, the removal of it from society is nearly impossible.
In a fellow students reflection @silaslm wrote that “Society thrives when competition pushes individuals to accomplish their best work in their respective field, and these advancements are shared with the world”. This sentence seemed to clearly convey the presence of both ideas in the world, and how one should not be valued over the other as they are equally important. Without conflict or struggle it is nearly impossible to improve and find better solutions to situations. Just as without competition, we cannot learn to cooperate.
#WRDS150 #Anthropology #Molina #Competition