Competition LO16695

Ben Compton (
Mon, 26 Jan 1998 20:42:57 -0500

Replying to LO16670 --

Srinath posted a very thoughtful and heartfelt message. I'll try to
address his points in general, although I may miss some of the specifics.

I don't think competition can be blamed for social problems. If any thing,
competition has always increased both the civility of a society and it's
economic well-being.

In general, social problems stem from two basic conditions:

a) people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for their own success


b) government trying to take responsibility for individuals

The absence of A and B doesn't automatically mean that there won't be any
poor. That is an ideal that may never be achieved. But it does mean that
the playing field is leveled. Let me explain what I mean.

To compete one has to increase their knowledge, exercise their creativity,
and stretch themselves in healthy and productive ways. But when we get to
feeling guilty for our own success (why we should feel guilty is a mystery
to me), we start thinking we need to "help the poor." At the same time the
poor start coveting our success, and want a peice of the pie even though
they haven't earned it. The rich fill guilty that the poor are left
without the blessing of wealth; the poor feel angy that they don't have
more wealth. So the government is authorized to take from A, who has
worked hard for his/her money, and gives it to B, who has not earned it.
This is done in the name of economic equality.

Because B has not earned the money he/she isn't a wise steward and is more
prone to waste it. Meanwhile A's capacity to earn more money, which will
result in more jobs, is impaired. The result is a vicious cycle that
continually spirals downward.

This philosophy has many names (altruism, charity, christianity, etc.).
But the one name that no one ever uses to describe it is socialism.

Now take this and put it in context of the discussion on employee ranking.
It's the same insiduous philosophy. We call it "humanizing the workplace,"
or we say we're fulfilling our "social responsibilities" and "bringing
more civility to the workplace." Nice words, ignominous philosophy.

We're so afraid of inequality that we go to great efforts to destroy it.
All of our efforts are in vain, because it is the natural state of
existence. There will always be rich and poor, smart and dumb, handsome
and ugly, athletic and clumbsy, hot and cold, light and dark. . .

The best way to close the gap between the natural inequalities is
competition. For that requires that we increase our competency, our
productivity, and our passion for achievement. Any system that rewards
someone for something they haven't done is unethical. It will inevitably
lead to the destruction of those who espouse such ideas.

I'll let companies go ahead and do as they please. They don't have to rank
employees. They don't have to admit the inequalities inherent in
existence. Bill Gates seems to understand the ideology of inequality, and
has profted immensley by it. Of course he takes heat for not donating a
billion dollars to the UN, and for building a huge mansion. . .and while
he takes the heat (from competitors and from the government) he is also
enjoying the fruits of his labor. And a whole lot of other people are to.
. . Microsoft employees, companies who profit by writing software for
Windows. . .how many jobs has Microsoft created? How much have they
benefited society? Why? Because they compete like hell.

I'll take competition any day of the week.

Benjamin Compton
DWS Computer Consultants
"The GroupWise Integration Experts"

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