Human Nature and The Free market

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
jneo's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 7 2009
Posts: 742
Human Nature and The Free market


Do you think The Free Market is Part of Human Nature?   Is it our nature to compete? be compassionate? or both?  Is it culture, values, or environmental conditions?  


I stopped believing that it's your biological duty to compete with others, to me it's all values, culture and environment. 


Michael Albert has an interesting take



Rihter's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 27 2010
Posts: 77
Great topic

I want to extend some gratitude for posting on a great topic. It has current social implications, economic relevancy, impact on politics, transition, and a host of other topics. It doens't matter which side of the debate you stand on either. If you believe competition is etched into our DNA or you believe it is a product of indoctrination into a culture. Maybe, you feel unfettered competition is positive, or you feel it's negative. No matter where you stand it is party to the whole climate of change in the world. More and more people are latching onto a notion, of one form or another, that embraces a radical departure from the current global political paradigm (IMHO otherwise why would you be pro 3 E's).

I had a football coach that would say there is no friendly competition. There is only a desire to win, or get along. I never liked the guy. I can reflect back on how he helped shape my world view, to what it is today, with that statement. I love to win, but only with good sportmanship. Only when I am playing with people who also want to follow the rules. I'm that guy that goes from all smiles to ready to throw fists, when someone's cheating, in a heart beat.

I share that little story to put what Michael Albert said about the dinner table in another way. Playing to win, or competing, can be fun. We see it develop in all kinds of cultures throughout time. Extending that to human survival, individual choice, or national strategies is dangerous and leads to disaster. Markets, governments, businesses, etc... only work when there is a strong social contract. The strength is in it's rules, and it's ability to enforce those rules. There is always going to be a desire bend, if not break, the rules of that social contract when competition is at the base of the GAME. If competition is at the root of the system, then you had better have good referees and rules committees. If not, than you had better be ready to embrace change to a system that is rooted on cooperation instead.

I hope this thread takes off. I firmly believe this is at the core of the resistance to transition to a more sustainable, resilient system.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Wall Street meets Sesame street.

Good video.

Doesn't any one remember what Grover said.

It is all about co-operation. Yeah!


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments