competition and egalitarianism — a third alternative?

  • Many parts of the world teach competition beginning in elementary school, both in the classroom and in student sports. For adults, there are professional sports, beauty pageants, and the like. This value system results in “losers” as well as winners. For example, students in the public schools who cannot find “that winning feeling” in academics, athletics, organizations, or social life sometimes seek acceptance and identity in gangs, sometimes “graduating” to criminal groups or worse.  Other societies have tried egalitarianism, which often resulted in misery (or at least lives of maintenance as opposed to lives of fulfillment) for even greater numbers of people than in the competitive societies. Are weak signals of a third alternative emerging?  If so, what are they, and what third alternative do they indicate?
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One Response to competition and egalitarianism — a third alternative?

  1. cynthia frenkil says:

    this calls for a different kind of stratification. if everything (and therefore everyone), is relative to one another, then people can be either better than, less than, or the same, vaguely. I new approach may be a stratified society in which the strata are of equal importance, in their own right. I see a scale that is on a vertical access, yet the strata are of equal height. you could say that here, they are relatively equal, however the “strata” i’m referring to provide very different societal functions that are valued in some way. think of these strata as catagories or “occupations”. bakers are as important as the packager, and additonally the consumer. we need to teach children to compete against themselves, and always strive to be better than they were yesterday, without looking to the sides to see where you are in the race. let the children know this isn’t a race.

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