wired for intimacy and sociability
December 1, 2011, 4:15 am
Filed under: brave new world, the sweet life | Tags: , ,

People are naturally competitive.  True statement.  Everyone I know, from my earliest days until now, including parents and siblings, my oldest friends, people I studied and worked with, pretty well everyone, is naturally competitive.  But surely competition can’t be a person’s defining characteristic, they must also have other qualities.

When someone says to me ‘people are naturally competitive,’ I tend to think he doesn’t mean that competition is one of  many valid human qualities.  Rather he means that competitiveness is a dominant characteristic in all people.  Depending on who is saying it, he may even mean that being competitive is a fundamental characteristic, that competition is at the very heart of being human, to the exclusion of other characteristics.

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work and home intertwined

Capitalism is on trial.  In its most virulent form it seems to be failing entire classes of people in many corners of the world.  There is an awakening of masses of people from North Africa to Europe and North America to how a dogmatic form of capitalism has insidiously and systematically undermined their ability to make for themselves dignified and fruitful lives.

For those of you so inclined, the passage below is a damning list of the effects of capitalism.  But it’s much more than just a list.  It makes the argument that capitalism has made us profoundly passive in our personal and social lives, and that this translates into an inability to demand basic freedoms in our shared economic lives. Continue reading