"Competition is ultimately more beneficial than detrimental to society."
Darwin suggested that the process of evolution is one based on competition. This deadly competition weeds out the weak and only the fittest of the species survives. Humans, being the product of millions of years of evolution, are by nature, competitive beings. Yet, humans are also social beings. Like the bees in the hive, we are not very successful living completely on our own. We need to cooperate with other individuals for our survival. Thus, a conflict ensues, between our innate competitiveness, and our need to cooperate. There are pros and cons associated with both. However, it is my belief that overall, competition, is more detrimental than beneficial to human society.
First, let us try to identify why there is competition in the first place. In an environment abundant with resources, where supply outstrips demand, there is very little need for the inhabitants to fight with each other over them. This is not the case on planet earth. Resources are limited, and there is constant jostling to get to the front of the queue to get acquire them. For example, thousands of prospective students apply to gain entrance to top universities around the world, but there are only a handful of places in those
universities. Thus, there is competition to get into to these hallowed institutions of higher learning.From a utilitarian perspective, competition is a good thing. In evolution it is responsible for the elimination of "weak" genes. In the business environment, it gets rid of the weaker players. In politics, it weeds out unpopular candidates. In academia, it gets rid of weak students.
Furthermore, competition leads to self improvement. Businesses will strive to offer better products and services at lesser prices. The consumer reaps rich rewards from this competitive spirit. Politicians strive to do the utmost for the people, so they would get reelected. Students excel in there studies, trying to outdo each other.
Thus, ostensibly, competition is responsible for the betterment of the society as a whole. However, this is just the superficial view. Underneath the surface, competition, in every aspect, is slowly eating away at the very fabric of the society.
While it is true to say that competition in corporate world has brought great benefits to the consumer, the society as "Missed A here"whole is playing a great price for it. Most businesses are exploiting cheap labour in the third world to maximise their profits. There are thousands of sweatshops run by well known western corporations in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh and China. People are forced to work in squalid conditions, often 16 hours a day. They are lucky to receive a dollar a day for there labours. The moment a government in any of these countries try to improve the working conditions of the employees, these multinational giants flee the country, often leaving whole communities facing financial ruin. The corporations are aware that there are plenty of other labour markets that could be exploited with gay abandon.
That is just the human cost. What about the environmental costs? Competition has forced many corporations to "stream line" their operations. Environmental standards are normally the first victims of this "stream line" process. A significant amount of environmental pollution and land degradation has been blamed on industry, yet the factories keep producing more and more. Thousands of items go unsold each year due to competition. Only a fraction of this merchandise is recycled. The rest goes to the already overflowing landfills.