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The Evolution of Competition
Competition is essential to social progress, but [...]
Competition is essential to social progress, but competition, unregulated, breeds violence. In current society, competition is slowly displacing war in that it determines the individual’s place in industry, as well as decreeing the survival of the industries themselves. (Murder and war differ in their status before the mores, murder having been outlawed since the early days of society, while war has never yet been outlawed by mankind as a whole.)
The ideal state undertakes to regulate social conduct only enough to take violence out of individual competition and to prevent unfairness in personal initiative. Here is a great problem in statehood: How can you guarantee peace and quiet in industry, pay the taxes to support state power, and at the same time prevent taxation from handicapping industry and keep the state from becoming parasitical or tyrannical?
Throughout the earlier ages of any world, competition is essential to progressive civilization. As the evolution of man progresses, co-operation becomes increasingly effective. In advanced civilizations co-operation is more efficient than competition. Early man is stimulated by competition. Early evolution is characterized by the survival of the biologically fit, but later civilizations are the better promoted by intelligent co-operation, understanding fraternity, and spiritual brotherhood.
True, competition in industry is exceedingly wasteful and highly ineffective, but no attempt to eliminate this economic lost motion should be countenanced if such adjustments entail even the slightest abrogation of any of the basic liberties of the individual.