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  1. #1
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    A Worldly Male Point of View...

    Competition

    Contest is a part of human life everywhere that human life is found. In war and in games, in work and in play, physically, intellectually, and morally, human beings match themselves with or against one another. Struggle appears inseparable from human life, and contest is a particular focus or mode of interpersonal struggle, an opposition that can be hostile but need not be, for certain kinds of contest may serve to sublimate and dissolve hostilities and to build friendship and cooperation.

    Athenians v. Spartans
    Socrates v. the Sophists
    Romanticists v. Neoclassicists
    Tesla v. Edison
    U.S. v. U.S.S.R.
    Rocky v. Apollo
    Hatfield’s v. McCoy’s
    The State of Tennessee v. John T. Scopes
    Democrats v. Republicans
    Yankees v. Red Sox
    West v. East
    Spy v. Spy

    From the dawn of time, the world has been marked by conflict, struggle, and opposition. This is true in nature, where day continually butts into night; the ocean collides with the shore; and predators chase prey. And it is true in human civilization, especially amongst its male members.

    For reasons of reproduction and testosterone, men are generally more aggressive, risk-taking, and competitive than women. For thousands of years, men have engaged each other in tests of strength, skill, and cleverness in order to protect their tribe from outsiders, and to prove their manhood and gain status amongst insiders. With status came access to females and other resources, as well as glory and renown.

    In primitive times, these contests took the form of physical brawls and battles, but for centuries they have extended into a wide array of realms: art, rhetoric, logic, politics, philosophy, science, and more. If men can compete in it, they will.

    These competitions by their nature produced both winners and losers , and sometimes incurred collateral damage. But the drive of each party to be the best and rise to the top also drove societal progress ; out of the sparks of collision, from the blood, sweat, and tears of contest, emerged new ideas, technologies, and ways of being in the world.

    In the modern day, however, these so-called “pissing contests” between men have gotten a bad name. The male competitive drive has been blamed for wars, economic meltdowns, and political gridlock. And the entire ethos of competition increasingly finds itself at odds with the values of modern culture. Competitions are exclusive, rather than inclusive, separate people into winners and losers, and don’t distribute rewards equally. Having a keen competitive drive is seen as the purview of the domineering and insecure — while the “authentic” are above it all and operate only from self-motivation and the desire to be their very best selves.

    For this reason, social commentators and policy makers have tried to figure out ways to make men more cooperative and nurturing, and have sought to remove competition from institutions like schools, believing this transformation will benefit individuals and society as a whole.

    But the effort is ultimately an unwise exercise in futility. Men are hardwired to compete. And even if we could somehow kill the male competitive drive, we’d be doing a great disservice to ourselves. Male competition may carry some pitfalls for civilization, but it’s also what made civilization in the first place.

    OK, so who wants to fight about this...put em up...put em up!

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