Competition or Co-operation ?

Tuesday 27th December

We are slipping out of a phase of co-operation and into a different one of competition.  The EU is about to lose one of its members – us, with the possibility that it will set the whole row of dominoes tumbling.  The EU had many faults, but it was an attempt at co-operation, a way for Europe to be stronger together than apart.  The First World War was brought about largely by competition amongst the Great Powers of Europe, and the Second a direct result of a bad peace settlement after the First, along with increasing competition between Japan and America for dominance in the Pacific.  After 1945 almost all politicians were agreed that things would have to be done differently from now on.  And so an era of co-operation ensued.  It isn’t perfect by any means but it is far better than countries competing ruthlessly for Supremacy.

But these institutions are beginning to fall apart; we may be seeing the start of a new Nuclear Arms Race, and possible Trade Wars and Protectionism.  The slogan “We’re Gonna Make America Great Again” won out and indeed trumped “Stronger Together”.  Competition is now the order of the day, the strong winning out and the weak going to the wall.  Everywhere you look, Housing, Health, Education – the rich and powerful get what they want and the poor are left to fight over the scraps.

I firmly believe that collectively we are far more effective at making this World a better place than by competing and fighting for dominance (whatever that looks like).  The truth is that we cannot all live in gold apartments in Trump Towers; some of us humans will always need a helping hand and only by co-operation will we succeed in the really big problems – Global Warming, Poverty and Inequality.

Here endeth the lesson for today, go away children and think about it.