there is this constant idea among those raised in unjust societies that complete equality is inherently dehumanizing, because it doesn't let anyone get to be better than others. "no participation prizes." the "best" must constantly be acknowledged.

this is bullshit, and speaks to a dark way of looking at the world. You don't have to be better than others, why would you? you can be your absolute best, and take great pride in that, but why compare yourself to others? liTerally what the fuck do you gain from that, other than a mean-spirited and aggressive outlook on your fellow person?

Let me spell it out for you: You think you deserve acknowledgement for your imaginary "ranking" among others in all things because you've been programmed deeply to always want to climb the ladder of your societies' caste system. Because otherwise, you can't eat, or get medical attention, or ever feel safe.

The solution is NOT to enforce this ranking and demand kudos. It is to make it so that everyone is safe, and so nobody needs to worry about rank anymore. Nobody being "best", because everyone is safe and content, is the true victory.

@V a much more fun game besides "can I get to the top of the ladder first" is "can we leapfrog/boost each other through this obstacle course"

Even the army knows that effective teamwork is more important than individual achievement

@wilbr @V

"The best" never admit to their dependence on cronyism or inheritance. Hell, everything I have that could've made me Queen of Achievers was passed on to me by my parents. I mean, it's nice to have but that's a reflection of their generosity to their kids, not of how inherently fair and humane this system is. :/

@V if I want to get out of social relations by state or anything at all, I am immediately compared with others and if I don't know these comparison criteria, I immediately look totally old.

@V this is something I think about pretty frequently. I do think there's a place for recognizing individual achievement. It just shouldn't be tied to safety and security. That creates a feedback loop, where security begets (societally-recognized) achievement, which begets security, and lack of safety and security leads to lack of (again societally-recognized) achievement, which leads to lack of security.

@V it also focuses on a very narrow range of what human beings can achieve and create, of the beauty we can make in the world. Even people who grow up with security feel pushed towards work and achievements that are "marketable".

@V It's also based on a flawed perception of evolution as a competition to reach the top of a hierarchy, i.e. "the food chain", when in fact evolution leads to specialisation of life forms into niches, ensuring every little corner is occupied by someone who fits it perfectly.

Failing to understand this is what leads to homogenised systems incapable of thriving.

Nature grows outward to fit available space and opportunity. "Upward" growth is an ego-driven fantasy created to sooth insecurities.

@freedcreative This is an A+ post that hits on a lot of things I hadn't even consciously realized, would boost twice if I could.

@V Yes. Exactly. The great genius of both capitalism and democracy are also their greatest evils. They were clever hacks to harness the competitive nature of the most sociopathic of people, and attempt to bend them to serve the common good. If you build a system in which competitive and driven assholes can "win" by doing the most good for the most people (selling the most product, getting the most votes), then you harness their competitive energy and everyone makes out great in the commons, right? Wrong, because these systems not only reward sociopathic behavior, they amplify it, encourage it, and then eventually *require* it of everyone, at some level. That is I think the "dark way of looking at the world" you describe, which has become so pervasive, and strips us of our humanity.

@V In non-hierarchical societies boasts and tooting your own horn are seen as cringe and grounds for vicious mockery. In Eskimo culture a hunter will announce a particularly good catch by humbling themselves and disparaging their catch.

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