Cooperation or Competition

From the first stirring of life beneath water, to the great beast of Stone Age, to man taking his first upright steps, we have come far. All of the progress instilled these two seemingly paradoxical characteristics into mankind: competition and cooperation. Species without competition will surly lose its dominating position soon, and a single man can never protect himself from any physically overwhelming animal. Thousands of years later, these two inherited features still play important roles in modern society regardless of fundamentally massive change within human society itself. We have long evolved from cave Australopithecus to intelligent man who stands on the top of the food chain, and the importance of competition and cooperation shall be rebalanced. According to Darwin's revolution theory, these environment shaped features are key to the whole mankind success on Earth. Yet, nothing remains the same except for change, especially in the recent history - human society is ever changing, and nowadays faster than ever. Naturally we begin to look into these two characteristic gifts endowed to us. Even on global scale, there have been illustrations of this argument. The rising din of ideological oratory in the 20th century which mainly thrives between democracy and communism can be viewed as a competition of pure competence and pure cooperation. The former believes a free market with a full-scale competition would serve the mankind development best, while the other argues a planned economy without waste will do better. All of us know the outcome of this great experiment, as the falling of the Soviet Union marked the very failure of pure cooperation model, on the countrary the public welfare thrived within the pure competition world. Thus we should never forget this experiment's great contribution (though unintentionally) to the development of human civics, and the fact that the pure cooperation model do function better when under great outside pressure. Isaac Asimov once wrote a story of the Foundation. In the story he depicted three kind of social model, the model I with only free self competition within mankind, the model II with controlled competition under the frame of guidance and cooperation, and the model Gaia with only cooperation. This can be exactly interpreted into the fore-mentioned governing models. However, more importantly, it testifies that no one can foreseen this. Even the great Karl Marx can not predict how the future of the society should look like, and all these assumptions, logical or not, will serve better in a science fiction rather than pure theory, as logical flaws cannot be avoided when predicting far future. There have been consensus between human history and prediction though. Both tell us the fact that mankind mostly often will choose cooperate to achieve better outcome under outside pressure, and will turn to competition otherwise. In the perspective of history we know that self competition is necessary to remain strong in the long run, but most people just choose to neglects its positive effects, especially those in a not so favorable position in competition. Looking back into our current society. Years of general global peace had followed since WWII, and feeling of outside pressure gradually faded away despite the hardworking politico with their conspiracy. We advocated cooperation between individuals, organizations, and countries. We broke trade barriers as we believe that foreign cooperation brings more benefit than foreign competition. We once put faith in cooperation, and did a lot under its guidance. Though the wind is probably starting to blow the other way now.

End note

This is a GRE issue topic which I took as an assignment when preparing it. I'm not writing it to achieve a better score, as a good essay should have a clear argument. Though I'm a bit disappointed as most GRE issue topic are ambiguous as this, meaning that one who argues against one side will most likely put himself in a not-so-comprehensive position. IMHO this kind of topics do not have a final answer, thus making it good testing question or debate topic, but not a good title for any serious essay.