Competition – benefits and drawbacks

Competition is a universal human phenomenon. It is a social process too along with the other social processes like co-operation, conflict etc. Therefore both at the individual level and at the level of society we cannot wish away competition. It is a fact of life and therefore must stay with us. At the emotional and psychological level it reflects as a tendency to perform better than the others. It is a positive trait. In its negative form, it appears as jealousy.

During World War-II, the energy inherent in an atom was well known to the scientists, but the technique of splitting the atom to generate energy was not known. And therefore a race began within the scientific fraternity to split the atom. The result of this competition was the monster Frankenstein, a genie which had popped out of the bottle to unleash its mightly destructive power on the twin cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was reduced to ashes. The game continues to haunt the world even today. This is an extreme of the drawback of competition in its extreme form.

On the positive side, it is perhaps the element of competition which had brought a revolutionary transformation in the civilization and the culture of Homo-sapience in the last five millennium. Within a short span of a century, the world community has made 99 percent of its technological and scientific advancement, thanks to that unconscious sublimal urge to excel or to compete in a world. Its foundation was laid on the plinth of competition.

But the lack of competition has also witnessed untold suffering and misery, immense loss and destruction of property and wanton pillage and plunders through wars, rebellions, strife and revolutions. The phenomena of capitalism witnessed lust for capital formation. On the positive side of competition we witnessed scientific and technological advancement.

Competition has its benefits and drawbacks not merely at the mass level or the level of society and the nations but also at the individual level. If there was no competition, life would be very dull. There would be no progress. We would remain contented with whatever little we have. In our schooldays, we all remember how great a premium is attached to coming top in the class. And from then on the entire saga of life revolves around topping in our chosen fields. This competitiveness in its extreme form no doubt has negative fallouts like jealousy and cut-throat competitiveness so that often the result is a one dimensional man who is physically imbalanced. Thus competitions has both benefits and drawbacks, the need is only to curb the negative fallouts of competitiveness.

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