Opinion (Jag Bhalla, entrepreneur and writer): “’Competition creates efficiency,’ is preached as if it were a law of nature. But nature itself teaches a different lesson. Biological competition can create foolish costs, and collective doom. ‘Darwin’s Wedge’ shows why and reminds us of the point of being human. Our competitions, and the myopic logic of free markets, needn’t be dumb as trees.
“Robert Frank coined ‘Darwin’s Wedge’ to describe situations where individual incentives diverge from collective goals (sometimes even risking collective doom). Darwin’s Wedge applies to an entire class of problems wherein supposedly locally rational decisions aggregate badly (see the market fallacy of composition). These include the tragedy of the commons, Prisoner’s Dilemma games, and Nash equilibria. In them using myopic self-maximizing logic ends badly for each and all. But tackled as coordinated action problems, with monitoring and enforcement, outcomes can be guided to everybody’s benefit. Free markets aren’t suited to such simultaneous complex cross-agent coordinated change.
“Competition’s benefits arise from the constraints it creates. Intelligent constraints, and creative responses to them, can work better than what emerges from mindless ‘natural’ competition. The human trick isn’t self-organizing, it’s other-organizing. We’ve coordinated team survival for 10,000 generations. Our choices now are either to let the power of markets be dumb as trees, or to guide their competitions for better outcomes.”
My Comment: The world is becoming integrally interconnected. It is impossible to develop a plan according to our discrete abilities. It is impossible to plan all communication services, society, industry, etc., calculating everything, and managing everything as a single organism. This was an unreachable goal for Communists because they related to society as to a single system, they created by their singularly enforced methods.
Now the human community is becoming integral, not through our choice or enforced unification as in a socialist camp, but as a result of our natural development. The solution to the problem of the interconnected society could be only in bringing it to a predetermined integral form.
First, we must realize that we are not free: we are in the system of the upper management of nature. In its development, humanity advances along the path of unconscious development, like a child. This phase ends in our time. The phase of conscious human development ended in our time. Since the end of the 20th century has come the stage where we have to study the law of nature and follow it. Nature is manifested as a global integral system and requires us, humankind, to match it.
We can fulfill this condition only if we re-educate people, through changing our egoistic relations to altruistic.