Monday, 7 November 2016

Thought 378: The Meaning of Competition

Competition is formed from the Latin prefix cum, together/with and the Latin verb petitio, to petition, to request. 

Thus competition means to request together, and since only, say, one request can be granted - e.g. if there is only one job vacancy - then all the other requests will have to be rejected or ignored. 

Competition thus entails all fighting for scraps from the master's table, since all those deprived request together more or less at the same time, only few however having their request satisfied in the end due to the (artificial) scarcity of resources and jobbing positions. 

In the TV show The Apprentice, hapless candidates seek to prove themselves against the others whilst collaborating in teams but only one request for the so-called 'top job' will be met by the end of the show with the result that all the other requests for the top job, so to speak, will be rejected and denied. 

Com-petition in our current paradigm also translates in many requests at the same time for our attention and our wallets as consumers and individuals, for the purposes of money-making, political electioneering and ego massaging.