Extreme Competition Reduces Adaptability

Builds Upon: Introverts vs. Extroverts: Survival of the Fittest

Once, I read the words of a writer who likened our society to an impressive body builder:  stronger and more intimidating than anybody else but loaded with metabolically expensive muscle mass and lacking any fat to support it.  Simultaneously unstoppable yet unable to so much as sustain itself.  A goner if a constant supply of nourishment were cut off even for a moment…

There are lots of advantages to being a hyper-competitive society, but in the modern era such an intensely burning society runs the risk of burning out while any lesser flames it failed to extinguish burn on indefinitely.

The definition of fitness changes yet our civilization is not very adaptable to environmental stresses.  Our major cities can’t be moved.  The slightest lapse in transportation and supply results in shortage.  Any lapse in constant expansion results in crisis…

Ancient Rome was a highly competitive society dependent on constant expansion.  When expansion stagnated, so did the Empire.  The economy was dependent on the constant influx of slave labor.  No conquest=No slaves=Crisis and decline.  Without enough new riches from conquest, military men plundered their own government.  Like a starving human body, it began to consume its own muscle tissue.  Their system proved unable to adapt precisely because it was competitive and therefore dependent on expansion.

Ultimately ancient Rome was like a flightless peacock.  The male’s huge fan is the result of generations of competitiveness. Yet, not only does growing the tail require a huge amount of energy, it is unable to escape a predator that would be harmless to drab and normal birds.

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