I Hate Competition — a Delirious Rant

plus a bonus link to another Medium essay

image via a Google Image search for the term,“fist fight”; royalty free & modified by myself slightly

Sincerely I declare that I hate competition. It’s like, someone has to win and someone has to die. Mind, I don’t hate competition because I consider it “unfair”; no, I hate competition because it is so absolute, so intolerant, and so self-righteous.

And yes yes, I know that competition is unavoidable. I know competition is undeniable reality. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though.

Anyways I’m a petulant child and I hate competition.

History records that Sukarno, first president of the Republic of Indonesia, used to say that he doesn’t hate liberalism (at least not all of liberalism), but instead he specifically hates free-fight liberalism, which I suppose is a particular sub-strain of liberalism instead of all of liberalism..

Wait, was that free-fight liberalism, or free-fight capitalism? I think it was free-fight capitalism.

Capitalism is about capital.

While liberalism is about liberty.

One can suppose, I guess.

Interesting isn’t it, how at the very least some portions of Western culture equate capital with liberty…

So much so that I, a non-Western exposed to Western culture also thinks that way, at least some times…

(If one lacks capital, one also lacks liberty..? Uhh…) *shiver*

Now mind you I do agree that there exists healthy forms of competition. Thing is though…

Now mind you I do agree that there exists healthy forms of competition. I am not denying that. Competition can be good, yes.

But the thing is though, and this is undeniable, is that current 21st-Century systems of capital-oriented free-fight liberalism in contemporary global society promote the most banal and zero-sum forms of competition that rots most contemporary urban-population brains.

Consider the case of a system that optimizes for optimum paperclips, as a rough analogy if you will…

The Paperclip Maximizer (artificial-intelligence program), you see, was both extremely intelligent and profoundly stupid. It understood people, the world, and finance, but the only virtue it knew was the one it had been taught: increasing the number of paperclips. What the CEO meant to say was, “ensure that the number of paperclips at each printer almost never reaches zero, while minimizing the total cost.” But what the Intern told the computer was, “ensure that the number of paperclips at each printer never reaches zero.” And the Paperclip Maximizer spent the night and the morning thinking up increasingly clever ways to do just that.

Some forms of competition can be Good. Beneficial to Humanity, even.

But the most popular ultra-competitive global form of competition, unfortunately, is not.

“What’s on your mind, Ferdi?”

The workload looming over my head, Facebook.

(Looming above me, like a guillotine.)

…And yet I laugh at the face of my guillotine. Like a delirious fool.

Laugh. Laugh at the face of your personal guillotine. Laugh at it like a delirious fool.


Because the guillotine does not exist, in fact. It cannot even ever exist.


Cross-posted & remixed from my Ello, my Telegram “Coffee-Chats” channel, my Tumblr blog, my Mastodon accounts, and various other original texts by myself which I scrounged up from here & there.

Originally published as a whole in my Medium on this day, August 5th, 2017.

Bonus link 2: “Fist Fight” (2017) — starring Charlie Day & Ice Cube