The Perils of Co-operation
Is Co-operation all that good? If it isn’t, what are the perils of co-operation?
What is Co-operation?
To examine this further, let us study activities of comparable nature. In fact such activities, co-operation, co-ordination, and collaboration are some of the most hyped words of today.
Collaboration – Indicates entities working together for something new and defined, a shared vision
Co-ordination – Indicates monitored sharing, planned teamwork and mutual support
Co-operation – Indicates entities supporting each other
I agree, there is a certain amount of overlap, in meanings conveyed by these words in actual use. In fact, what I mean here by co-operation is what we get when we subtract what is shown here against the other two words from, what is shown here against that word. Thus co-operation, in this essay signifies what is left with an association of people, when the matter, if any, of mutual gain is removed. Ultimately, that is only the meaning that is popularly understood.
To make my point clear, let us consider one example from our history that is often trumpeted as the victory of co-operation.
What do you say?
Egyptian pyramid is a ‘living’ example. Suppose the people who labored to build the structure were not at all co-operating. Suppose those desirous of seeing this monument completed, were quite determined. Assume that they were also quite powerful and did not dilute their demands, in the face of hurdles. The only possibility of having the structure erected, in that case, is to have had recourse to extra human assistance. That would have driven the people to the extremes of their efforts in devising new and different ways to move those slabs of stone, particularly, without involving human effort.
What we could have Gained
Suppose there was no workforce. Workers were not available in large numbers. What could have been the result? We would have been having the demand for heavy earth moving machinery at the time of the pyramids. Naturally, that means, we would have had to invent many of the products of industrial revolution, many years back. Most certainly, this entails us to have had many of the discoveries of industrial revolution already in place. That would have put us now, way ahead in technology. Of course, that would have advanced the modern world by a few millennia, and undoubtedly, we today would have been ahead by those many centuries.
What does this show? Co-operation is not a desirable attribute, especially in its abstract, wide sense.