Thatcher quote and competitive sports

Lisa & Ian Murray seamus at
Thu Apr 29 20:10:35 PDT 1999

> In message <372727EA.4DF4 at>, kayak3
> <kayak3 at> writes
> >I can agree with this. Alfie Kohn's boodk "No Compitition" makes a good
> >argument that competitive sports are used in our society to enforce the
> >notion that their are winners and losers.
> I would have said that competitive sports are a good thing not a bad
> thing. A spirit of competition doesn't have to mean capitalism. The
> Soviets' Chess success always inspired me, as did Ethiopia's runners, or
> Cuba's Olympic boxers.
> Isn't this a rather insipid version of socialism where we all go soft on
> each other for fear of demanding too much? Somehow co-operation alone
> seems to worthy to be true as a motive for achievement. Even a socialist
> society could gain from some healthy pressure.
> --
> Jim heartfield

The problem with repeated socializations of zero-sum games is that members of a culture meta-learn to see and organize far more social and economic relations in terms of us vs. them than is healthy or even desirable with regards to sustaining any sense of optimism about the future.

One can see this even in Castell's vol. 1 ; wherein he writes that in the "global eeconomy", the losers pay for the winners (p. 472). This is the ultimate apologetic for Neo-Mercantilism and Neo-Colonialism and represents a great tragedy (and discrediting of his outlook) for any social science that aims for a substantive internationalism/cosmopolitanism. In that regard, chess may be the epistemological root of the problem...I'll take frisbee thank you very much....

Ian Murray Seattle, WA

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