HUMAN COOPERATION | The Next Big Step ||| We’re going through unprecedented times. Society and economies as we have known until recently will likely no longer be the same in the years ahead; the race to the bottom and everything being driven by keeping the shareholders happy won’t cut it anymore – or so many think so. People are hoping that the painful learnings we have gone thought in the past 6 months have taught us a lesson, for society, for governments, corporations and at the very core, to each of us as individuals in our respective contexts. Something anew shall emerge.
Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.” – Bertrand Russell
The thing is that if you look around carefully at this very moment, you will see that humans cooperate for basically the same reasons that other animals do; immediate & tangible benefits, genetics relations, basic mutuality & reciprocity. Add to it key human values such honesty, respect, empathy, appreciation of talents & skills. And when we acknowledge and honour cultural contexts, cultural & human evolution, as a dear friend would say “we have a remarkable primordial stew of potentialities.”
“Our minds must be as ready to move as capital is, to trace its paths and to imagine alternative destinations.” – Chandra Talpade Mohanty
Language allows humans to cooperate on a small or large scale. How we treat each other – a sense of fairness and respect, being valued as a meaningful contributor to society and community has an impact on our willingness to cooperate and engage with others. I collaborate with others for several reasons – some may even be altruistic – charitable in nature. Unless I am mistreated, abused or taken advantage of. We are willing participants in society, in the economy and in various human endeavours – provided we are treated fairly and a shining relational trust is at the core of our interactions.
“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Given COVID19 and its dramatic impact in our lives cooperation to build a new normal or as some prefer to call it the “next normal” is in my opinion, essential. And that’s where cooperatives, mutuals and broadly speaking cooperative engagement in all economic realms of human endeavours will soon emerge as the salient feature of the next decade and possibly the 21st century as we gradually come out of this crisis a healthier planet, more resilient; hopefully a little wiser, but most importantly with a fairer economy – with people at its centre. Are we ready to embark on such journey? If so; what are the conversations we need to have? And who should be at the table? Who gets to decide? –
About the Author: Leo Campos A. is a Community Organizer|Cultural Worker, Diversity & Inclusion Advocate, Personal Coach, Translator|Interpreter and a Bilingual Conscious Advertising Professional, based in Edmonton (Canada). He is also a part-time advisor & community outreach person with the cloud platform Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©