Partners, not Adversaries

Almost all of our relationships are adversarial. As school children, we compete for grades. As workers, we compete for promotions. We’re pushed into being adversaries in all our relations, but the only way to solve today’s problems is as partners.

Today’s pandemic, today’s worldwide economic crisis, today’s immigrant crisis, today’s environmental crisis, and today’s war crisis, whether we think of them as separate or linked, can only be solved through international cooperation. But several governments, including ours, are moving in the opposite direction. Just when international cooperation is critical, the government of the United States brays, “Me first!”

This week, President Trump unilaterally banned European travelers. He didn’t even give them a courtesy call. He has consistently broken every kind of international agreement that would have made us healthier and safer. Today’s pandemic is bringing it all into focus, but it’s been going on for some years.

People are not naturally competitive. Humans would not have survived in the wild if we hadn’t learned to cooperate. As hunter/gatherers we cooperated within our own clan. In City-States we cooperated within our own limited area. As nations, we cooperated over a much broader area. But, so far, we have never been allowed to practice cooperation across the planet.

Our better thinkers have known about the necessity of cooperation at least since World War I. At war’s end, they set up the League of Nations. It was weak and didn’t stop the “me first” people from creating World War II. At the end of the Second World War, our better thinkers set up the United Nations. Our worst thinkers have been trying to tear it apart, and they have damaged it considerably, but it still exists. It’s largely ignored in America, but it still exists.

The “me first” people have to be overcome. We have to demand international cooperation. It’s the only way out of the messes we’re in!

–Gene Lantz

I’m on radio KNON’s prize-winning “Workers Beat” program at 9AM Central Time every Saturday. If you are curious about what I really think, check out my personal web site

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