• Nelson Guedes

Love in a Competitive Society

How Monogamy Creates Competition that Kills Love in Society

Many guys will spend this Valentine's Day stuck in the "friendzone". Unfortunately for them, the current materialistic competitive culture is designed to further isolate them from society. When a guy says he is being "friendzoned", what he is trying to say is that he is being excluded from society. But we often avoid saying that directly because that is considered "unattractive", thus reinforcing our exclusion. There are many reasons for that exclusion.


For one, the predominant monogamous paradigm implies that we can each only have one partner at a time. Monogamy creates an artificial scarcity. When romantic relationships become scarce, they become subject to competitive rules. As competitive rules kick in, the more aggressive men dominate, leaving nicer, more compassionate, men completely alone. These aggressive dominant men are often seen as misoginistic "assholes". The patriarchal society, through monogamy, establish the role of the dominant men. Men who are compassionate get excluded and systematically "friendzoned", while aggressive competitive men have plenty of women interested in them and they don't have to do much work to get new partners, an effect which gets transferred to their economic life. Due to competition and scarcity, aggressiveness is encouraged in capitalist society and men who are aggressive tend to have more partners and better jobs than men who are not aggressive. In other words, girls like assholes and assholes get better jobs. The patriarchical capitalist social-economic system is specifically designed to create mysoginist aggressive men. This is not an accident, but simply the natural consequence of the engineered scarcity of the competitive paradigm. This is one of the reasons why I have always been polyamorist, because I absolutely disagree with this notion of scarcity.

Relationship Zones

Which brings me to my next point.... yes, we do create these "zones". We put people in different zones and keep them there. We have our family, our best friends, our partner, friends and so on. In each zone, the patriarchal society defines how many people we can fit in them, what is the acceptable behavior of both parties (you and the other) and what is not. This is, again, the notion of scarcity at play and the source of many feelings such as insecurity and jealousy. True, there is scarcity of energy and time, but those are greatly exaggerated through the scarcity paradigm in order to gain control over all of us and disempower us. We don't need those zones. Perhaps the "immediate family" zone may have some utility, but all the other zones only serve as boundaries to define us and keep us imprisoned in the patriarchal system. Ultimately, society is a big partnership, a big family. We need to bring down those boundaries.

Of course, there are reasons for those boundaries. They are, primarily, a matter of trust. The less trust there is in a society, the more barriers are erected to divide people. Muslim society is a perfect example. Muslim societies tend to be excessively patriarchal. Their veils are designed to create a very visible boundary between men and women. Recently, when Muslim immigrants immigrated from Middle East, they had never really been exposed to women without veils, so when they encountered them, they interpreted that there was no boundary at all between them. The veil acts as a shield that replaces trust. In competitive scarce societies, we have less trust in one another, therefore, we erect those barriers in order to protect ourselves (the bad kind of erection).

But in a collaborative society, where we work together as a big family, those barriers come down and we are able to connect far more deeply with many other people. We can connect more deeply with ourselves, so some of us see less differences between the "genders" and may even identify more with the other "gender". This starts happening in the first stages of the transition from a competitive to a collaborative society. As trust increases, we can connect more deeply in an emotional and physical way with friends, so many people who we considered "friends" before, we start treating them the same way we treat "lovers" now, even though they are only "friends". The dissolution of boundaries causes a redefinition of roles. This is the first stage in the evolution of a polyamorist society. On the second stage, social trust reaches a point where the norm is to have multiple "partners", where we all have deep trust for each other. We may not be fully intimate with everyone, but we may be able to reach that point very quickly and naturally. Collaborative communication becomes so fluent that people can go from not knowing each other to "sleeping" together like they are just playing a game. In the end, we end up with a global distributed partnership. This evolved collaborative social model is directly tied to a more advanced social-economic model based on trust, love and collaboration.

Playfulness, Trust and Intimacy

That's what intimacy is, after all. It's a trust game. It's a game that kids often have no trouble playing, because they are trusting and have no pain. They can run around naked, for all they care. "Sleeping together" is just a trust game. It is supposed to be playful, not something serious and filled with unnecessary rules, which reflect the lack of trust in the competitive parties. This scarce competitive paradigm that we live in forces us into all kinds of rules and limitations that prevent collaboration and the true expression of who we are. The rules, like the ancient Eastern philosopher Lao Tzu implied, they are a sign of mistrust in society. The rules ultimately prevent the abundance that our true selves can offer to us and to society as a whole. They are a part of a vicious cycle of pain and mistrust, where the rules are supposed to protect us, but they ultimately perpetuate the mistrust.

Here's another place where the "friendzoned" guy is also excluded. The friendzoned guy is more compassionate, so he will naturally be more playful and more in touch with himself. But according to the rules, guys should never be playful. We are supposed to "grow up", to leave our "childish" ways behind and forget who we are, so we can serve the patriarchal society. Guys, then, are conditioned to become increasingly more aggressive, both with girls and at work, which gives them the upper hand in the competitive paradigm and perpetuate it, thus re-initiating the cycle. The "friendzoned" "nice guy", becoming progressively excluded from society, can only turn to two options: (a) become more aggressive to compete with the aggressive men, thus perpetuating the cycle, or (b) refusing to join the paradigm and, therefore, abandoning the cycle altogether, becoming increasingly excluded from society. These men are seen as "weak" and end up alone and with a very low paying job. The men who choose to stand up against the paradigm can also become completely excluded, with no jobs and no friends.

This whole issue is the very center of this social paradigm. The compassionate men, who can create a better world, are disempowered both socially and economically, while the competitive men, who dominate society, are empowered both socially and economically. This cycle can only be broken if women are empowered to see the abundance and stop paying attention to the aggressive competitive men. Girls need to stop giving all the attention to "the assholes" while completely ignoring decent men. By giving all their attention to assholes (and sometimes going out with them in the hope to "change" them), girls basically motivate all men to become assholes and punish those who refuse to do so. Giving all the attention to the assholes is rewarding them and reinforcing their behavior. The assholes are not the only option, there are plenty of men who are better, they are often good "friends". With the perception of abundance, we can build trust more freely with one another, decrease the boundaries between us and become more intimate and collaborative, working as a whole unified family rather than competitive tribes dominated by a few aggressive men.

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