Homer's Contest: The Importance of Competition


I was reading Homer’s Contest by Nietzsche on the beach alone a few days ago, a frequent hobby of mine. Particularly, one part goes over how the Greek’s in the Hellenic era were hyper focused on competition.

Art, writing, ideas, athletics were all a competition and meant to beat those of other people. Especially art.

They wanted to have the best and be the best of their particular field, and this constant drive is what made the era so prosperous. Not only were they competitive, but they loved the competition. They loved when a champion was overthrown or when an underdog prevailed because it meant that the competition was alive and health. As a result there wouldn't be one "idea" of the time, but 6 competing ideas. The same thing with other disciplines.

The pre Hellenic era on the other hand had nearly no competition but was far less prosperous, far more chaotic, and violent.

It seems like competition was the way people turned their energy towards productive means and away from war and infighting.

This is why it’s a terrible thing that our society is getting further and further away from healthy competition. It sends us further to tribalism and political violence, show me one antifa member who was a high school wrestler.

But on the individual level (how most things start and thrive, you're primarily responsible for yourself) we can still ingrain competition in our lives and use it a driving force to be more and more productive and fulfilled.

Find something to compete in, or a bunch of things, and bring that energy to all your endeavors. Become good at that thing. If all else fails you'll still have it.

Find a martial art, play chess, outsell your business competition, out lift yourself yesterday, and be the most productive person you know. Get utility out of be better, smarter, and stronger than people. Encourage competition with your friends. This is how we grow as society, we push each other.

Don't believe the propaganda machine. Competition is good. It encourages hard work, fortitude, and coping with well with defeat so you can compete on another day. This is how we learn the skills to survive and thrive in the world. This is why wrestling was so helpful in forging my masculine mindset. I competed with others, and lost a bunch, so that I'd have the skills to best people forever.

It's time to start bringing back competition.