There are some people who strike others as being competitive. But among those who are identified as being competitive, there are those who would deny that they are competitive. At first, I thought those who seem competitive but deny that they are competitive are merely projecting themselves in an acceptable way but know they are competing. Now I realize that they really think that they are not competing. Now I realize that they really are competing despite their sincere denials.
To some extent, the old adage, beauty, or in this case, being competitive is in the eyes of the beholder and now I realize it also is. Those who brand others as competitive are competitive themselves, otherwise the branding would be an irrelevant act not worth making. But the competitiveness of the labeler does not detract from the fact that those perceived as being competitive are really competitive.
Those who are competitive (and isn't everyone competitive?), who sincerely think they are not competing believe that they are merely behaving as they think they ought to. They are merely acting out their social position, walking down a path that seems absolutely natural for them to take. Without realizing it, by acting out their social positions and by walking down the path that is laid out for them, they are competing in so far as their actions have consequences on their share of the market for economic capital, social capital and prestige. When others think that the actions of these individuals leads to certain consequences in terms of the market for various resources, then they are branded as competitive.
The natural defense of those labeled as such would of course be to say things like they are just doing their jobs, or they are misunderstood, or they are victims of envy, or they aren't doing anything wrong or any other kind of legitimation except for the naked fact that they are in the market for resources. But for these individuals who misrecognize their actions, their act of taking resources is simply like taking champagne from the tray of a waiter who offers the champagne to them. Reaching for resources (not even struggling for them) is a legitimate act which they would not consider competition.
The real winners in society are those who are acknowledged to deserve the resources that are in fact consider “theirs” for the having (not even for the taking). These individuals are not even seen by others as competing for resources. In their case, the misrecognition that all individuals are competitive is universal, affecting both the person whose entitlements are publicly acknowledged and the public that does the acknowledging.
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