You’re either with us or against us
Definitions about flag
A flag is a piece of fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a signalling device, or for decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed, and flags have evolved into a general tool for rudimentary signalling and identification, especially in environments where communication is challenging (such as the maritime environment, where semaphore is used). The study of flags is known as “vexillology” from the Latin vexillum, meaning “flag” or “banner”.
National flags are patriotic symbols with widely varied interpretations that often include strong military associations because of their original and ongoing use for that purpose. Flags are also used in messaging, advertising, or for decorative purposes.
Some military units are called “flags” after their use of flags. A flag is equivalent to a brigade in Arab countries. In Spain, a flag (Spanish: Bandera) is a battalion-equivalent in the Spanish Legion.
United Nations members’ national flags
Setting up a flag could also possess the meaning of conquering something. Jaan Künnap with the flag of Estonia at the top of Lenin Peak (7,134 m [23,406 feet]) in 1989.
From the Cambridge Dictionary:
a piece of cloth, usually rectangular and attached to a pole at one edge, that has a pattern that shows it represents a country or a group or has a particular meaning:
Flags of all the participating countries are flying outside the stadium.
Flags were flapping/fluttering in the breeze.
The guard waved his flag and the train pulled away from the station.
It’s a crime to desecrate the country’s flag.
You’re not allowed to swim when the red flag is flying.
The palace flags were all flying at half-mast.
There were flags on the tops of many of the buildings.
A flag fluttered from a 40-foot pole.
According to Wikipedia, there are 34 types of flags existing. One of the most important and at the same time most violent type of flag is the national flag. But it is way not the only one which is violent as I will explain.
History – First wars
Throughout history, individuals, states, or political factions have gained sovereignty over regions through the use of war. The history of one of the earliest civilizations in the world, that of Mesopotamia, is a chronicle of nearly constant strife. Even after Sargon the Great of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE) unified the region under the Akkadian Empire, the war was still waged in putting down rebellions or fending off invaders. The Early Dynastic Period of Egypt (3150-2686 BCE) is thought to have risen from war when the Pharaoh Manes (or Menes) of the south conquered the region of northern Egypt (though this claim is disputed). In China, the Zhou Dynasty gained ascendancy through battle in 1046 BCE and the conflict of the Warring States Period ((476-221 BCE) was resolved when the State of Qin defeated the other contending states in battle and unified China under the rule of emperor Shi Huangti. This same pattern holds for other nations throughout time whether one cites the success of Scipio Africanus (236-183 BCE) in the defeat of Carthage (and so the ascendancy of Rome) or that of Philip II of Macedon (382-336 BCE) in uniting the city-states of Greece. Contending armies of opposing nations have historically settled political disputes on the battlefield even though, in time, these armies changed in formation and size.
The main consequences of a war situation
In case of a war – country against country – people get recruited to serve their country. Everyone who commits himself for this kind of service submits himself at the same time under the flag of this particular country. The orders for this kind of service are coming from the country leadership, which has as a consequence that any other interests, no matter if they might be right and true or not, have to be completely ignored, including all personal ones.
A very quite similar commitment and submission are also required for any of the other competition where one country is competing against one or many others.
In all cases, the importance of the victory of the country flag is much more important than many other things. If the competition becomes intense, it’s a common practice to intentionally ignore correct values such as honour, wisdom, truth and life.
How war looks like:
Definition of “city” in Wikipedia
A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.
Historically, city-dwellers have been a small proportion of humanity overall, but following two centuries of unprecedented and rapid urbanization, roughly half of the world population now lives in cities, which has had profound consequences for global sustainability. Present-day cities usually form the core of larger metropolitan areas and urban areas—creating numerous commuters travelling towards city centres for employment, entertainment, and edification. However, in a world of intensifying globalization, all cities are in different degree also connected globally beyond these regions.
The consequences of situations of competitions between cities are very much similar to the ones from the competitions between countries. Usually, the scale of city competitions is smaller. It can start with something very simple like differences in the language or how to express certain things or some of the habits which might be different in certain areas or cities.
There can be also other reasons leading to a conflict or competition between cities. For example, The Northern and Southern sections of the United States developed along different lines. The South remained a predominantly agrarian economy while the North became more and more industrialized. Different social cultures and political beliefs developed. All of this led to disagreements on issues such as taxes, tariffs and internal improvements as well as states rights versus federal rights.
The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.
Wikipedia about the American Civil War
The American Civil War (also known by other names) was fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. As a result of the long-standing controversy over slavery, war broke out in April 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, shortly after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. The nationalists of the Union proclaimed loyalty to the U.S. Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States, who advocated for states’ rights to expand slavery.
Among the 34 U.S. states in February 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the U.S. to form the Confederate States of America or the South. The Confederacy grew to include eleven slave states. The Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by the United States government, nor was it recognized by any foreign country (although the United Kingdom and France granted it belligerent status). The states that remained loyal to the U.S. (including the border states where slavery was legal) were known as the Union or the North.
Economical and technological competitions
In most cases, cities are competing with each other in economic or technological matters. The world economic forum has published a report in 2014 with the title “A report of the Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness – The Competitiveness of Cities”.
In the preface is stated:
“The World Economic Forum has been studying competitiveness for over 30 years by focusing on the assessment of the productive potential of countries in The Global Competitiveness Report series. To complement this strand of work, the Forum created the
Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness as part of the Network of Global Agenda Councils. The Council’s objective is to deepen and broaden the understanding of competitiveness and equip global leaders with tools to address competitiveness challenges. In 2012, Council Members identified the leadership role that cities are taking in stimulating the competitiveness of countries and regions as a key issue for further study. ”
In this 60-pages-long report are cities from practically all over the world reviewed and it includes a section: “A Checklist of What to Reform and How to Reform”.
In October 2017, the world economic forum published another report with the title: “These are the best-run cities in the world”. Only this time, it is not a report with many pages in A4 anymore and it is not available on the internet as a PDF document to download. Additionally, this article is focused on the big seven “Established World Cities in 2017”.
However, the WEF has also published another report, called “The Global
Competitiveness Report 2016–2017”, which is a bit bigger with about 400 pages. In September 2017 was the “The Global Competitiveness Report 2017–2018” published, also by the WEF.
The purpose of such a report becomes clearer as soon as you look at the statement right below the WEF Logo: “Committed to improving the state of the world”. This statement explains the train of thinking not only by the World Economic Forum WEF, it reflects the understanding of humanity that competing with each other supposed to bring out best results.
I will examine the consequences of competing with each other closer a bit later.
Companies – a brand is literally the same as a flag
We have explained already what a company is in our article “What can be the purpose of a human life?” – https://peegel.info/lk/purpose-of-a-human-life/, the group of corporates.
The main purpose of a company is to generate profit. As there is for each good or service not only one company which is producing such, the companies are in direct competition with each other. We’d like to repeat some of the content of our article to show the consequences of this competing:
The quest to slow climate change, stop biodiversity loss, reverse resource overshoot and the like are all being fought, advertently or inadvertently, by business interests trying to simply stay profitable. The working logic of market behaviour is that the planet is nothing more than an inventory to be extracted from and exploited for a financial turnover. Procedural solutions to directly redesign and alter human industrial activity haven’t been discussed at all because that kind of thinking is against market logic and “economic freedom”. The market economy is based on “cyclical consumption and it really doesn’t matter what is being produced, how it is produced or why. The consequence is an economic system that is environmentally unsustainable, increasingly leading to ecological problems and consequential social problems.
There is this saying that business is war and to be able to win a war, you need to be unconditionally ready to do everything and anything.
Do you like to buy articles from well-known or even famous brands? By buying these articles you are directly perpetuating this company competition. Do you also remember the outcome from companies: the plunder of natural resources, pollution, destruction, psychological damages, child-work, slave-work, keeping the consumers constantly dissatisfied to force fast cyclical consumption, environment-damaging waste, Ephemeralization – raising efficiency by producing more with less.
Keep in mind, that the group of governments (the countries) are serving the interests of the corporates.
Teams or Groups
In political communication, the phrase “you’re either with us, or against us” and similar variations are used to depict situations as being polarized and to force witnesses, bystanders, or others unaligned with some form of pre-existing conflict to either become allies of the speaking party or lose favour.
The implied consequence of not joining the team effort is to be deemed an enemy.
The operation of the three factors – informational, normative and interpersonal influence – can be readily observed in groups as diverse as military units, street gangs, college fraternities and religious denominations. All of these groups have a relatively exclusive membership; all subsequently provide members with a unique sense of identity.
In addition, all use signs, symbols and clothing to mark their territory and to communicate nonverbally to group members and, to some extent, to outsiders. Forms of dress, grooming, and personal appearance may be espoused and regulated to some degree within each group, so that the exclusiveness, identity and values of the group are reinforced and displayed.
You can find that regions with the most religious conflict or insurgent terrorism tend also to be regions with the greatest destabilization, insecurity, and history of foreign exploitation, scarcity, and deprivation.
Some simple conclusions
Being focused on a flag or a brand causes blindness for everything that does not obvious or measurable directly support or advocate the pre-set targets for the flag.
This blindness causes in most cases major collateral damages, in some cases even intended. The identification of these kinds of damages needs usually a big effort and input of resources, which we humans are due to our laziness not willing to put in, even if this would be the right thing to do.
The perpetuation of this behaviour does not only provide the testimony of a very primitive and extremely narrow thinking species to all mankind, it also prevents any kind of progress for humanity, which is, as a matter of fact, a crime against an entire species.
Do competitions bring out the best results?
Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.
Competition can bring out the best in salespeople, athletes, and participants in hot dog eating contests — but can it make employees more creative?
A recent working paper by Daniel P. Gross finds that competition can motivate creative types to produce radically novel, untested ideas, but that too much competition pushes them in the opposite direction.
The findings could help organizations generate more innovative ideas, sharpen R&D, and even improve “bake-off” competitions between vendors used to award contracts. And that is exactly what companies are looking for in order to win the war against their competitors. The same situation is also valid when countries or groups are competing with each other.
But what does this actually really mean? It means that all types of competition force us to find new solutions and develop them at a very fast pace. This can also mean that many possible attempts for one solution, including all failures on that way to it, will be done multiple times by a number of companies or groups.
The pressure of the competition gets transmitted at the exact same rate onto the members of a certain country, company or group. In case that members are refusing to accept this pressure, they become automatically enemies in the eyes of all others. This vicious circle perpetuates an environment of constantly being under pressure of delivering creative solutions and results in a behaviour of each individual against one another.
I would call such an environment a “highly toxic and destructive” environment.
Solutions, no matter in which form, created under the pressure of competition are never positive in the long-run as they have been found for the sake of survival and not for the sake of an efficient and sustainable solution. Finding the right solution for any kind of situation or problem does include carefully examining all aspects from all angles with the foremost target to protect and preserve life.
All good things need time. Think about it – The earth is about 4.54 billion years old. So, why should we be in a hurry?