The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat

In response to When losing meant something:

Gosh, you’re so old-fashioned!  Working hard to win trophies?  Now kids get trophies just for showing up.  You can even “win” a Nobel Peace Prize just for existing, and they don’t take it back when they find out about your secret drone-strike kill lists.

Since we’re obviously like-minded curmudgeons, let me confide that I think the concepts of victory, defeat, and competition are integral to freedom, and their re-definition is an important step in the dissolution of liberty.  If you cannot fail, you are not free to achieve, or to enjoy the rewards of achievement.  If you don’t cherish competition, you’re not honest about your own abilities, properly respectful towards the ability of others, or fully committed to the right of all free people to exercise those abilities for their own profit.  

And we all know what happens when only collective goals are venerated: a world in which only fools give 100 percent effort, and only madmen strive to give more.  No winners or losers means an endless quagmire of mediocrity… which strong authorities must be empowered to enforce.