A Primal Wisdom is a prophetic, engaging and thought-provoking look into the worlds of politics, religion, and interpersonal relationships that is a very timely read in regards to current events.
In his book, V. Frank Asaro defines his theory of “co-opetition,” a natural unification of cooperation and competition. Too much of one and not enough of the other, says Asaro, causes imbalance. Using the example of an out-rigger canoe (pictured on the cover of his book) he says, “piled into the main hull are competitive, free-enterprise elements, but fixed out on the end of the spars is the pontoon itself, housing ethics, business law and regulation.” Working together, they balance each other out and keep the canoe afloat.
This “sweet spot” isn’t an exact balance between the two, but the fulcrum point exists in a different place for each case. Some strife (competition) is a good thing, says Asaro. Likewise, we all need some regulation or we’d live in chaos. A stable government, he says, “can be provided by finding the point of synthesis between the power of the masses and that of an influential elite of society.”
Asaro first developed this theory of co-opetition back in the 1970s and has been writing about it since. Now, in his groundbreaking book, he tackles hard issues such as illegal immigration, government over-spending, gun control, education and social security.
I found this book interesting and it gave me a better understanding on some political issues and why America is struggling right now. I especially liked his argument on gun control (he tells us where the sweet spot is and why) and names advocates of freedom who were pro-gun, including the Dalai Lama, Indira Gandhi and George Orwell. I also found the section on social engineering fascinating, and how the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loan debacle began the downward spiral towards the recession of 2008.
If you give the people too much, says Asaro, they will forget how to take care of themselves and rely more and more on government. He gives an example of the near extinction of a breed of wild monkeys in Costa Rica. Tourists and park naturalists had been feeding them, so mother monkeys had forgotten how to teach their young to forage for themselves in the forest. The youngsters, without continued outside support, began starving to death.
Asaro’s book gives solutions for finding this “sweet spot” between competition and cooperation in the above-mentioned areas and more. His vast knowledge of social issues and obvious intellect make for a great read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has given me fodder for discussion, and some solid arguments to back up some of my beliefs as a conservative, and to see the side of people more liberal in their thinking. Even if you aren’t interested in social issues, it makes for a deeper understanding of how human intuitiveness works, given the chance, in naturally regulating the sometimes overreaching arms of other tribes, countries, or governments.
Asaro, an inventor, lawyer, philosopher, musician, composer and more, uses his insights and a lifetime of learning to give us a book that will be the cause of great debate by its readers for years to come. It’s so rich you’ll want to keep it as a reference, and in it you’ll find yourself reading solutions to questions you never thought to ask.