A Primal Wisdom is a prophetic, engaging, and thought-provoking look at the worlds of politics, religion, and interpersonal relationships that is a very timely read when it comes 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 too little of the other, says Asaro, causes imbalance. Using the example of an outrigger canoe (represented on the cover of his book), he says: “stacked on the main hull are competitive elements of free enterprise, but fixed at the end of the stringers is the pontoon itself, housing ethics, business law and regulation.” Working together, they balance each other out and keep the boat afloat.
This “sweet spot” is not an exact balance between the two, but the fulcrum exists in a different place for each case. A little wrestling (competition) is a good thing, says Asaro. Likewise, we all need some regulation or we would live in chaos. A stable government, he says, “can be achieved by finding the point of synthesis between the power of the masses and that of an influential elite in society.”
Asaro first developed this coopetition theory in the 1970s and has been writing about it ever since. Now, in his groundbreaking book, he tackles tough topics like illegal immigration, government overspending, gun control, education, and social security.
I found this book interesting and it gave me a better understanding of some political issues and what America is fighting for right now. I especially liked his argument about gun control (he tells us where the sweet spot is and why) and he names pro-gun freedom fighters, 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 lending debacle started the downward spiral into the 2008 recession.
If you give people too much, Asaro says, they will forget how to take care of themselves and trust the government more and more. Give an example of the near extinction of a race of wild monkeys in Costa Rica. Tourists and park naturalists had been feeding them, so the mother monkeys had forgotten how to teach their young to forage for themselves in the forest. Young people, without continued external support, began to starve.
Asaro’s book provides solutions for finding this “sweet spot” between competition and cooperation in the areas mentioned above and more. His vast knowledge of social issues and his obvious intellect make him a great read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has given me food for discussion, and some strong arguments to support some of my beliefs as a conservative, and to see the side of more liberal people in their thinking. Even if you’re not interested in social issues, it allows for a deeper understanding of how human intuition works, given the chance, in natural regulation by the sometimes overreaching arms of other tribes, countries, or governments.
Asaro, an inventor, lawyer, philosopher, musician, composer, and more, uses his knowledge and a lifetime of learning to bring us a book that will be the subject of great debate among his readers for years to come. It’s so rich you’ll want to reference it, and in it you’ll find yourself reading solutions to questions you never thought to ask.