Here try this on:
Let us assume that “progress” is a relatively contemporary concept (the last 200 or so years) and has yet to be defined clearly or proven empirically to exist. So lets leave it out of the equation for the purpose of argumentation.
Let us presume that struggle is a necessary given of organic life. If against nothing else, a living thing struggles against gravity and atmospheric pressure – for example.
So we all struggle with a small “s” but i assume the meme is referring to the Struggle with a capital “s”. (The king-of-the-mountain imagery in the meme i will ignore for the moment. That suggests “ambition” which to my mind is not struggle for a shared wish or necessity, but an egoistic struggle against someone or something ie. competition which does not breed comfort and contentment but isolation and injury.)
But then why become involved in capital “s” Struggle, if not for progress (which we are assuming is a myth for the moment), and if not to be better than others or one’s former self (which for the sake of argument we are not calling “struggle” or “Struggle” but ambition)?
The answer would seem rather simple: The adaptative function of the desire, reflex, compulsion (what ever we want to call it) to distribute the immanent, primordial small “s” struggle of being alive over as many individuals as possible would seem to be:
A) in order to increase the effectivity with which the struggle can be carried out,
– and in the case of beings like primates but also many other life forms who are equipped with sympathetic capacities, –
B) in order to add the basic desire-based aspects of interaction and empathy to what is essentially a means of coping with a fact of existence.
So if we want a meme that does not insinuate that life is (or should be) some kind of war for a better future, survival of the fittest (a hypothesis long ago debunked) or even “just” a race against others or oneself toward some of ever illusive form of perfection or (quasi-)religious salvation the meme could read: “Shared Struggle is Caring” or “I’ve got your back, because back to back our backs stay warmer.” I am sure if we put our heads together we will come up with many more possible formulations.
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