It is imporant to consider populations of cell, not individuals. Communities
of cells (biofilms) exist to ensure their propogation, (survive stresses) ,
provide nutrient syntropy, exclude cells that don't belong, and create and
environment where certain members can thrive. To a large extent they are a lot
more civil than people!
It may be that the competition within a biofilm is not nearly so important as
competition between those that are NOT in the biofilm. In a real sense, a
community can live in harmony, and an important function is to keep out the