ok, first of all, no were does it say anything about the shivans except the obvius. it is mentioned that they MIGHT have a hive mind just one second before a comment about how you shouldn't atribute them with such a quality.
second the Shivans might, just possibly, maybe, have a technological advantage over everyone else not because of there social structure, but because they have been a spacefareing civilization for no less than ten _thousand_ ****ing years. that could posibly have an effect on things, maybe.
third, the concept of money causes humans to compete with each other, if we were only looking out for the benefit of our kind then we would only be motivated to improve things when there was some sort of problem. with competition you must constantly try to improve over everyone else. further only the successful survive the process allowing darwinian action to refine the species further. in a non-competitive society, the weak are held up by the strong, eventually this will weaken the entire population.