Sunday, November 27, 2016
Human Nature: What Is It?
This is probably going to amount to a lot of stuff I've already addressed but before going into Cultural Marxism (tomorrow) we need to look at human nature to fully understand how human beings can be swept up by it. So, what is human nature?
All social scientists make some form of a "state of nature" argument. How do humans interact and what drives them without political or social restraints? Are we in fact cooperative, or competitive? The answer is not so clear cut. Clearly, in a primitive state some cooperation is necessary for survival. Also, there must necessarily be competition for scarce resources. The error in Marx and Marxist theory is that he/they believe that humans are altruistic in a natural state and that competitiveness is socialized into social units by Capitalism.
First, there is no such thing as Capitalism. There is a free market, which is the ability to exchange goods and services unencumbered by governmental or social restraints. If Marx were correct, altruism would reign supreme and all economic interactions would be conducted in an atmosphere of fairness and equity and the need for government and the pursuant regulation would be unnecessary. However, people are not generally altruistic, they are generally selfish. This is why we need at least some government (how much is better left for another discussion). Adam Smith, generally credited with designing the market economy, believed that the role of government is to provide internal and external security and to enforce contracts. For our purposes, that is sufficient.
I've written before about how people are inner-directed or outer-directed. We are all, out of necessity, born inner-directed and as we mature we become more outer-directed. At least that is how things are supposed to occur. Clearly this does not happen to all people, especially in an affluent (comparatively speaking) society. It seems that the more affluent the society, the more self-possessed people tend to become. Ironically, during the Great Depression, charitable contributions reached an all-time high compared with the relative prosperity of the 1980's and 90's when "greed was good."
This brings us to another aspect of human nature that may or not be relevant- you can decide for yourself. If not, at least it will make me feel smart. How do we know what we know? Are we, as some social scientists argue, born tabula rasa, as blank slates, or is some knowledge present at birth? Tabula rasa theorists argue that all knowledge is experiential or a posteriori. Everything we know is a result of the acculturation process. Conversely others, argue that there is a priori, a pre-existing knowledge. Plato, a godfather of creative bullshitters everywhere believed that we were born knowing everything and certain events triggered these inherent memories. Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, believed in racial archetyping: that some memories are embedded from before birth, some kind of group memory. For example, we are almost all afraid of the dark when we are kids. Jung would argue that this is not an irrational fear but the result of a prehistoric memory, where we would wake in the morning and find that brother Oog had been eaten by some predator during the night.
Is it possible that cooperation or competition is a part of some a priori trait, or memory? Or is it a result of acculturation? Cultural Marxism is based and dependant on "group-think," although thinking has very little to do with it, in reality. In the hypocrisy that is Cultural Marxism concepts such as good or evil are subjective, unless you disagree with them and then evil is a very real thing...and you are it! Up next, the evil that is Cultural Marxism and the damage it has done to American society.