- Aug 11, 2009
Well said - "wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice" is a happy little pipe dream, but the unavoidable reality that idealists blind themselves to is that humans are nasty. When it comes to the "functioning" members of society, at best we convince ourselves to feel ashamed for the terrible thoughts we entertain and therefore out of that instilled shame do not act upon them (much), at worst we simply recognize that "being ourselves" just isn't worth the possible consequences that behavior would entail; either way we're holding our own "real" nature in check, every minute of every day.Archangel357 said:Um, no.JackSparrowSucks said:The whole, "all humans are inherently bad" comes from that obstinate culture of statism. Leviathan was representative of the rational discourse in those days, ranging from Mercantilism to the prevalence of the Church.
Hobbes was an idiot, and should be seen the same way Marxian economics is seen.
Humans ARE inherently bad. Greed and murder is who we are, and we can see it every time that society's bounds are loosened. People in Rwanda hacked their neighbours and their schoolmates to death with machetes not because they were ordered to, but simply because they were ALLOWED to. The second the Leviathan took its leave from the former Yugoslavia, men were raping their co-workers' daughters. The second regulations became so low that bankers could get away with fraud on a trillion-dollar scale, they did, and ruint millions of people and entire countries.
That is what we are. History is rather full of examples of this. Pretty much every problem in political discourse since, well, Rousseau is that we substitute idealistic bullshit like his for this simple yet inconvenient truth.
Take away the learned guilt or remove those consequences that hold us in check, and the result isn't very pretty. Humans are certainly capable of remarkable acts of charity, kindness, and love of course, but we exhibit those traits in defiance of our natures, not in accordance with them, thanks to our capacity for reason; reason that both frees us and condemns us with the same stroke, for when we act in accordance with our wicked natures we cannot argue that we didn't have a choice not to.
Building any sort of model based on the assumption that humans are basically good is a doomed endeavor - the "noble savage" is and has always been a myth.