Human Nature? Whoopee!

July 2024 Forums General discussion Human Nature? Whoopee!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 43 total)
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  • #89042
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Any town any city!  any Friday or Saturday night, Young males, testosterone, booze lowering inhibitions, humans supposedly “naturally aggressive”. Fuelled up on inhibition lowering booze = bloodfest, or it would if we believed the perveyors of the human nature, naturally aggressive tripe.
    Actually, there are some fights, some injuries but nothing the human nature freaks would have us believe. Result? their argument fails miserably.
    Thats a pity aint it? no not really its just proof they are WRONG!
    Any more human nature myths you want dispelling? I’m right here.

    #89043
    Hud955
    Participant

    Cheers Steve.  OK you’ve convinced me I should avoid a testosterone-fuelled ‘human nature’ dispute with you on a Friday night.  LOL.  

    #89044
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    I was wondering what others think of the party argument on human nature?It can be found on this site, under publications – pamphlets – “Are We Prisoners of Our Genes?”Seems spot on to me.

    #89045
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Hud955 wrote:
    I’ve only ever heard one person claim that he would not be able to co-operate with others when asked this question.  The person was Keith Joseph, Maggie Thatcher’s idiotic ‘political philosophy’ guru.  It was during a public debate with the party (Hardy leading for us) in the 1970s. The response was a torrent of laughter from the audience – much to his chagrin.

    By coincidence the tape of this debate has just been digitalised and so will soon appear on this site under Audio Visual. Be interesting to see if this incident is there (not sure if questions and discussion have been included).

    #89046
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    steve colborn wrote:
    Any town any city!  any Friday or Saturday night, Young males, testosterone, booze lowering inhibitions, humans supposedly “naturally aggressive”. Fuelled up on inhibition lowering booze = bloodfest, or it would if we believed the perveyors of the human nature, naturally aggressive tripe.Actually, there are some fights, some injuries but nothing the human nature freaks would have us believe. Result? their argument fails miserably.Thats a pity aint it? no not really its just proof they are WRONG!Any more human nature myths you want dispelling? I’m right here.

    Hi Stevelong time no hear! Hows tricks?

    #89047
    ALB
    Keymaster
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I was wondering what others think of the party argument on human nature?It can be found on this site, under publications – pamphlets – “Are We Prisoners of Our Genes?”Seems spot on to me.

    There’s also these two articles from the September 1969 Socialist Standard recently added to the Archives section here:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1960s/1969/no-781-september-1969″Man: Ape is Wolf’s Clothing?” is a classic.

    #89048
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Hi OGW,I’m still trying to redress the balance.  Hope you and yours are well.The human nature debate hasn’t changed I see. Oh well, it’s only been30 years of trying. Maybe people will get it in another 30!

    #89049
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     In my experience there is no ‘human nature’ debate to be had.  When the subject rears its stupid, ignorant head just stamp on it by pointing out that the phrase ‘human nature’, if it is to mean anything, has to be applicable to all humans.  So what we’re talking about is handful of evolutionary instincts that we have in common with each other.  To wit: Fucking, Fighting, Friendship and Feeding.  It’s that simple.  The rest is human behaviour and it’s easy to demonstrate that all of that is conditioned by economic circumstance.  Straightforward enough.

    #89050
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Concise and to the point, Could not have put it better! Well said. Apart from the FIGHTING.

    #89051
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hmmm. I thought that might raise a few hackles.  But if you want to deny the role of physical conflict in the history of human development then you have a great deal of explaining to do and not much evidence to back up your position.  Moreover, I think that many socialists – especially those who tend towards the hippy-ass pacifist train of thinking – do a great disservice to our case by suggesting that homo sapiens doesn’t have a predilection for a good punch-up!  Let’s not pretend that we’re anything but a partly-evolved animal with a pretty well-developed reflex for crap situations that might be life-threatening. 

    #89054
    steve colborn
    Participant

    No hackles raised here, I’m not a dog. And no, neither do I deny the role of physical conflict in human development. If you in fact meant, technological advancements during times of internecine strife, especially during the history of Capitalism. But I suspect that this is not what you mean at all! As the following statement you made suggests,”Moreover, I think that many socialists – especially those who tend towards the hippy-ass pacifist train of thinking – do a great disservice to our case by suggesting that homo sapiens doesn’t have a predilection for a good punch-up! “I am in no wit a “hippy-assed pacifist”, in fact, not a pacifist at all. But I do not agree that human beings have, “a prediliction” for punch ups or any other type of violence, as my earlier post on this subject pointed out.The disservice done to the socialist case is by those, who continually switch and confuse the terms “human nature” and “human behaviour”.We live in a violent  and in many ways, an insane world, with many contradictions and in this context, it is truly surprising how little personal violence is done, one individual upon another.That ruling classes, throughout the ages have encouraged mass violence in pursuance of their minority interests, does not, in any way validate a claim of “predilictions to violence”. It is merely proof that in class divided and minority controlled societies, the use of “VIOLENCE”, is an effective means of gaining and securing resources, influence etc.Human beings can, at times, USE, violence. But so can they show compassion, empathy, sympathy, tenderness, forgiveness, love, kindness. They are all a part of being human and having the ability to, “CHOOSE”!

    #89055
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    steve colborn wrote:
    That ruling classes, throughout the ages have encouraged mass violence in pursuance of their minority interests, does not, in any way validate a claim of “predilictions to violence”. It is merely proof that in class divided and minority controlled societies, the use of “VIOLENCE”, is an effective means of gaining and securing resources, influence etc.Human beings can, at times, USE, violence. But so can they show compassion, empathy, sympathy, tenderness, forgiveness, love, kindness. They are all a part of being human and having the ability to, “CHOOSE”!

      You’re right.  But that’s not what I’m talking about at all.  Look, most of human history has been a continual struggle for survival. And not only at an individual level. There’ve been times when the species has faced extinction. And we’ve adapted to survive hostile conditions.  Of course, our ability to control our material conditions has improved enormously in the last ten thousand years or so, but we’ve hardly evolved at all. To suppose that we no longer have a built-in fight or flight response is, I think, mistaken, and to assume that it will disappear with socialism is naive.  Confrontation with other members of our own species – physical or otherwise – is something that is part of who we are and it won’t go away anytime soon.  Of course, a sensibly organised society will make it easy to ritualise this built-in drive so that it can manifest itself in safer, more controlled ways.  Even capitalism does this most of the time through sport and other pursuits.  Do you really think that socialism will herald the end of rugby, for example, which is nothing but ritualised violence with homo-erotic overtones, or wrestling or kickboxing?  Will the revolution mark the end of shoot-’em-up video games where the objective is to annihilate your opponents?  I think not.

    #89053
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Of course we still have a built-in fight or flight mechanism, no one is suggesting otherwise but this does not mean that human beings have a “prediliction for violence”. And I have never suggested this will disappear in Socialism.
    Confrontation with members of our own species may not disappear but it will be, most assuredly, reduced drastically,as Socialism will be a society based upon cooperation, not the competitive, dog eat dog world of competition, on every level, that exists today.
    I totally disagree that “confrontation”, is part of who we are. It may be part of Capitalism but, in a Socialist society, based upon cooperation, it will lose  its reason for existence and being the adaptable species we are, will, over time be dumped. Just as in Socialism, war will be dumped.
    By the way, as someone who played rugby union from the age of 11 until 37, I do not see evidence of ritualised violence nor, the homo-erotic overtones you imply.

    #89052
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     Morning, Steve. I’ll take your points in reverse order if only to get the rugby nonsense out of the way first! If a large group of burly men dressed in a uniform attempting to forcibly remove an odd-shaped ball from another group of burly men in accordance with a certain set of rigidly imposed rules isn’t ritualised violence I don’t know what is.  A TaeKwonDo tournament – many of which I’ve taken part in myself – is indisputably ritualised violence.  Where’s the difference?  As far as the homo-erotic aspect of rugby is concerned you only have to imagine a scrum without clothes and you’re looking at an orgy! I think that your views on confrontation as part of our ontology are confused and contradictory.  On the one hand you accept the existence of our adrenalin gland and its practical ramifications and do not deny the fight-or-flight mechanism. On the other hand you hold that this tendency to either run away or stand and fight isn’t a part of our natural behaviour.  You can’t have it both ways. Let’s assume, hypothetically, that in the average human faced with a potentially life-threatening situation there is a 50/50 chance that they will run away.  In that case you can argue that avoiding confrontation is no more a predilection towards cowardice than the tendency to stick the boot or spear in is a predilection towards violence.  Well and good.  But reality doesn’t match the hypothesis, does it?  And, as good materialists, we know why.  Social conditions have a profound effect upon human behaviour, and you are correct to point out that a less hostile and threatening set of social circumstances will most likely reduce the tendency in humans to kick off in a violent way.  But a social revolution does not guarantee instant genetic reprogramming in any way.  When we live in a socialist society the material conditions that encourage violence will – largely – have been eradicated.  But our biological drives will remain intact until they no longer have any evolutionary advantage.

    #89056
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Steve, take a few deep breaths before you respond,Lol

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