Re: The International Forum on Globalization - More suitablefor Halloween th...

From: Neal Blaikie (
Date: Thu Feb 08 2001 - 18:23:26 MST

Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Have I flushed one out of the woodwork, as it seems?

"One" what? This seems a bit inflammatory, especially since you really don't know me.
Are you trying to be funny?

> "Human nature" being the evolved behavioral psychology of the human
> animal. Do you dispute?

Of course I don't dispute this in general terms. I was responding (somewhat
flippantly, I will admit) to what I perceived to be a tired and over-used blanket
application of the term, as if it means only one universally agreed upon thing rather
than a continuum of things. I see it used this way all the time by people who are
simply trying to rationalize or excuse specific behaviors, and by defeatists who have
given up on the idea that we can change and/or improve ourselves. If you meant it in
a more specific way, an elaboration would have been useful. If I read more into it
than was there, I certainly apologize for misinterpreting you.

> Communism is only non-despotic in its perfect state. Perfection is an
> unstable state, which is a truism of all natural systems. It is
> impossible to attain equilibria in a perfect state due to this
> instability, thus communism will always be despotic, and given the
> nature of power to corrupt and attract the corruptible, communist
> societies will always result in tyranny. Ant colonies may be cute, but
> they are heinously despotic and irrespective of the individual. Just
> because communist despotism (i.e. imperfect) works for ants doesn't mean
> it works for humans.

I have no argument with this either, again in general terms. Did I sound like I was
defending communism? Ouch. My personal political philosophy is nowhere near it,
believe me. I was simply trying to make a point, which I obviously failed to do. I
was irritated by what I again saw as a tired tactic, that of labeling other people as
communists simply to somehow demonize them or put them down. I think this is a
counter-productive strategy and can weaken one's credibility.

> Libertarianism has no perfect state, that is its nature. It is about
> attaining an equilibrium between individuals that is flexible based on
> the abilities, wants, and needs of each individual.

Hmm. We'll have to part ways on this one. While I would personally prefer a
libertarian system over a communist one, I think it too can be used by corrupt
individuals to oppress or exploit others (which is what has always, historically,
been the case with communism). Not to pose a conundrum, but isn't the idea that
libertarianism has no perfect state itself a perfect state? I have always felt that
the libertarian ideal is just that, an ideal, although one that certainly allows more
tolerance of others than most. Perhaps I just think about things differently.

> You don't get a stable functioning society by making everyone
> give up their entire days work to the collective, because it IS human
> nature for an individual to believe they produced more than they did and
> deserve more than they do, and to expect additional reward for
> additional or better work.

Again I feel like you are using the term "human nature" as if it means only one
thing. Have you personally interviewed everyone on the planet to see if they agree
with you? Of course not. People who are raised in a capitalist or market driven
society are going to feel this way (I certainly do), but that does not mean it is the
only way to look at things. It is ultimately a personal or cultural preference, not a
given, no matter how much we detest it.

> It is human nature for a person to put more
> importance in the safety, security, freedom and happiness of themselves
> and loved ones versus anybody else.

I agree with you on this one because it can be traced to our biology. This applies to
most animals in varying degrees.

Thanks for a lively discourse!


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