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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
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    Sleepysnooze, i'm not going to waste my time writing essays on whether humans are naturally selfish or not, i've gave my opinion and it’s clearly backed up by historical evidence. Humans DID live in egalitarian communes for the majority of our existence and class society only dates back around 10,000 years. You’re claiming that humans are naturally selfish, however history and the way humans have lived, shows otherwise. You can research this yourself. What it shows us is how what we define as natural changes constantly due to changes in our environment and throughout history the definition of human nature has changed over time, from culture to culture. “what we define as natural changes constantly due to changes in our environment” - our environment being a capitalist one, hence why you believe that we are innately selfish. It is true that we are selfish but it is not a natural occurrence, it is a result of living within a capitalist society that thrives upon competition, greed and selfishness. Observing reality shows us this. You even say it yourself multiple times within this thread, so either stop being hypocritical or acknowledge what you are actually writing.

    Seriously, you’re asking me questions like “there’s a whole world out there of starving people - why don't we all stop that being the case if we're not naturally selfish?” and failing to understand how this is not a result of the economic system the entire world is under now ? When we live in a society in which the majority of resources, wealth and power are in the hands of the few then it is only inevitable that there will be mass structural poverty. It is inevitable in a hierarchical, class-based system like capitalism. Capitalism produces a system where most resources, wealth and power are in the hands of a minority. Resources are unevenly distributed and subsequently, when this system is present, and where there is no distribution of said wealth and power, then there will inevitably be mass poverty, people dying of starvation, homelessness, etc. That is why there is a whole world out there of starving

    I’ll play devil’s advocate now. Let’s say that humans are naturally selfish, then wouldn’t the aim be to live within a society which does not encourage the supposed ‘natural’ traits of selfishness and greed? The problem for capitalists is that in their society, greed and selfish behaviour is absolutely encouraged and even rewarded and we can see the results in capitalist societies throughout the world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, where workers are continuously exploited, where nations are invaded for profit interests etc.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    I seem to be something of an anomaly - almost everyone I know is a capitalist - my social circles are the sort to be dominated by capitalists. Whenever I try to mention communism in conversation I get shut down very quickly which is why I tried to make this thread; in the end it just became yet another test of my zeal.

    I generally group non-communists into 4 categories:

    Those who benefit from capitalism.

    Those who don't have the mental capacity to consider political theory and philosophy.

    Those who don't have the time or energy to learn about communism.

    Those who have capitalism so deeply ground into them that they defend it as though it's their life.

    These 4 must make up at least 99% of the population which makes our cause pretty impossible unfortunately.

    Still, with new technology and better education there is hope.
    I cannot rep sorry: there is an embargo.

    Your categories are very interesting. I imagine 1, 2 and 4 mainly inhabit the first world countries and are subject to what I call 'soma': the consumer products like iphones, cars, fashionable clothing etc. which provide a comparably high quality of life.

    In contrast group 3 will be in sweatshops in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam, places where revolution is most likely to happen. The methods to prevent these people from revolting would probably be as follows: depriving them of time by working them ≈14-16 hours on low pay (as you said); encouraging enmity and competition in the sweatshops to prevent collectivism; depriving them of knowledge of the first world countries and works by Marx; religious and social values.

    Taking these ideas into account I would agree that the best method for instigating revolution would be educational and work opportunities, western accountability, and secularization in third world countries.

    Edit: and a strong, loyal military to prevent the predictable CIA backed coup.
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    (Original post by New_Frontiers)
    I cannot rep sorry: there is an embargo.

    Your categories are very interesting. I imagine 1, 2 and 4 mainly inhabit the first world countries and are subject to what I call 'soma': the consumer products like iphones, cars, fashionable clothing etc. which provide a comparably high quality of life.

    In contrast group 3 will be in sweatshops in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam, places where revolution is most likely to happen. The methods to prevent these people from revolting would probably be as follows: depriving them of time by working them ≈14-16 hours on low pay (as you said); encouraging enmity and competition in the sweatshops to prevent collectivism; depriving them of knowledge of the first world countries and works by Marx; religious and social values.

    Taking these ideas into account I would agree that the best method for instigating revolution would be educational and work opportunities, western accountability, and secularization in third world countries.

    Edit: and a strong, loyal military to prevent the predictable CIA backed coup.
    One thing is for sure, if everyone were allowed a fair and proper chance to explore communism there would be A LOT more of us. I expect the gradual social changes needed for revolution will take a fair bit longer than we shall be able to experience in our lives.

    Considering that over a 20 year period 62 million children will die of starvation alone, I am willing to do what I can to help educate people - it's just a question of how to do so really.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    One thing is for sure, if everyone were allowed a fair and proper chance to explore communism there would be A LOT more of us. I expect the gradual social changes needed for revolution will take a fair bit longer than we shall be able to experience in our lives.

    Considering that over a 20 year period 62 million children will die of starvation alone, I am willing to do what I can to help educate people - it's just a question of how to do so really.
    That's an admirable goal. I wish you the best of luck.
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    (Original post by Artyom17)
    Sleepysnooze, i'm not going to waste my time writing essays on whether humans are naturally selfish or not, i've gave my opinion and it’s clearly backed up by historical evidence. Humans DID live in egalitarian communes for the majority of our existence and class society only dates back around 10,000 years.
    evidence for this...?!

    You’re claiming that humans are naturally selfish, however history and the way humans have lived, shows otherwise. You can research this yourself.
    without even looking I can tell that you're drawing a conclusion that just because we lived communally at one single point in history, this means that we were all *equal* within those communities, and that this was the absolute historical default from 8000BC to the beginning of mankind as a species...:|

    What it shows us is how what we define as natural changes constantly due to changes in our environment and throughout history the definition of human nature has changed over time, from culture to culture. “what we define as natural changes constantly due to changes in our environment”
    examples? examples that can be easily verified as being anything less than trivial?

    our environment being a capitalist one,
    how did it become this way in a community of altruistic individuals (according to your view of human nature)?

    hence why you believe that we are innately selfish. It is true that we are selfish but it is not a natural occurrence, it is a result of living within a capitalist society that thrives upon competition, greed and selfishness. Observing reality shows us this. You even say it yourself multiple times within this thread, so either stop being hypocritical or acknowledge what you are actually writing.
    :lol: I'm sorry, but your claim that our view of nature is sometimes changing doesn't mean that there's basically no truth within observable facts of how human beings naturally are, from birth to adulthood...if we aren't naturally selfish, why are babies (for instance) the way they are? loud, abnoxious and without sympathy?

    Seriously, you’re asking me questions like “there’s a whole world out there of starving people - why don't we all stop that being the case if we're not naturally selfish?” and failing to understand how this is not a result of the economic system the entire world is under now ? When we live in a society in which the majority of resources, wealth and power are in the hands of the few then it is only inevitable that there will be mass structural poverty.
    who cares if that even is true when we live in such comfortable conditions which are constantly getting better? I know it's not like the west in every country, but let's take, for examples, india, hong kong, singapore and japan - why do you think they're rich? do you think the fact that the technical majority of the wealth of those nations is held by a smallish group mean that the nation isn't still much wealthier than it was before the beginning of its period of global competitive capitalism?

    It is inevitable in a hierarchical, class-based system like capitalism. Capitalism produces a system where most resources, wealth and power are in the hands of a minority. Resources are unevenly distributed and subsequently, when this system is present, and where there is no distribution of said wealth and power, then there will inevitably be mass poverty, people dying of starvation, homelessness, etc. That is why there is a whole world out there of starving
    how come this is less and less the case the more capitalism goes on, though? in the victorian times, basically one family in an entire city lived in luxury whereas everybody else had to work basically 10 hours a day and live in *tiny*, *filthy* accommodations - in the current era, we basically live at the same happiness rate as the wealthy - although our houses and our cars aren't as big or expensive, we're still eating the same amount of food to some degree, we all have indoor plumbing and electricity, we all have the internet, etc. oh woop-dee-do, the wealthiest in society sometimes have boats, or private planes, that makes them more powerful!

    I’ll play devil’s advocate now. Let’s say that humans are naturally selfish, then wouldn’t the aim be to live within a society which does not encourage the supposed ‘natural’ traits of selfishness and greed? The problem for capitalists is that in their society, greed and selfish behaviour is absolutely encouraged and even rewarded and we can see the results in capitalist societies throughout the world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, where workers are continuously exploited, where nations are invaded for profit interests etc.
    ...so you think that mere encouragements towards altruism will cause human beings to not be largely governed by their biology and their nature...that's *so* going to work...
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    evidence for this...?!



    without even looking I can tell that you're drawing a conclusion that just because we lived communally at one single point in history, this means that we were all *equal* within those communities, and that this was the absolute historical default from 8000BC to the beginning of mankind as a species...:|



    examples? examples that can be easily verified as being anything less than trivial?



    how did it become this way in a community of altruistic individuals (according to your view of human nature)?



    :lol: I'm sorry, but your claim that our view of nature is sometimes changing doesn't mean that there's basically no truth within observable facts of how human beings naturally are, from birth to adulthood...if we aren't naturally selfish, why are babies (for instance) the way they are? loud, abnoxious and without sympathy?



    who cares if that even is true when we live in such comfortable conditions which are constantly getting better? I know it's not like the west in every country, but let's take, for examples, india, hong kong, singapore and japan - why do you think they're rich? do you think the fact that the technical majority of the wealth of those nations is held by a smallish group mean that the nation isn't still much wealthier than it was before the beginning of its period of global competitive capitalism?



    how come this is less and less the case the more capitalism goes on, though? in the victorian times, basically one family in an entire city lived in luxury whereas everybody else had to work basically 10 hours a day and live in *tiny*, *filthy* accommodations - in the current era, we basically live at the same happiness rate as the wealthy - although our houses and our cars aren't as big or expensive, we're still eating the same amount of food to some degree, we all have indoor plumbing and electricity, we all have the internet, etc. oh woop-dee-do, the wealthiest in society sometimes have boats, or private planes, that makes them more powerful!



    ...so you think that mere encouragements towards altruism will cause human beings to not be largely governed by their biology and their nature...that's *so* going to work...
    You wrote all that and yet the only justification you could give for the assumption that humans are inherently selfish is that babies are 'loud, abnoxious and without sympathy'.

    (PS I think you meant empathy - if you did mean sympathy then is your point that babies don't care about the poor specifically? Who are they being unsympathetic towards?)
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    (Original post by Artyom17)
    It's always interesting whenever the topic of communism gets brought up, multiple fallacies are made along with the typical ignorance of what communism actually is, as well as the same old generic anti-communist arguments. Also as usual people are using places like North Korea as examples of communism, really? Communism is a classless, stateless society where workers completely own the means of production. North Korea has classes, a state and the workers don't own the means of production. Some of you need to read Marx and other communist literature before talking nonsense and making false assumptions. Marx would be rolling in his grave at what is happening in North Korea.





    The typical 'human nature' arguement is so over done. Human beings aren't naturally selfish, it only seems that way because we living in capitalist society. Human nature is not some fixed concept. What we define as natural changes constantly due to the changes in our surroundings and throughout history the definition of human nature has changed over time, from culture to culture. Selfishness and greed are not hardwired instincst within human beings, people are greedy and selfish because that is what happens when living in capitalist society, traits such as greed are encouraged and rewarded. You even say it yourself in a later post how "being greedy gives them the most happiness". Yes in a capitalist society, being greedy is rewarded. I could go into much more detail as this generic over used argument has been rebutted so many times.

    Furthermore, if capitalism is human nature then where was it for the most of human existence? Modern humans have been around for a long time, and capitalism has not even been around for long. In historical terms for many years, human beings lived communally in communes. Capitalism merely perverts human nature and puts people against each other within a competitive, unequal society focused on individualism where greed and selfishness thrive. A simple observation will show you this.




    How many is capitalism responsiple for? And religion? I could go on and on. From the Native American genocide to the millions dead in Iraq. All for the profit interests of the few. Then there is more capitalist imperialism and colonialism which is directly responsible for the deaths of millions.
    No, we, like most other animals are pretty damn selfish. It's very obvious. For example we are reluctant to share food, even in today's food rich world. You're also treating the words "capitalism" and "greed" as two of the same. Capitalism isn't human nature, greed is.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    I seem to be something of an anomaly - almost everyone I know is a capitalist - my social circles are the sort to be dominated by capitalists. Whenever I try to mention communism in conversation I get shut down very quickly which is why I tried to make this thread; in the end it just became yet another test of my zeal.

    I generally group non-communists into 4 categories:

    Those who benefit from capitalism.

    Those who don't have the mental capacity to consider political theory and philosophy.

    Those who don't have the time or energy to learn about communism.

    Those who have capitalism so deeply ground into them that they defend it as though it's their life.

    These 4 must make up at least 99% of the population which makes our cause pretty impossible unfortunately.

    Still, with new technology and better education there is hope.
    The way I see it, the best societies on earth are still fundamentally capitalist ones, like in Scandinavia.
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    (Original post by Artyom17)
    Sleepysnooze, i'm not going to waste my time writing essays on whether humans are naturally selfish or not, i've gave my opinion and it’s clearly backed up by historical evidence. Humans DID live in egalitarian communes for the majority of our existence and class society only dates back around 10,000 years. You’re claiming that humans are naturally selfish, however history and the way humans have lived, shows otherwise. You can research this yourself. What it shows us is how what we define as natural changes constantly due to changes in our environment and throughout history the definition of human nature has changed over time, from culture to culture. “what we define as natural changes constantly due to changes in our environment” - our environment being a capitalist one, hence why you believe that we are innately selfish. It is true that we are selfish but it is not a natural occurrence, it is a result of living within a capitalist society that thrives upon competition, greed and selfishness. Observing reality shows us this. You even say it yourself multiple times within this thread, so either stop being hypocritical or acknowledge what you are actually writing.

    Seriously, you’re asking me questions like “there’s a whole world out there of starving people - why don't we all stop that being the case if we're not naturally selfish?” and failing to understand how this is not a result of the economic system the entire world is under now ? When we live in a society in which the majority of resources, wealth and power are in the hands of the few then it is only inevitable that there will be mass structural poverty. It is inevitable in a hierarchical, class-based system like capitalism. Capitalism produces a system where most resources, wealth and power are in the hands of a minority. Resources are unevenly distributed and subsequently, when this system is present, and where there is no distribution of said wealth and power, then there will inevitably be mass poverty, people dying of starvation, homelessness, etc. That is why there is a whole world out there of starving

    I’ll play devil’s advocate now. Let’s say that humans are naturally selfish, then wouldn’t the aim be to live within a society which does not encourage the supposed ‘natural’ traits of selfishness and greed? The problem for capitalists is that in their society, greed and selfish behaviour is absolutely encouraged and even rewarded and we can see the results in capitalist societies throughout the world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, where workers are continuously exploited, where nations are invaded for profit interests etc.
    Except Scandinavian style capitalism works pretty well...
    I think it's definitely within the realms of possibility too. Communism is not.
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    (Original post by cbreef)
    The way I see it, the best societies on earth are still fundamentally capitalist ones, like in Scandinavia.
    The Nordic Model is closer to socialism than pure capitalism, surely if it is remarkably successful that is a sign that more left wing systems operate more efficiently?
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    You wrote all that and yet the only justification you could give for the assumption that humans are inherently selfish is that babies are 'loud, abnoxious and without sympathy'.

    (PS I think you meant empathy - if you did mean sympathy then is your point that babies don't care about the poor specifically? Who are they being unsympathetic towards?)
    well, if you're saying that we're *not* naturally selfish, then why are we, as a species, so selfish right from the get-go? surely the most accurate point for determining this question would be the baby period of our lives because we're a blank slate and not influenced by our environment yet, or at least to the most minimal extent possible?
    and I did mean sympathy - if a parent is having to deal with things like changing diapers, getting up in the middle of the night if there's something discomforting the baby, then surely they would be a little more calm and considerate at that stage by their very nature if they were naturally not selfish...but they're not - hence my point
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    well, if you're saying that we're *not* naturally selfish, then why are we, as a species, so selfish right from the get-go? surely the most accurate point for determining this question would be the baby period of our lives because we're a blank slate and not influenced by our environment yet, or at least to the most minimal extent possible?
    and I did mean sympathy - if a parent is having to deal with things like changing diapers, getting up in the middle of the night if there's something discomforting the baby, then surely they would be a little more calm and considerate at that stage by their very nature if they were naturally not selfish...but they're not - hence my point
    Babies and parents have a special bond - it is the role of parents to look after their babies, they alert their parents to their own discomfort because it benefits both of them for the parent to know (neither party wants the baby dead) . At any rate a baby is hardly a fair example of anything - they're hardly human at that stage. What would really be needed is an example of a human brought up without any social conditioning to a developmental stage where they could show either predominant altruism or self-interest. In the absence of such an individual it cannot be proven that humans are innately self-interested.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    Babies and parents have a special bond - it is the role of parents to look after their babies, they alert their parents to their own discomfort because it benefits both of them for the parent to know (neither party wants the baby dead) . At any rate a baby is hardly a fair example of anything - they're hardly human at that stage. What would really be needed is an example of a human brought up without any social conditioning to a developmental stage where they could show either predominant altruism or self-interest. In the absence of such an individual it cannot be proven that humans are innately self-interested.
    >a baby is hardly human
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    (Original post by TheIr0nDuke)
    >a baby is hardly human
    What is your point.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    I don't believe communism throughout life is a good idea. If you work hard you deserve to be rewarded.

    I do however think equality in childhood should be better. Private schools should be scrapped, extra work and money should be put in to equalising the quality of education at state schools. Maybe even extending to some form of pre allocated child benefits. I don't feel its right some kids will never go abroad because their parents are poor for instance, but equally I wouldn't want to increase the ability to just have lots of children and live off the child benefit.
    Haven't seen too many people bring up the idea of hard work for reward and I agree with you. Let's also bear in mind that true capitalism has never been in practise though the benefits of something similar so far have included scientific/technological ingenuity and artistic creation. I believe we are on the road to free-market capitalism and that this ideology has been mostly successful for a reason, that creation and innovation is natural for humanity.
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    (Original post by KerysHenry)
    Haven't seen too many people bring up the idea of hard work for reward and I agree with you. Let's also bear in mind that true capitalism has never been in practise though the benefits of something similar so far have included scientific/technological ingenuity and artistic creation. I believe we are on the road to free-market capitalism and that this ideology has been mostly successful for a reason, that creation and innovation is natural for humanity.
    Creation and innovation are no better stimulated by capitalism than they are by communism.

    First consider that a large proportion of innovation is performed by government institutions - they are not doing this for profit but to enhance their technology. Thus this is not a product of the free market but simply a product of human curiosity.

    Secondly the free market constrains innovation and creation to what is in demand - you may think that this is a positive but in reality all it does is leave institutions having to perform a huge amount of fund raising to make their research possible. Think how much more efficient the scientific process would be if the fundraising aspect was no longer necessary. People could spend less time marketing their products and more time actually researching and creating them.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    B) it's not massively important to the argument.
    See ya say that but then watch when the world adopts full communism and inadvertently causes a mass scurvy outbreak
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    (Original post by Retired_Messiah)
    See ya say that but then watch when the world adopts full communism and inadvertently causes a mass scurvy outbreak
    I hope this is a joke. If it is then it's funny tbf
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    The Nordic Model is closer to socialism than pure capitalism, surely if it is remarkably successful that is a sign that more left wing systems operate more efficiently?
    I am left wing'ish. And yes, the Nordic system does work, but that does not mean that all left wing systems work.
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    (Original post by cbreef)
    I am left wing'ish. And yes, the Nordic system does work, but that does not mean that all left wing systems work.
    But it can only be a good sign?
 
 
 
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