Human Nature (was: Workers Councils?)

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sat Aug 19 14:59:30 MDT 2000

> The anthropologists say, however, that this is nonsense-and prove it by
> citing this, that, and the other society now in existence where man's
> behavior isn't anything like what it is under capitalism. And they are
> joined by the historians who say also that the argument is nonsense-and
> prove it by citing slave society and feudalism where man's behavior wasn't
> anything like what it is under capitalism.

Of course most of us would agree with this. To add, the most striking proof
that "human nature" is false thinking has to lie in how people are attuned
to act, on different levels and extremities, in class terms instinctively.
People who are sufficiently left to their own devices in capitalist society
are apt to gain class "instincts", yet class is obviously not biological.
The main reason we are constantly fed the lie (here in North America) that
we "are all middle class now" is to try and change class behaviour. Humans
tend to adapt to instincts based on their surroundings.

A little illustration I was told once remains the best for me. Take 100
people and put them in an enclosed space, such as an island or a large set
of gymansiums, whatever. Extend the food for 110 people inside. Distribution
and consumption might be a tiny bit from egalitarian, but in the main it
would likely go on peacefully. Extend inside the area food for 90 people,
and quickly a hierarchy will develop, based on a system of allocation.
Different manners of deciding who becomes the hierarchy, who falls off the
list would develop, but a hierarchy and suspicion, competition, etc. would
be the result.

This, in a nutshell is how global capitalism breeds "human nature", by never
allowing full access to all the goodies and perpetuating have and have nots,
the reserve army of labour if you will. This is all a very vulgar
definition, but I believe a snapshot of both class struggle inside the
"core", as well as the mindset being cultivated for the working class in the
core as it perceives the periphery. It creates xenophobia out of fear of
being the periphery.

And that is how capitalists create "human nature".


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