Have you ever had a discussion on politics, trying to find out what’s going well and what’s going wrong in this world, in its history and finally try to find out what could be a viable solution for humanity’s future? I guess you have. I’m sure that you will share the experience that many of these discussions end with the conclusion that something named “human nature” is the greatest obstacle which forbids the creation of a society where the wealth will be distributed to all the members of our civilization and nobody will exploit others. Good news, this is nonsense.
Surely, people who share this kind of opinions are not so original, this argument is a kind of a “mainstream” way to avoid any further discussion and feel confortable in actual conditions of social life. It’s based on the eternal behavior of ruling or dominant classes in our history, who try to explain the world as it is in their time as eternal, unchangeable. There is no better example than Aristotle, who even dared to explain why it’s “natural” for somebody to be slave or to be free. Fortunately today the mainstream thought evolved, at least in many places of our world, and these arguments seem more than silly to be repeated. But the basis of the arguments who explain why we can’t move on, why there can’t be revolutionary progress in our societies, is exactly the same.
When somebody describes in detail the structure of a society whose members produce wealth and enjoy it equally, or almost equally but without a direct exploitation of some by others, there goes the reaction: “This is impossible, you cannot change the human nature”. Then this argument is supported by many others, in order to claim that there is some kind of “natural equilibrium” in the way that we behave today towards our communities and that it can’t change.
Many times these arguments are coming from the analysis of animal societies, as they try to explain that we are condemned to follow this rules because of our animalistic nature, even if it’s named “human nature”, the one that “we cannot change”. Good news again, in our evolution we changed the animalistic nature AND the human nature! Let’s elaborate…
There are two characteristic examples of animal communities with a sort of hierarchy that are used as examples of social structure, one that we’re supposed to be unable to escape from. The first concerns the wolves. According to the argument, in wolves’ herds there is a certain role to every person, in respect with their age, sex and physical power. The equilibrium provided by the developed relationships into them is shown as a paradigm to follow in our human societies. The second, is the presentation of ants’ societies, where there are leaders, workers, hard-workers and lazy ones. According to our knowledge in an ants’ society there should always be an equilibrium between the number of hard-workers and lazy persons, proving that this is a natural equilibrium who should characterize any society of any species of the animalia kingdom.
There are two points concerning this part of the argument.
First, are humans biologically the same with the animals? One of the most characteristic distinctions between human and other forms of life is the fact that contrary to them, newly born humans aren’t able to be autonomous and be part of our society. Actually, humans are developed biologically in our societies. If you take any animal, in a relatively short period after its birth it will be able to walk, to communicate, to be equal member of its society. This is something that doesn’t concern humans, as we don’t use only our animalistic instinct to manage situations and control our social behavior. Take the example of ants. They build enormously completive systems to live, but for this they just use something that nature gave them, orientation with organs sensitive to magnetic field. On the other hand a human should use a compass, and guess what, in order to do it, instinct alone isn’t enough.
Second, biologically, our nature is different. Our brain is different. Have you ever heard of the external part of our brain, named vortex? Nature, biological evolution provide this tool to our bodies in order to use it. Otherwise we wouldn’t ever had elections, laws, ideology, economy and mane other unique features of our civilization. If this nature could never change we should still live alone, by using only the reptilian interior part of our brain. So, the next time that somebody raises this argument a good answer would be to ask him to try to respect the nature, and live alone from societies, by using only the R-complex.
Then, if nature distinguishes us from animals, can this apply from other humans? What do you think?
In order to give an answer to this question we should define the first “human” in our questioning. Do we talk about primates? Australopithecus? Homo erectus? Homo sapiens? All these species are part of an unstoppable evolution and genetic changes happened many times as result to the social behavior. Even if the latter is strongly dependent to our physiology, it can affect it and the existence of our ancestors’ communities changed also our physiology and nature. It was a long and hard fight in order to move on and what we live today isn’t the state after its end, but just a part of this unstoppable process. Even in very short periods, that means from the first raise of our civilization, we achieved as species to create amazing societies, leave our trace on our planet, reform its surface and even obtain the knowledge how to destroy it. Do you think that this isn’t an evolution, a change in the “eternal human nature”?
Fortunately we aren’t imprisoned in our instincts. We can build a better society, a harmonic civilization for all of us. Don’t be afraid of mother nature, it’s historically proven that she helps us in every step towards this direction!