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post #127 of (permalink) Old 04-19-09, 06:30 AM
the cabbage
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Originally Posted by Red Orc View Post
Humans are contradictory, cabbage... have I ever said they weren't?

Do you think if the world was a giant prison camp, where food arrived in containers dropped from the sky, bundled up with guns and ammo, let's say, people would would be nastier to each other than they are now?

If they wouldn't in your opinion, then fair enough, your view is that people act the same regardless of their social conditions. I can only prove that wrong by actually changing social conditions, which I'm not in a position to do. It does mean that we can stop arguing with each other, however.

If you think they would be more violent or selfish, then you agree with me that behaviour is at least partially determined by environment. Thus, it would seem logical that you would also agree that changing the environment people live in can lead to changing behaviour.

For instance, if you believe that some people will always seek to dominate others, as you seem to think is the case, changing the political environment to one where domination is more difficult, because more people (in the case of communism, practically everyone) are involved in decision-making, seems more semnsible to me than a situation where where the biggest thugs and biggest thieves get to dictate to the rest of us.

Now you may consider that it would never be enough; we can never make the world a comfortable enough place that people will respond be reducing their greed and competitiveness to a level where we can all get along. But even if you do believe this, I'd still argue that it's better to try to be better people, to be more considerate of our fellow human beings, to replace greed with solidarity, violence with dialogue, suspicion with trust.
My main point is that people never act 'the same'. Our individuality is what makes us people. It is that individuality that makes 'true' communism an impossible goal IMO.

I usually cover myself with 'IMO' when stating opinions. For one point however I think i'd go a step further. The human species will always have a range of personalities from overbearing through dominant to subserviant. That I believe is fact not supposition. If we accept that fact, and I don't see how not, I do not believe this true communism can ever work.

The nearest the species has had to democracy (where everybody votes on every issue) was in democratic athens. This is not to be confused with the current western system where we elect representatives to a parliament of some kind. The Athenian system became almost anarchy with all the power invested in the greatest orators. The people best able to influence the crowd with speeches became the most powerful. ie a heirarchical system.

I do think you are correct in that environment does influence behaviour. However that will always be balanced by genetics. I do not think you can change the environment to such an extent that our individuality will be completely submerged 'for the greater good'. In the same way that genetic clones will grow up with different personalities because you can never rule out the effect of environment.

I also agree that we should strive to be nice to each other. It is something I try to do in normal daily life. However that is my individual choice and the imposition of a truly communist system will not make me better or worse at it.

You've also put it to us that it is better to live with solidarity, dialogue and trust than greed, violence and suspicion. That is IMO political nonsense, it is of course true but nonsense neverthe less. I do not feel that I currently live in a society which is defined as greedy, violent and suspicious. I agree that all are present as are dialogue, solidarity and trust. I am British and most posters on this forum are European, North American or Antipodean. Few if any countries from this block can be considered as horrible as you imply.

Shit, more later late to teach!!

Last edited by the cabbage; 04-19-09 at 07:18 AM. Reason: typing in breaks between lessons
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