The world needs to change its take on human nature
by, Naseer Ahmed
Autocrats thrive upon this idea that human being are essentially selfish and irrational and the society must be organised upon this insight. This take they presented as a way to promote competition but it led to monopoly.
That was actually the project of liberals which autocrats took over. Liberal wanted to run it by maintaining a nicety cover up. Autocrats attached it to piety and cultural roots. Those were the better sources of irrationality and selfishness. Hence autocrats are on the rise and fake nicety is fading.
Selfishness and irrationality are in fact part and parcel of life, but people are not just that.They have this immense potential for being rational and egalitarian. And they could attach self interest to the better side of life.
When you present a dark take on human nature as the only option, a majority is going to sign into it but if other options are available, people are rational enough to make a better choice. Well, if you could avoid the hurt to a child, it is likely you won’t do anything that hurts a child. But if that is the only option and it is necessary for your survival or for the kudos from your peers, or a place in heaven, it is likely you would hurt that child.
Besides, people are so many things and they have so many facets. A take on human nature needs to pay attention to this diversity. A cynic would say they would kill their mothers for money but that kind of thing does not happen quite often. And a thing that does not happen quite often, you cannot build an economy upon that thing.
If you are building an economy to impose selfishness and irrationality upon people, you are basically training them to hurt and harm for economic benefits.
The second thing is also connected to selfishness and irrationality. Selfishness and irrationality in the pursuit of money are also connected to each other. Well, you have to be selfish to be rich and to be selfish you have to be irrational.
Being selfish and irrational for human rights is also possible but the real destination of this stuff is cultural roots piety, like pure German, pure Hindu or pure Buddhist or pure Tajik.
An economy that fashions selfish and irrational people finds its alliances with everything that supports selfishness and irrationality. Hence, it becomes quite easy to move from pious tele sessions about this wonderfulness of ancestors to persecution of minorities.
That is insane but when it brings money, approval and illusions of being better, insane becomes wise. Selfishness, irrationality and money are a kind of combination which convince people to do away with reason and conscience.
There are lots of other things connected to it like inequality. So money becomes a kind of tool which helps you to assert your superiority. Of course money has no such meanings, but it is this selfishness and irrationality which give these meanings to money and when most people seem to concur, it becomes an orthodoxy.
Consequently, the laws about equality before law also lose their meanings.That kind of insight leads to a system where 1% control the wealth of half of the population.
It is easy to see that selfishness and irrationality benefits only a few. The problem is that years of training into selfishness and irrationality also train people not to appreciate equality.