But It Is Human Nature

On several occasions the topic of human nature has come up mostly in the comment section and by several of IST’s regular readers.

Human nature is one of those subjective topics that leads to many different interpretations….depending on one’s personal outlook or philosophy…..I recently read a pretty good look at this topic and would like to share it here and get others thoughts on the article…..

Across the globe, a collective freak-out spanning the whole political system is picking up steam with every new “surprise” election, rush of tormented souls across borders, and tweet from the star of America’s great unreality show, Donald Trump.

But what exactly is the force that seems to be pushing us towards Armageddon? Is it capitalism gone wild? Globalization? Political corruption? Techno-nightmares?

Rajani Kanth, a political economist, social thinker, and poet, goes beyond any of these for the answer. In his view, what’s throwing most of us off kilter— whether we think of ourselves as left or right, capitalist or socialist—was birthed 400 years ago during the period of the Enlightenment. It’s a set of assumptions, a particular way of looking at the world that pushed out previous modes of existence, many quite ancient and time-tested, and eventually rose to dominate the world in its Anglo-American form.

Source: Have we been denying our human nature for four hundred years?

So my friends….any thoughts on this piece?


6 thoughts on “But It Is Human Nature

  1. I could write a volume on this and I am sure you’re not looking for that kind of reply. I am a humanist and I tend to believe in man’s instinctual evolution. Like every living thing on this planet we exist simply to procreate, nothing more, nothing less. We have evolved instincts to not only survive but to understand cause and effect in the world around us which gives us a distinct survival advantage. You can assign all these so-called contemporary higher values to man’s nature and how he should control his instincts.. whether it’s jumbling it all inside some contemporary socio-economic and political theory like Rajani Kanth suggests, or rely on religion to contain all the impulses humans have, as our buddy John suggests in his reply above.

    Consider a quote from the linked article…
    “We have become unhinged from our own human nature as heat-seeking mammals,” says Kanth. “What we really crave is warmth, security, and care — the kinds of things we get at home and in close social units.” Our greatest human need, he says, is something far more humble than launching rockets: we want to huddle.”

    I am not sure how he concludes that. Our greatest human need is to procreate and within that we develop social order by which we can define a life that supports procreation. As a survival strategy we are able to reason and from that humans have immense and diverse variety. It’s that variety that challenges our living together. We are a species that survives because of our eternal quest to question the world around us. We climb mountians simply because they are there.. we go to Mars because we have hope. I can go on and on… but the point is that humans are not defined by some 400 year pretext of economic or political interpretation of priorities. If pygmies work 2.5 days a week then that is their lifestyle for their comfort niche to survive. We do something different. Variety of the species.

    1. I think our ‘nature’ is changing….we are no longer looking to improve but rather remain the same…we are afraid of our own shadow….maybe not all of us but there is a trend that is scary….okay this is a short reply sorry about that but the brain needs air and I am not in the mind to give it much today…it only makes me think and I want the day off….LOL chuq

  2. Interesting article but no comment. I’d have to read it again and think more and I’m not equipped to do either of those easily. Hate to give up self and only live for others but also hate to give up others just for self; so I don’t know where I stand. Can we have a middle ground? (O i guess i did comment) ~~dru~~

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