Human Nature: A Self-fulfilling Prophecy?
If there is one thing that is holding this species back from a world of peace, freedom and abundance it is the idea that destructive behavior is naturally present in human nature. Whenever someone suggests finding peaceful solutions to problems that are currently being “solved” with violence, they are typically told that peaceful interactions just don’t jive with human nature.
It seems that a very negative picture of human nature is ingrained into the social consciousness, but in reality we have no way of truly determining what human nature is, due to the various environmental factors that influence our thoughts and actions.
Many people get their impression of human nature from how others around them behave, and from what they were told about the history of the human species. At face value this approach seems logical, but still overlooks the mass manipulation of the human species that has taken place at the hands of various “authorities” throughout history.
People who were living in the past were subject to extreme abuse from family, church and monarchy, as well as the harsh wilderness that they were forced to contend with. These factors, along with the terrible example that was set by those in power, have resulted in the abhorrent behavior that we observe in history.
In our own time, gangs called governments, indoctrination camps called schools, and propaganda called media have molded the minds of nearly everyone on the planet. With this being the case, does it make more sense for the negative behavior we see in our fellow human beings to be a result of human nature, or does it make more sense that this behavior is the intended result of the external manipulation that I have just mentioned?
Did the brutal Crusades of the Middle Ages occur as a result of human nature? Was this a natural occurrence that could not have been prevented? Or were the Crusades simply an example of a time when people in power took it upon themselves to convince other people to kill each other. Sure it makes us feel a lot better to say that these kinds of things are unavoidable and will always be a part of our culture, but that won’t help to prevent similar atrocities from happening in the future.
If anything, it would make more sense to observe children who were uncorrupted by these factors if you actually wanted to get an accurate idea of what human nature might be. Children are kind and curious beings who don’t exhibit signs of violence or greed until they learn these traits from their family and society. It isn’t until children are abused into submission by their culture and by those in authority that they start taking on the traits of their abusers and acting out against others.
This situation presents itself on many levels. It is fairly common psychological knowledge that a vast majority of serial killers and extremely violent criminals were severely abused as children, and their current aggressions are directly related to the pain that they felt when they themselves where hurt and defenseless. So it would make sense for the macrocosm of our civilization to work the same way; a species that has been abused for centuries is going to think that abuse is a natural part of life, thus ensuring that abuse will continue.
This is how our perception of human nature becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think that human beings are dangerous and violent creatures, then some of us will be able to rationalize and justify malevolent behavior by writing it off as human nature, instead of condemning it as we should.
If we actually condemn this behavior instead of making empty excuses for it, we will without a doubt drastically lower the level of violence on this planet. Individually, and as a species, we can only go as far as our imagination will take us. We are only capable of what we can imagine, and if all we can imagine is violence, submission, and domination, then that’s all were ever going to get.
J.G. Vibes is an author, and artist — with an established record label. In addition to featuring a wide variety of activist information, his company — Good Vibes Promotions promotes for electronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his forthcoming book Alchemy Of The Modern Renaissance, at his Facebook page. AOTMR will be released this spring, thanks to Leilah Publications. This project features nearly 100 different essays, just like this one, that cover a wide variety of topics. These essays give historical and philosophical insight into the many important issues that our generation faces. From banking cartels and alternative currency to eugenics and the drug war, AOTMR offers a complete and comprehensive breakdown of the counter culture’s struggle.