Skip to main content

View Diary: Study Findings Show That Austerity Leads to Riots - But Why Riot? It's Better to ORGANIZE (17 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  This suggests greed is human nature? (5+ / 0-)

    Unless I misunderstand by your use of "instinct-driven" behavior.

    Greed is a human behavior, but not human nature. Human history through the eons demonstrates that human nature is actually cooperation, not competition and domination. Think of the overpowering welling up one feels inside when watching an act of compassion. That is built into us.

    Experiences with aboriginal/native/indigenous peoples have demonstrated this over recent centuries. Virtually all are cooperative societies and which goods are shared, not hoarded individually. "It takes a village..." specifically expresses the notion that we are not separate, which quantum mechanics has proven. And this is why cooperation is both imminently more viable for life in general, so much so it is stamped in our DNA.

    When Ivan Boesky declared that "greed is good" ("we have a greed, to which we have agreed" - Eddie Vedder), repeated by Michael Douglas in Wall Street, the relatively new human behavior of greed, developing and spreading over the past few millenia, was codified in our society, embraced by Republicans and Third Way, corporatist Democrats alike.

    In the natural world, something that takes more than it needs does not survive. We call these things cancer.

    Trust, but verify. - Reagan
    Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

    When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

    by Words In Action on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 04:55:36 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not just codified, (5+ / 0-)

      but explicitly socially acceptable, institutionalized as desirable.

      Aboriginal/native/indigenous peoples encountered in recent centuries placed low value on competition and high value on cooperation. They saw hoarding as a form of taking life from others, a mental illness. Here in America, they instantly recognized this illness in European explorers and settlers. We have come to place the highest value on competition, the individual, our separateness, all of which are unnatural, delusional and unsustainable.

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:01:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, but (3+ / 0-)

        by shifting the values in unnatural directions, those who suffer the mental illness 'normalize' it by epitomizing it. That also helps further marginalize those who epitomize the 'old' value systems, and with deliberate force of the mentally ill reverting to cooperative values and actions (amongst and between themselves), they are able to farm humanity like livestock to feed their greed.

        Once the value of greed becomes the norm we can no longer insist that the unnatural and unsustainable isn't our very nature. Downside of that - quite apart from the suffering it causes to humans - is that the natural world will not long tolerate such an abherrant dominant species.

    •  humans more or less eliminated all the megafauna (3+ / 0-)

      during and after the most recent ice age, and very likely eliminated all the other human subspecies we shared our planet with too. i suppose they cooperated together in that effort.

      that's why we have to work hard at the competition instinct.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

      by terrypinder on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:23:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Competition behavior. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador, shaharazade

        As one documentary put it:

        "..the lion does not kill all gazelles, just one."

        The Buffalo Bill approach we have developed is not instinctive, it is a maladjustment that we have institutionalized as a feature of modern civilization, one which is not sustainable and will ultimately be our undoing. The difference between past concerns about the end of civilization and current concerns is that today we actually have much more than the necessary means to do it; in fact, a relatively small number of people can do it for us. And they will unless moderates wake up to their own burning hair, realize that moderation is immoderate in this instance, and help us stop it.

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

        by Words In Action on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 05:52:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  a false binary, I fear (3+ / 0-)
      Greed is a human behavior, but not human nature. Human history through the eons demonstrates that human nature is actually cooperation, not competition and domination.
      That right there.
      Think of the overpowering welling up one feels inside when watching an act of compassion. That is built into us.
      Yes, it is, and that is important -- but it isn't the whole story.
      Experiences with aboriginal/native/indigenous peoples have demonstrated this over recent centuries. Virtually all are cooperative societies and which goods are shared, not hoarded individually.
      Bluntly, societies that produce little surplus don't have much to hoard or to fight over; that probably helps to keep the greed in check. To dismiss greed, competition, and domination (which are distinct, incidentally) as aberrations seems to write off most of recorded history -- which isn't everything, but is far from nothing.
      When Ivan Boesky declared that "greed is good" ("we have a greed, to which we have agreed" - Eddie Vedder), repeated by Michael Douglas in Wall Street, the relatively new human behavior of greed, developing and spreading over the past few millenia, was codified in our society, embraced by Republicans and Third Way, corporatist Democrats alike.
      That's most nearly upside down. Boesky (who didn't say quite what Gekko did, but never mind) got thrown in prison, and the whole point of Gordon Gekko was to critique insatiable greed, not to codify it. The super-rich are doing fabulously well, but no thanks to Boesky.
      In the natural world, something that takes more than it needs does not survive.
      In the natural world, nothing survives. And there is no clear criterion of "more than it needs."

      If we think of greed as a "cancer" that we can eradicate, we'll probably end up disappointed or downright appalled.

      "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

      by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:09:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  bit of a romantic view of the natives (4+ / 0-)

        who lived here too in that post.

        the book 1491 opened my eyes a great deal. They built huge cities, had huge civilizations that traded and warred with each other, and in some cases caused quite a bit of environmental degredation that partially helped lead to their collapses.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

        by terrypinder on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 06:37:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think so, although... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, 6412093

          I really wasn't sure what the idyllic referents were. The cultures that modern anthropologists confront as  "aboriginal/native/indigenous" don't have huge cities. I really can't tell what WIA thinks about Americans prior to European settlement, although it does sound idealized.

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." -Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 07:23:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site