Human Nature May Not Be So Warlike After All


Samarami's picture

Octogenarianism is shaking at my timbers. So I've got not a few years on many of you -- there may be one or two on this forum who have me beat. But that's not the point, except to say that my trek into libertarianism has in part persuaded me to trust only what I have seen and what I have heard -- personally. All else is hearsay.

Not that all hearsay is wrong, mind you. I'm a history teacher, and the first to tell you that all history -- all of it -- is opinion. That does not mean things haven't happened that I didn't see. It just means I find it more and more necessary to test the source and avoid what I see as religious (yes, superstitious) acceptance of a thesis if it appears under the mantle of "science" -- more than likely government funded "science" (but the funding being hidden behind "scientific journalism" and not easily sniffed out).

The downside of that is that I'm aware of many "libertarians" who will automatically click me over into the "religious" camp if I come across as "distrusting science". I do not camp there.

Like many of you, for instance, I can remember well where I was and what I was doing around 9AM eastern time on September 11, 2001 (Gregorian). Could I write an authoritative history about what in fact happened -- and with what forensic evidence gleanable on the web, could I come up with authentic speculation as to who, why, how, etc etc? No.

Uncountable reams have been written in speculation -- many appearing credible. That's not counting the endless videos that would take a lifetime to view end-to-end. I have to choose, if I'm so inclined, which to believe and which to distrust. I'll admit to having an ingrained distrust of anything emanating from "government", or public media (I repeat myself).

Here's one I like. Eric makes sense. Like me, he only knows what he experiences. That's all.

That said, the "Wired" article presents healthy speculation as to human nature and the endless wars and evidence of wars documented throughout history. I think it's safe to say without argument that psychopaths grouped into what we call "government" or "the state" have brought about many, many times more slaughter and murder of individuals than have free-market killers. Unreckonably more.

War is the health of the state.

Groups don't kill. People kill. Individuals. Now I'll definitely agree that mobs are lethal and dangerous, and that collectivism is the creator of mobs. I'll not argue that individuals in groups often behave in violent manners that would be unthinkable for many of them individually. Voting comes to mind. But I no longer hide from seeing that many, many murderers are allowed to hide behind abstractions such as "the-powers-that-be", etc.

In order to become free(er) I've come to understand word usage as it contributes to freedom. Turning that around I see how collectivist phrases and terms tend to keep far too many in servitude who don't know or admit that's where they are. They allow perpetrators of heinous crimes to hide under the mantle of "government" or "the state". I've begun to recognize when authors -- even many of my favorite "libertarian" authors I admire and rely upon -- fail the liberty word-usage test.

There is a reason for war. It has to do with the tendency of a huge segment of people having an almost romantic attraction to psychopaths who appear to furnish power with the promise of security.

Many will follow them to perdition. And if we're not alert they will sweep us along.