Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Who We Are

People need to survive and so we all need air, food, water, etc. It is human nature to eat when you are hungry, to drink when you are thirsty, and to sleep when you are tired. Nothing can alter this.
We also have sexual and emotional needs. To live happy lives we seek out physical contact, affection and love. All these features of human nature will be met in socialism and be much better than they are now under capitalism.
Our present social system is poorly equipped to grant happiness.
Too often we must do somebody harm in order to do a good deed for another, and vice versa.
Socialism does not require us all to become altruists, putting the interests of others above our own. In fact socialism doesn’t require people to be any more altruistic than they are today. The coming of socialism will not require great changes in the way we behave, essentially only the accentuation of some of the behaviours which people exhibit today (friendliness, helpfulness, co-operation) at the expense of others which capitalism encourages.
We will still be concerned primarily with ourselves, with satisfying our needs, our need to be well considered by others as well as our material and sexual needs. No doubt too, we will want to “possess” personal belongings such as our clothes and other things of personal use, and to feel secure in our physical occupation of the house or flat we live in, but this will be just that – our home and not a financial asset.
The socialist solution to the problem is by making the conditions and circumstances of our daily life humane by re-organising the entire network of economic and social relationships so that the problem itself disappears, so that no-one ever has to choose between the demands of the “conscience” and the dictates of “reason”.
We don’t need to change human nature; it is only human behaviour that needs to change. While our genes can’t be ignored, they only intervene in our behaviours in an indirect way, by programming the development of our brains. Therefore, to understand the complexities of our behaviour, it is to our brains, not directly to our genes, that we have to look. When we do this we find that our brains allow us, as a species, to adopt –  a great variety of different behaviours depending on the natural, economic and social environments we have found ourselves in.
A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings.” Jimmy Reid

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