All political philosophies, when first expounded, claim to have a special and unique insight into the truth of human nature. This claim is the basis for the legitimacy of each one. However, this also gives us a limit point at which a political ideology can be said to have failed – when those expounding it will be trying to change human nature instead of change their philosophy.
Machiavelli was correct – human nature never changes. It is the one constant through which the rest of the world can be understood. Human nature is the same in all times and places and therefore anyone who understands it might as well be able to see into the future. This gives immense power to those who do understand human nature. They are able to flow with the waves of it, instead of being dashed upon the rocks.
Communism failed because it did not account for the masculinity within human nature. The assumption was that, after the structures of cruelty and capitalism were dismantled, we would all go back to a bonobo-style level of caring, sharing and free love. Everyone would have what they needed because those able to provide it would simply do so out of inherent kindness.
It did not account for the chimpanzee within us, the hypermasculinist who desires verticalisation. The fact is that resources are extremely limited in a state of Nature, which means that when times of scarcity roll around, some have to go without. There is an immense evolutionary incentive, for obvious reasons, for social creatures such as humans to evolve to fight like hell rather than go without, and so primates have evolved dominance hierarchies.
This means that a state of perfect solidarity, and full sharing totally free of resentment, is unnatural. Humans are a hierarchical creature in a state of Nature, and the attempt to reform humanity and the nature of humanity – as if it was a field that could simply be sown with a higher grade of crop – was the folly that killed a hundred million people last century.
Nazism failed for similar reasons. Their great error was to assume that the nature of the German people was more morally upright than what it really was, which created a cognitive dissonance that found resolution in the scapegoating of the Jews. Externalising the blame for personal failure is typical of the sort of person who finds merit in Nazism.
Neo-Communism, in its manifestation as social justice warrior culture, is failing because it failed to account for how unwilling young people are to be programmed into parroting utter bullshit, especially when that bullshit denies aspects of human nature that even children can observe. The neo-communist attempt to reform human nature into some kind of non-racist, non-sexist and non-judgmental perfect niceness is doomed to fail, as all people smarter than dogs can see the distinctions between the various types of humans everywhere they go.
Instead of accepting that the bonds of solidarity and philia that held society together have now been shattered by relentless waves of mass immigration and the ruthless application of neo-liberal ideology to every facet of life, the neo-communists try to brainwash everyone into denying their natural instincts by browbeating them into submission with terms like “Racist!”. This is clear evidence of failure.
Likewise, the neo-nazism of our age serves to misdirect blame rather than accept that its conception of human nature is inaccurate. The neo-nazis often have intelligent and accurate criticisms about how the current system has failed, and how the Marxists have failed, but their downfall lies (as with the Marxists) with their solutions.
The neo-nazi solution is still, as it was, to fundamentally change human nature by exterminating those who don’t fit in, the belief being that the remainder will become something like the perfect human. This was, and remains, a failed philosophy for the reason that human nature does not and will not change in response to human meddling.
Liberal democratic capitalism, for all of its flaws, tried to change human nature much less than either Nazism or Communism, and that’s why it defeated them both last century. The Anglo-American system accepted from the beginning that Nature will throw up a wide range of variance among her children, an acceptance made easier by the brilliant insights of Charles Darwin into the subject.
This meant that the Anglo-Americans, and those influenced by them, focused on building a system that would accommodate the widest variance of human behaviour. Their version of liberal democratic capitalism was able to account for both noble and debased natures, and find a place for both to contribute, meaning that it wasted much less energy on fighting itself and imposing order upon itself, relative to the competing philosophies.
The Anglo-American system deserves much criticism, particularly when it comes to how willing it is to sell its own people for small amounts of money, but it is less bad than anything hitherto attempted, on account of it making more accurate assumptions about human nature. This has minimised the desire of its political rulers to attempt to reshape human nature, which has minimised the risk of gulags and gas chambers.
Future political philosophies, when they arise, will not and must not be mere throwbacks to the 20th century way of doing things. The political philosophies of the 21st century will take into account an extra century’s worth of insights into the reality of human nature, and the reality of the Nature that spawned us, and they will be more accurate and more humane as a consequence.
The risk of the 21st century is that this new psychological knowledge inspires new attempts to remodel human nature under the delusion that “we know enough now to get it right this time.” The possibility of mass non-consensual medicating with psychiatric drugs cannot be discounted, and neither can some kind of virtual reality system created with the intent of brainwashing people more effectively than ever before.
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