We are made for these times.

Human Nature and the Coming Crisis, Part 1

Posted on: December 21, 2008

Me: “I remember the end of socialism in East Germany. That was a lot more fun than this Second Great Depression… Or maybe I was younger…”

He:  “I can’t imagine the upheaval of things that caused. I find it amazing that any of the former communist countries managed to transition as smoothly as they did.

As I’m sure you know there are people here in the US are cryin “socialism” because the government is bailing out banks and perhaps the car companies. As someone who has first hand experience with Communism (and the police state that goes with it) and the transition what’s your take on things?”

The short answer:

1. New York city community gardens are pretty anarchist socialist, and rent stabilized apartments are very state socialist. Bailouts, OTOH, are plain robbery, with a good mix of indentured servitude. Nothing about the current crisis is in any way socialist. By using a killer phrase like “socialist” for what is basically robbery, we rob ourselves of the chance to understand and solve our real problems.

2. Nothing about this “transition” was smooth. It looked civilized only because no policeman and no soldier fired a single shot, and not a single protester smashed a window or set a car on fire.

3. After a delightful but short anarchist phase, East Germany was annexed by, not united with, the West. Almost two incredibly brutal decades later I doubt that East Germany will ever recover. Twenty years later, West German media are still so hysterically ranting about Socialism I wonder how dead this dog really is, and what they are trying to distract me from.

4. And the police state — well, the East German “police state” was a joke compared to what is going on now. I was never worried about the Stasi or the KGB. The only reason I am not scared shitless of the BKA, CFR, NWO, NSA, TSA etc. now is that I refuse to. I refuse to.

Noble be man, helpful and good! (J. W. v. Goethe)

Apart from calling things by their proper name and refusing to act based on fear, the question is not whether or not to store food, or whether you shall buy gold or silver.

The first and most important belief I hold is that humans are inherently good.

Humans ARE inherently good. This is both a fact and an imperative — Goethe also wrote, There is nothing good unless you do it.

I can’t prove this. This is something you have to believe first to be able to see it.

Come on, give me a chance. Test it. For a week, avoid all TV news and horror movies, and approach everybody with an attitude of gratitude BEFORE they do something for you, and maybe you will get an idea of what human nature really is. Give people a chance to be nice to you. Ask them favours — most people will be happy to help if they can. Helping others makes humans feel good about themselves. People who feel useless are unhappy.
Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. (Henry Ford)

What looks like our biggest problems, what makes the current mess seem so monolithic you either want to wrap up in a ball and sleep, or scream at the tops of your lungs — it’s just ideologies.

Misogyny and racism are not human nature but sick ideologies. The police state and ponzi scheme monetary systems are not based in human nature, but in misguided ideologies.

Yes, they are powerful, yes, they are stupid, but they are made by humans, and therefore they can be overcome by humans. There are better ideas out there, and we have access to them via the internet. The internet is one of the things people didn’t have in 1989.

It’s Monday morning. You’re waiting for the lights to turn green so you can continue to rush to work. You listen to your favourite song on your Mp3-player, and you see somebody, lost in thought, about to walk into the traffic. Of course you stretch your arm and reach out to stop them. You will not even be particularly proud of yourself, just vaguely glad you’re not splattered in blood and have to remember that first aid stuff you learnt ages ago. You don’t want to see people suffer. You want to be in time and have a coffee, and you want them to go about their lives and have a nice day.

*This* is human nature.

It is much more human nature than a protester calling a policeman “a pig”, or a cop tasering a student for not showing their library card.

It’s also a scene from Definitely Maybe. I watched it last night, and remembered how I once stretched out my arm to stop a friend from walking into a truck (We were going to a party, and I only remember it because I was so madly in love with this person, and actually I remember more vividly how ill I felt that day and how I really shouldn’t have tried the Sherry at the party). But I bet I did similar things for other people, and I bet other people saved me, quite frequently. This is so normal and common we rarely remember it for longer than a day.

Because this is simply human nature.

Übersetzung folgt… sobald ich Zeit dafür finde 🙂


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Ich träum in letzter Zeit immer öfter davon, …

... den Mut zu haben, mich auf einen belebten Platz zu stellen und John F. Kennedys Rede zu laut zitieren: "The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society!"


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