Friday, November 20, 2015
How free is human nature and how does it relate to modern life?
The American Conservative had a review of the little known Italian conservative philosopher August Del Noce (Oct. 2015), who said that the basic position of Marx was that we are free to do what we want and we should therefore create what we want. That is, Marx rejected all forms of metaphysical or biological dependence.
We can see how this influenced much of modern thinking, from modern liberalism to postmodernism, from militant radicalism to political correctness. I think Marx was essentially wrong about human nature. It is not a question of if we are free, but how we are dependent.
In the old nature/nurture debate we need to define biology as being at least half of our inherent determinism---which is not really a duality since there is a co-evolution between genes and culture.
The Marxist rejection of any kind of determinism in human nature led to the loss of religious values and morals---although this had been happening since the Enlightenment---and the loss of religion or any kind of sacred long-term goals has created the “crisis of modernity.”
There is now nothing for people to believe in, other than technology and entertainment. The global entertainment industry has been behind most of the breakdown of values---along with a few academic gurus---which was really a grab for power out of the ruins of the West.
The rise of militant Islam and neo-fascism are probably predicable attempts to escape the instant gratification and nothingness of secular modern life in the West.
Human nature can be seen throughout human history as being kin-centered, gender defined, age-graded, heterosexual marriage-making, hierarchical, ethnocentric, even xenophobic, and religious-making, with group-selection as the primary unit of selection. We are not free to reject these determined features of human nature, although we have the freedom to chose conflicting paths within the determinism.
Human nature inevitably leads to the group-selecting we see continually going on in the world, with too many differences to assimilate, which gives the lie to Marxist freedom to homogenize the world.
The ongoing cultural, religious and ethnic destruction we see today can be reduced with the natural separations of ethnopluralism. Regions and states can be set aside for the various cultural, religious and ethnic groups, and then protected in their independence with some sort of federalism.
I like the Carl Schmitt line that “all modern political teachings are secularized theological concepts.” I believe the West should move toward the religious philosophy of theological materialism, which is based in evolution and sociobiology.
All groups are ever evolving toward Godhood, formerly seen as the traditional Inward God of ascetic discipline, which is retained but transformed in the material evolution of life to real supermaterial Godhood.