Commonly, certain portions of society justify their defeatist ideology – which paints those who fight to make the world better as pipe dreamers – on the premise that human nature is simply too evil to allow for a good human world. This attitude pays a lot of credit to the dark side of human nature but ignores its good side. By following this attitude, many of these folks end up siding with humanity’s under-belly, its dark side. In Star Wars terminology, they are the Sith (or at least their followers). Example: the “alt-right.” (but some “liberals” share a very similar attitude, arguing for “incremental change” and voting for lesser evils… again because they focus on the dark side of human nature rather than working on having the good side overcome the dark side)
Some religions (or sects within religions) echo this poisonous dogma, preaching that humans are evil by nature and cannot build a good society. Only their god or gods can. Followers of these asocial or even antisocial religions are then instructed to perform rituals to save their souls or some such, and let the rest of the world go to hell. This is why some religious sections of society block human progress or even try to roll it back. And in doing so, they regard themselves as superior and holy. Example: the “religious right.” (it’s sad how they don’t see that their politics diametrically opposes that of their scared texts aside from a few rare, cherry-picked phrases used out of context)
Some of these defeatists point at historic failures to justify themselves. They point at failed revolutions that led to oppressive regimes, for example. What they refuse to acknowledge is that there has been more progress than backsliding and that human beings can learn from their mistakes. Our history is rich in lessons, and now we are at a point where we can fix the last mistakes.
Last, but not least, the belief that human nature is predominantly bad typically derives from violent, unjust, predatory environments. It is caused by them and in turn creates them. To break out of this vicious circle, this counter-productive belief must be shaken enough for people to become able to fix their warped local socio-economic environment or their nation as a whole.
So, what is now needed is a shift in our perception of the world and our responsibility towards it. We won’t advance if everybody sticks to the old habit of picking an existing side and defending that side while demonizing others, all in the spirit that marching forward is impossible, that only defending staked out positions can be done, and that most fellow human beings are too wicked or useless and unable to learn. Such behavior maintains the existing system. Instead we must improve our perception of reality, begin to truly understand our reality, educate each other about what we have learned, and together form a grand vision of a bright alternative we can turn our world into. To chart out the path forward, we need only look back and learn from the errors of the past to avoid repeating old errors and to employ methods that have worked.
It’s all doable. We just need to shed those defeatist attitudes.
Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site and work on my book. Please share links to these articles or help in other ways. Thanks. Only together can we change this messed-up world. 🙂