Man Is Good, But Irritated: :”The Nature of Human Beings is Peaceful”
Part II: Humanity is capable of living together without weapons and wars because human nature is peaceful.
: is a transnational research task that can only be accomplished if free and rational citizens research together with honest scientists and are in agreement. “Global Research”, together with other independent media, is a suitable discussion forum for this.
Since science springs from life, it is called to serve the lives of people. Or as Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) puts it in the play “Life of Galileo”:
“I hold that the only aim of science is to ease the hardships of human existence.”
From a scientific point of view, the concept of the nature of man involves the complete absence of genetically predetermined aggressive drives. This results in man’s ability to live and organise himself in a peaceful world without violence and wars.
However, such a world does not come into being by itself, but – as the following explanations about the human spirit of delusion and the myth of an aggressive instinct will show – solely through human resolutions, through thinking and acting oriented towards the ideal of peace and justice.
As long as we live in a world where violence and wars are the order of the day, we cannot escape responsibility. Since the world is the way we have set it up – or tolerated it in relation to pre-existing conditions – we are complicit, even if we are victims.
If scientists have nothing to contribute to the questions raised, the plight of human beings does not touch their hearts. Their wisdom and their science is then only a complacent game of the mind that knows no binding force.
As already explained in Part I, the author bases his psychological reflections on the thoughts and insights of his esteemed teacher, on personal conversations with him and on transcripts of conversations.
The nature of human beings is peaceful
Ever since human beings have existed and we have had knowledge about them, we have known that they always strive for a better life situation, first and foremost for a life in peace without violence and wars. However, in today’s capitalist world, violence, blood, death and destruction prevail.
Education in our culture creates fear of the other person in children, an emotional reaction that turns against the other. When they then grow up, they are unable to interact and live together with their fellow human beings. They are also unable to arrange their own lives well.
Yet the nature of man is peaceful. And that is why humanity is capable of living together without weapons and wars. Most people love to go about their daily work or cultivate the field and live in peace and friendship with their neighbour.
It is only the greed for power of those who act as authorities within the peoples and who, through their social position, are imbued with the spirit of violence, which is why there are always warlike conflicts in which people bleed to death for their masters and exploiters. Therefore, one should not blame the “peoples” for the wars. It is the ruling classes that are at war and try to subjugate each other. Their “subjects” live, work and die for them.
Psychological research should start with the question of how the oppression of man by man is possible in the first place. Power alone as a cause is not enough, since the power of the people is greater than that of their rulers. There must be ideological explanations for the fact that the rulers manage to ensure the bondage of their peoples.
It is the ideological delusion of the human spirit that causes people to forget their love of freedom and peace and begin to glorify their chains?
Reasons for war and the spirit of delusion
In earlier times, the origin of war was traced back to the Fall of the first humans. But this mythological explanation is not to be taken seriously. The competition between the religions, each of which believed itself to be in possession of the absolute truth, also gave rise to warlike entanglements.
Equally wrong is the view of man as a predator in his “struggle for existence”: “homo homini lupus” (man is a wolf to man).
In modern times, the type of economic warfare was created, in which the masters of trade and industry engaged peoples in a struggle for sources of raw materials and markets.
Another important moment of delusion is the national and racial ideology, whose epidemic character has been illustrated to us both in the past, but is also brought before us in the present.
The myth of nation and race creates an artificial unity between the rulers and the ruled by making the subjects believe that they and their masters belong to a mysterious and glorious body in whose splendour and greatness even the lowest servant has a share. This glorification of the servant mentality created the conditions for absolutist forms of rule in which people became a will-less tool of their authorities and gave them unreserved allegiance in war and peace.
In reality, nationalism and racial doctrine are attitudes of pride and arrogance, which always include aggression towards neighbouring peoples or races. At all times they have been a means for the rulers to seduce the broad masses of the people.
Another nonsense and hoax is the myth of the aggression instinct, already presented in earlier articles and described in detail by Arno Plack (1). According to this pre-psychological view, people would gladly go to war because of an innate aggression instinct, to kill other people whom they usually do not know and who have done nothing to them, and to have themselves killed. But no man leaves his love, no man leaves his wife and children to go to war.
Why should people who live quietly and in peace in their house, yard and garden suddenly have an aggression instinct and want to go to war against the other people? The well-known theorists of the aggression instinct like Siegmund Freud and Konrad Lorenz, whose names every newspaper reader and television viewer knows, did not understand the people.
Let us have the courage and patience to revise our opinion in this regard. In fact, it is violent upbringing that triggers aggression in children. Man is not capable of killing his fellow man; that is not his nature.
Finally, the tragic weakness of human beings is that they cannot say NO. If the rulers have decided to go to war, then it must be followed. People cannot say, “No, I will not go to war!”
Men of all ages, unfortunately, cannot react in any other way. Education has so affected their emotional life that they “must” go to war. In much the same way that they had to follow father and mother in childhood and teachers in school, they follow political and other authorities as adults. They carry this feeling of absolute obedience from childhood with them into old age. The behaviour of the Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höss, who enjoyed an upbringing according to strict religious and military principles, is an eloquent example of this (2).
But since the obedient men are not aware of this psychological connection, we cannot and must not condemn them. The parents and educators did not know that an education to absolute obedience is a serious mistake with unforeseen consequences. They meant and usually mean well, but in their ignorance and because of their own childhood experiences they put their children in distress.
The assumption of a dynamic unconscious as an essential and highly effective part of the human psychological life is a fundamental insight in depth psychology.
The good news is that we can always start to make the upbringing of our offspring more child-friendly and that adults, with the help of a psychotherapeutic professional, can become aware of their unconscious emotional parts and thus change their behaviour.
A world without weapons and wars is created by human decisions alone
A look at the current historical situation of humanity and the tragicomedy that has been played out for it for years by the government media gives little cause for optimism. Quite the contrary!
History, by its own laws, does not strive for peace itself – over our heads, as it were. A world without violence, without weapons and wars can only be realised by the decision of human beings, by thinking and acting in accordance with the ideal of peace and justice. And this reduction of violence must take place here and now.
Culture must be won over again and again, which more than illustrates the magnitude of the task ahead of us.
In this context, it is of crucial importance that already the child learns from parents, teachers and educators that one does not have to be afraid of the other person, but that the other person likes to play with him and live together with him. Any conflicts that arise would always be solved in friendship and without any verbal or physical violence. Adults should be non-violent models for these children.
If we also assume that human emotional life is not only to be understood as the result of the parent-child relationship, but that the socio-cultural milieu and the feelings corresponding to it are just as decisive, because parents, teachers and educators transmit the values of a culture to the child every day in word and deed, then it is also important that the values prevailing in the culture also correspond to a peaceful and non-violent society.
In this context, it is positive to note that in recent millennia humanity has increasingly heard the voice of humanity’s conscience within itself and is aware that it is a matter of living together in freedom and brotherhood and securing life on this earth through the common struggle against the forces of nature.
Even if it has so far been unable to banish the age-old evil of “war” from the world, because power-political, economic and social reasons constantly provided new nourishment for the spirit of violence that led to warlike conflicts, the exhortation of high-minded people who proclaimed the ideal of a peaceful world arose from time to time.
The idea of “eternal peace” is certainly as old as humanity itself.
Education for a sense of community and human solidarity
The educational methods of the past already throttled people’s sense of community in their childhood years and equipped them with the readiness for aggression through which a violent world could remain in a state of violence.
However, through psychological education methods, people could be formed who are immune to the entanglements of the delusion of power. By renouncing inappropriate authority and the use of physical and verbal violence in the parental home and school and by adapting to the child’s soul life with true understanding, pedagogy will produce people who no longer possess a subjugated mentality and will thus no longer be a docile “tool” for those in power in our world.
Children of the bourgeoisie and the working class cannot, as a rule, be confused. Those children who grow up in socially favoured positions have a sense of self-assurance and superiority (“The world is mine!”). If there are servants in the parental home, they get the impression early on that people are differentiated into “masters” and “servants” and that the servants are there to live and work for the master. No wonder, then, that the urge arises in their souls to be “masters” for once, too.
The pampering upbringing also creates a type of person who faces the world with a claim to chosenness and is not inclined to grant other people equal claims.
The working-class child sees himself early on in a world in which there are privileged and disadvantaged people. Thus, a socially conditioned feeling of inferiority takes hold of his soul.
But the child from the socially disadvantaged class suffers just as much from the lust for power as the child from the socially advantaged position. The submissiveness to which his position urges him acts as a constant sting which can equally lead to a readiness to be aggressive. It would be a fallacy to paint a “black and white” picture here.
Ultimately, it is a matter of bringing forth through future education a type of human being who – as Alfred Adler envisioned – will express a sense of community and fellow human bond as naturally as breathing (3).
Dr. Rudolf Lothar Hänsel is a school rector, educationalist (Dr. paed.) and psychologist (Dipl.-Psych.). After his university studies, he became an academic teacher (professor) in adult education: among other things, he was head of an independent school model trial and in-service trainer of Bavarian guidance counsellors and school psychologists. As a retiree, he worked as a psychotherapist in private practice. He was rapporteur for Germany at a public hearing on juvenile delinquency in the European Parliament. In his books and articles, he calls for a conscious ethical-moral education and an education for public spirit and peace. For his services to Serbia, he was awarded the Republic Prize “Captain Misa Anastasijevic” by the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad in 2021.
He is a regular contributor to Global Research.
“I appeal for cessation of hostilities, not because you are too exhausted to fight, but because war is bad in essence.”
The essence of strategy in business, government and education is not beating your competitors (WAR), bt to create customer bonding (LOVE).
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