‘The best state for human nature’

“The best state for human nature is that which, while no one is poor, no one desires to be richer, nor has any reason to fear being thrust back, by the efforts of others to push themselves forward”.

– from Beyond the steel cage of consumerism at The Standard.

There is no doubt we have serious issues with consumerism, and the push through marketing for us to own and consume far more than we need, and often to use things that we either don’t need or are bad for us. All to make a dollar, or a billion dollars.

One simple example of consumerism (and parenting?) gone mad – I know a six year old who recently counted her toy cats. Seventy one. Many of those are part of ‘collections’ that push children to push parents to keep buying and buying. ‘the Kitty in my pocket’ collection has at least four series of twelve kittens. That’s forty eight of just one brand. That’s just a small tip of a child consumer iceberg.

But nature doesn’t work by making everyone equal. It works through competition – competition for territory, competition for food, competition for mating partners, competition for life.

Can we ever come close to having a perfect and equal human society in a ruthless and often unforgiving natural world?

Should we try?

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9 Comments

  1. Can we ever come close? You only need to look at the lifestyle/payrate of any society leader, whether democratic or autocratic, capitalist, socialist or communist, to answer that question.

    Reply
  2. “I think politicians in regard to the rest of society are overpaid and I feel pretty gross about it,” Ms Swarbrick said.
    The Green Party MP did defend her $160,000 salary to a degree though, saying it’s also important to realise the job can be a pretty expensive one.
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-feel-pretty-gross-chloe-swarbrick-says-politicians-overpaid-in-regards-rest-society

    Reply
  3. Everyone has the the same choice. Earn (or receive), consume, save, invest, give. It’s not an economics question, it’s about values.

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  November 22, 2017

    ”The best state for human nature is that which, while no one is poor, no one desires to be richer, nor has any reason to fear being thrust back, by the efforts of others to push themselves forward”.

    The socialist version of a Jehovah Witness magazine with their pictures of paradise. Lions next to babies, divine fruit for the picking and black and white folk treating each other as equals

    Like I said to the Jehovah Witness door knocker…I would love to be in the picture sometimes, but on the whole it’s a terrible image. He was taken aback and asked why?

    Nothings happening, I said.

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 22, 2017

    Why on earth would you want a perfect and equal human society? I can’t imagine anything more banal, hopeless and soul-destroying.

    Differences make life tolerable and fascinating. Imperfections allow innovations and effort to improve. Hope and excitement are the essence of life and the satisfaction of achievement gives happiness.

    I will settle for a society which values kindness and effort and honesty and respects diversity.

    Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  November 22, 2017

    All societies have layers. .of influence. ..wealth…some more pronounced. .than others.

    Reply
  7. Since time immemorial human beings have been adorning themselves. Status has always been based on bigger, better, more – whether it is cattle, cars or intricate braids in the hair. In some cultures the amount spent on these things bears no resemblance to the relative fiscal conservatism we practice in NZ.

    http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/pokot-woman-wearing-the-traditional-beaded-ornaments-of-her-tribe-picture-id529743612

    Reply
  8. David

     /  November 22, 2017

    “There is no doubt we have serious issues with consumerism”

    Really? Where on earth has this come from, there is plenty of doubt, what you call consumerism has delivered the best living standards the world has ever seen.

    “One simple example of consumerism (and parenting?) gone mad – I know a six year old who recently counted her toy cats. Seventy one. Many of those are part of ‘collections’ that push children to push parents to keep buying and buying. ‘the Kitty in my pocket’ collection has at least four series of twelve kittens. That’s forty eight of just one brand. That’s just a small tip of a child consumer iceberg.”

    Have you gone all Garth Morgan and want to go around killing children’s toy cats? Seriously, a child having some toy cats is a serious issue?

    Reply

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