It's true that humans are controlled by natural factors.
So the reactions of a person/group or people/society to environmental factors are not part of human nature in your opinion?NewScientist said:Once one deduces that this is the argument, the simple shrug off of 'human nature' no longer holds, one begins to realise that the development of any society has only its foudnations in a basic intrinsic human nature with the key buildings upon that foundation being forged from the society's situation, the demographic and past history in the region to name but a few of the factors.
And what of a species that constructs it's own environment?Dooga said:Marxism argues that human nature is a reaction to the environment, and, in capitalist society, human nature becomes capitalist - being equals consciousness. Evolutionary theory, from what I understand, believes species react and change according to their environment.
THat is not the point, I proposed that as human nature is a constant across humanity the development of asociety cannot be put squarely at its door, it is rather that the factors I outlined previously efect devlopmentTheStatutoryApe said:So the reactions of a person/group or people/society to environmental factors are not part of human nature in your opinion?
Marx was well aware of the complexity of all aspects of social being, and a true Marxist analysis of societies and individuals and groups living within them acknowledges this complexity. Critics of Marxism misrepresent his theory as simplistic. On the 'human nature' issue, here is an extract from Wikipedia that outlines the basics of Marxist thinking (I have added emphasis with bolding):selfAdjoint said:The lack of reality in Marxism is precisely the belief that there is one human nature that you can analyze and predict. But human nature is incredibly various, and seems to have "tipping points" and "emergent phenomena"; Marx's simple one-parameter model was persuasive in the 19th century, but it appears just inadequate today.
alexKarl Marx inherits that Hegelian dialectic, and with it, a disdain for the notion of an underlying invariant human nature. Sometimes Marxists express their views by contrasting “nature” with “history.” Sometimes they use the phrase “existence precedes consciousness.” The point, in either case, is that who a person is, is determined by where and when he is — social context takes precedence over innate behavior; or, in other words, the main feature of human nature is adaptability.
"Human Nature" is often used as a counter argument to Marxism. However, it is not that Marxists entirely reject the concept of human nature, rather they contend that many of the behaviours exhibited by humans in Western capitalist societies - particularly excessive self-interest, and lack of social responsibility - are by no means fixed or innate.
Ok, selfAdjoint - this is an interesting point you make. For arguments' sake, I'd like to raise an analogy with how work is conducted in the 'pure science' disciplinesselfAdjoint said:Alexandra I think your quotes belie your point. Where Marxists believe in different human natures they are talking about different social stuctures, different means of production. But within any given structure they are insensitive to the range and import of human differences. They do not distinguish one bourgeois from another, or they assert that the distinction makes no difference.
But I think the distribution of personalities makes as much difference to the societies as do the means of production.
Playing devisl advocate and not for one moment saying this is my view point or not, however :arildno said:Hmm..I'm at a loss of seeing the definite, personal advantage of the Iraq war to the owners of WalMarts?