Questioning the Human Social Nature
Updated: May 24
(Disclaimer: This article was originally written in 2016, and published on Philosocom in March-April 2020. A considerable amount of beliefs presented in this article might not be relevant nor correspondent to the author's current beliefs. Furthermore, for long articles such as this, allow me to suggest you finding a way to bookmark your reading, so you will be able to return to it, and finish reading pieces such as this).
I stand on a floating island above a displeased, beaten down, and oppressed monster that is under my possession. All but my own voice can be heard in this phenomenon of autism. I observe my hideous monster becoming more and more radicalized, and more and more desperate for total autonomy from the grips of the totalitarian dictatorship in which it is company.
Oppression, destruction, subjection, unfairness, and lack of justice are the very fuel society thrives on in order to prosper; the very foundations of sociality at large.
The entire life within the company of other human beings seems to be an infinite struggle and conflict between the essence of individuality against the essence of collectivity and hierarchical herd-mentality. We are not, in theory, worse than ape-kind and other primate beings, who subject themselves, willingly or unwillingly, and their survival in the hands of others.
Oppression seems to be not only the core of social constructs, but also of our very own social and political nature, where the pathetic and fearful are educated to become and remain ones—even are encouraged to stay so—by those whose power and authority are within their control either by nuclear status or by socio-political standards.
The very own question is desired to be answered: given the oh-so great importance of social constructs as means of survival through enforcing oppression and inequality, what is the purpose of individualism? If we are truly social beings by definitive nature, why are some of us rebellious by nature, given rebellion is dysfunctional to sociality?
If we are indeed, without undoubted declaration, controlled by unbreakable social nature, how come we are defined as individuals with their own personality and desires, rather than automatic, productively-driven ant-kind that live in colonies with defined hierarchy and regime? Given ant-kind are social, collective beings,
how come humankind at large does not function like ones? What is the purpose of individualism if individualism is a dysfunction to what is claimed to be our very own, unquestioned nature? If we are truly individual beings, then we have the dysfunctional ability to question inequality, oppression, and inequality, and therefore—we can question ourselves being social beings.
Why would a human, who is claimed to live and organize regime and authority in the name of the survival of his species, would be, in correspondence, be programmed to question regime and authority? Why would it be in our nature the ability to question and doubt larger factors that are essential to our survival both as individuals and collectives?
Yes. A black-and-white mindset is essential for survival and for optimal understanding of the environment. If black and white were truly mixed, there would be no harmony, but anarchy of mixed, independent colors that destroy a potential for order, which is necessary for survival.
After all, the dichotomy of contrasts is also an ability programmed in our nature; the fact is that we are able to think so.
If our nature indeed is genetically programmed by human evolution for optimal survival, protection, and various basic needs, then our nature ought to be good for us. However, that is not the case, as in many times our nature—our very own instincts and urges—are regularly and orderly suppressed by society, which is also, so is claimed, a result of humankind's social nature.
The question remains at hand: why would human nature contradict itself, given that contradiction decreases our chances of survival? Why are we given individuality by nature if individuality is oppressed by social constructs built by the very own nature that gave us individuality in the first place? Human nature seems to be absurd.
If indeed nature is the very core of harmony, order, and healthy, general development—why would nature cause the exact opposite, which serves a threat against its very own given essence? Struggle, conflict, harm, and desires—why would the social human nature, if sociality by nature is built on the foundations of order, harmony, and stability—be used in naturally-driven ways to suppress its very own nature that created it—the nature that creates sociality along with desires and passions—the very foundations of human individuality?
Does human nature, if nature is harmonious, is paradoxically twisted that it would be built to suppress its very own core on which individuality is based upon? Or, perhaps, in a simple way of explanation—why would humans be both social and individualistic by nature if there is, so it seems, eternal conflict within the two; the very own conflict which brought not only for survival, but for death, tragedies, and destruction.
Why would nature be evolved in a way that would contribute to minimum survival if minimum survival is dysfunctional to beings that by nature need optimal survival to prosper as civilizations, as social constructs?
If indeed society was naturally constructed by our own natural evolution, it wouldn't be suppressing and oppressing the very own core in which brought it to existence: why do we have individuality if individuality is, in many cases, dysfunctional to society? What is the evolutionary purpose of uniqueness, of the desire of freedom, of self-expression, and the quest of independence if all of those actually harm the same humanly-universal construct if the same construct is built for survival?
If we were indeed social beings, we wouldn't be recognized as sole and lone individuals—but wholly identified but as mere ants, as groups, and as colonies. We wouldn't be given names and definitive, distinctive personalities—but be seen and judged by our alignment to families, tribes, and colonies.
We wouldn't be able to be thinking for ourselves, but be sharing thought and consciousness which would have no distinctions nor separations between individuals; we wouldn't need our own minds but have hive minds in which will dictate our beings and our purpose without any ability of intervention or objection. Yet, we are regarded as individuals while at the same time claimed to be social by nature.
There is no possible way individuality and collectivity will be ever able to join forces and unite in peace and harmony, as the collective will always have the power and the requirement to limit and to oppress individuality for the sake of preserving its own power—and therefore preserving the lives of the subjects in which belong and led by those who are in charge. Oppression is a key need for functionality, as it is regularly used to approve components which contribute while reject and even terminate components which possess a threat to the general functionality.
Individuality will always serve a threat to sociality because the essence of being an individual is to be with self-described passions and desires, needed to be constantly used and be expressed by the one who experiences them in the name of self-development and autonomy. However, self-development and autonomy may prove dysfunctional to human nature (given human nature is indeed social and not otherwise), as these values do not serve the idea in which human beings are social by nature.
If we were truly social beings, we wouldn't need nor feel the desire of self-development and autonomy, as they are not social values but individualistic ones. Yet, each of one of us possesses them, and each one of us at least in some kind of degree ought to limit autonomy in the name of sociality. If we were truly social, we wouldn't desire individualistic values in the first place; if social constructs are truly destined to fulfill our survival and development as social beings, why would we desire for autonomy if autonomy is proven dysfunctional to a construct that is naturally built on limitations, control, imperialism, and oppression?
If we were social beings, we wouldn't be able to think of the concept of individuality, as individuality poses a threat to sociality. Not to mention that we would not be able to see ourselves as distinctive, autonomous, and free beings. We may have developed optimal communication both in body and mind, but if communication has the ability to be independent of the frames of order and regime, what evolutionary purpose does that particular component of communication possess?
Why would communication serve a wholly social purpose if it, at some degree, proves dysfunctional to the degree of the normative and approved frames and patterns of communication? Why would there be components in human nature that prove harmful to human survival, and if they serve no purpose of survival in a globalized social environment, why would they exist in the first place? And yet, why would they need to be suppressed if they are also part of what is called human nature?
Why would nature be developed in a way that may possess the ability to suppress, oppress, and deny itself if the whole purpose of nature is survival? Is our human nature masochistic; is it imperialistic, dictatorial, or twisted? While it can ensure our survival, it may also lead to our demise when uncontrolled or regulated in a routine.
If I, for example, feel love for another being, and that being rejects me, why have I felt love for them in the first place, initially knowing they do not feel the same towards me? What is the purpose of feelings, emotions, and urges if they are likely to be suppressed by those who hold power and control over me?
For example, I may feel furious and desire to give catharsis to the unpleasant feeling of fury; I may obey the urge and, for the sake of demonstration, punch my fist against the wall, ultimately just to feel sharp pain in my hand. In this manner, I have hurt myself because I have listened to the urge.
Given that urges are an undivided part of the natural complex, what interest does that nature hold in making me suffer by obeying it? Or, more likely, if fury is dysfunctional while human nature is not, why would fury exist if it possesses a threat to my body and mind?
Urges are there to be expressed, but denial is highly likely to be inevitable. What is the purpose of the primate-like urge if expressing it may be harmful not just for me but for the social construct which ensures my existence?
Speaking in a political tongue, why do democracies exist as a concept and as a practical approach, if the people's freedom may prove harmful, even dangerous to the government which allows them?
Why would a government, theoretically, establish policies which prove harmful for its survival? Lack of border control, lack of gun control, freedom to smoke and drink poisonous substances, lack of law enforcement and political propaganda to keep the populace under maximum loyalty and patriotism—all of those are the results of a democracy in its highest peak: a regime whose dangers and harms come from the zealot belief in liberty and equality in a construct which is built, as a principle, on the depression of the masses.
Post-Kaddafi Libya, for example, is an anarchy and earthly hell where nothing is truly safe. Kaddafi might have been a brutal, merciless dictator—but the thing is that dictatorships are much more safe and secured than democracies. If Kaddafi wasn't killed by his own populace, there would have been order and security within that country's borders, instead of a war-torn, divided Libya, where the future existence of the average Libyan lies in uncertainty.
Freedom is indeed a valuable thing to aspire to, but true social creatures would choose not freedom but subjection and surrender to those which have the authority. At many times freedom, which seems to be such of an ideal and meaningful concept on which many countries firmly believe, may actually threaten our survival as species that live in groups, teams, and communities.
Yet, given that subjection and surrender are inevitable components of the social nature, why would we desire freedom in the first place if we are social by nature? If freedom holds the power to destroy social constructs and make life more difficult and even impossible at times (like the one in Libya)—what is the purpose of desiring liberty?
Anarchy is a key part in my argument; Anarchy is the highest peak of uncompromising individuality. As members of a social construct gain more and more rights and authority over the authorities themselves, they may use them more and more to cause catastrophes and dangers. Why would we desire dangerous possibilities if they contrast our survival? Why would our urges, willpower, and instincts dictate us to do extreme actions if extreme actions are not correspondent to our survival?
Why do we, the western hedonists, tend to desire so much individuality and risk taking, while believing at the same time that we are social creatures? Sure, we may choose dangerous actions with the addition of others, but it does not contradict my blame: that the human nature in which we all tend to admire and to be proud of—may not just prevent us from achieving maximum potential, but may also harm us due to its dysfunctional, contrasting components.
Are we truly and fully social, or are we ego-driven individuals who struggle for power, resources, position, and control? If we were truly social by nature, then we would submit to authorities, not rebel against them, and not create threats against ourselves. And yet we do not submit, we do not accept the functionality of authority and of unequal hierarchies. Many of us strive to resist by trying to break off the shackles which cage our hands and legs; the very same shackles that keep us safe and sound.
Why does our nature refuse us humans at many times to surrender if surrender is a central part of social constructs? Why does the human nature contradict itself endlessly between individuality and tyranny? What is the evolutionary purpose of this contradiction? Most of us live in urban metropolises, where safety is higher than rural or than unsettled areas around the globe, which gradually begin to lose shape in the name of human collective and industrial constructs and domination.
There are much less lions, wolves, and tigers in the world (which many of them are under the danger of extinction), much less danger generally, and threat from other neither collectives nor struggle for survival (at least among the general, working class, and first world population).
Why our so-called nature is still stuck in prehistoric times on a planet where prehistoric regions are extremely few? Why haven't it adjusted to modern times where every house and apartment can be the microcosms of hermit-hood, singlehood, and monkhood?
Today every western apartment can be a monastery, as alienation levels in urban, industrialized regions are extremely high and increasing from year to year. Speaking about urban areas—if we are indeed social beings, why would we create metropolises where one doesn't know their very own next-door neighbor? Why would we create habitations which contradict social and expressive needs?
No other sentient form created the problem of urban alienation but us ourselves. If we indeed view denial and repression as unhealthy to the human psyche, why do we choose to live as an entity which praises these very same values as a sign of maturity, experience, and wisdom? Why do we recommend repression and self-denial and, at the same time, view them as mentally unhealthy? Is it within the core of social constructs to actually dictate its members to do unhealthy actions, both physically and mentally?
Why would our nature dictate us to do unhealthy things and even receive applause and positive feedback from others by doing so? How much do we, indeed, value health and power-seeking if various actions and policies harm it? What is the purpose of social pressure if it may harm us in the long run?
Why would we listen to our friends telling us to drink alcoholic drinks, smoke drugs, and have unprotected sex—and even worse than that? Why would we seek friends in the first place if they pressure us not just to change in the name of normalcy but also to harm ourselves? Therefore, why do we take pride in ourselves believing we are social creatures if sociality can be bad for us on various levels? Why would we decrease our health and our lifespan by obeying others to imperialize and control us, besides the principle of basic survival?
That is the conclusion I have reached and obtained after those contemplations: that if social intervention is imperialistic and authoritarian, which dictates us to disease, to self-harm, and to be miserable to competitions, power struggles, and the haunt for fame, riches, and glory, then sociality which does not come as a means of necessities is more threatening than helpful to those who choose to align themselves with individualism and with its related components.
For the sake of human health, development, and realization, individualism must be saved and be maintained, since otherwise we would be masochistic, repressed, oppressed, and miserable by the very own construct which also grants us safety and survivability.