At the core of a great many political disputes – and in some cases, outright wars, genocides, etc… – is disagreement about the mutability of human nature. How much of who were is baked in via our genes and instincts, how much is environmental (what we eat, what happens around us, etc…), and how much is directly tied to nurture and conscious teaching (parents, teachers, etc…)?
I’ve long argued that all of the above is the correct answer, albeit in unknown and varied percentages. I am extremely skeptical of anyone who claims he definitively knows the percentages, or knows that one alone is responsible. If you look at extreme political movements, you will note one commonality among most (perhaps all) of them: they pick one of the three types and run with it to the exclusion of the others, to obtain some kind of imagined perfect end state. For instance, the Nazis were racial purists. In effect, they argued that it was all in the genes. They then set about trying to eliminate what they viewed as incorrect genes, inferior races, etc… They didn’t attempt to change the environment of the people they didn’t like, nor did they attempt to teach or reason with the people they didn’t like. Thus they clearly believed that all of importance was contained within racial characteristics. We all know where that madness leads.
Marxists generally believe that mankind is fully, consciously, mutable. In other words, that nurture and conscious teaching overrides all else, and it is possible to teach man to be perfect, in contradiction to his fallen nature. Therefore, Marxists persist in a vision of political perfection, or as we refer to it today, political correctness. A certain perfect end state is imagined, and like the Nazis, they are fully willing to kill those who do not conform to their vision. If anything, they are more determined to do this, because the existence of those who cannot be taught to be Socialists contradicts their assertion that mankind is perfectible, that human nature can be altered according to their whims. This madness, though different in its root causes, leads to more or less the same destination as Nazism: a mountain of murdered people.
That Marxism isn’t treated with the same cultural loathing as Nazism is, in my opinion, one of the greatest tragedies of our age.
The Marxist denies that genes have anything to do with anything, really, and will be extremely offended if you even posit the possibility. I like to use the basketball player example. Height is an advantage in basketball. Certain ethnicities are taller, on average, than others. That’s the way it is. If someone takes this fact off the table, he is left with the sense that discrimination, favoritism, or exploitation would have to explain the difference in representation when, in fact, no discrimination is necessary (though it is possible) to produce the observed disparity.
Nor does the Marxist worry overmuch about environmental (in the sense referenced in the beginning of this post) concerns. He may, on occasion, assert that criminality is due to poverty, for instance. But it is almost always used as a bludgeon to get one of his redistribution schemes going, and that involves teaching everybody about the wonders of Socialism, which is his real goal. If environmental concerns enter the awareness of a Marxist, they are always subservient to his notions that man can be perfected through conscious guidance. Because if, say, more wealth and better nutrition would work to help folks out, he’d have to convert to Capitalism.
It all goes back to an absurd arrogance on the part of people who a) believe that mankind can be made perfect (through any means) and b) think they know just the method to do it. Imagine the narcissism necessary to believe any of that, to think that you know exactly how the souls and attitudes of men are formed; to think that you can control this precisely to achieve your desired result. And most arrogant of all, that you know mankind’s objectively perfect end state. It’s madness to believe any of that.
Mankind is imperfect. Mankind will always be imperfect, short of divine intervention or man becoming something else entirely. We don’t know how men are shaped with any degree of precision. All we have are some identified means that contribute in some fashion, to some unknown degree. We don’t even know if we have identified all of the methods. But these cretins think they have all the answers? Fools! Madmen, all of them.
And that last little bit is circumstantial evidence that mankind is always going to be fucked up. At least until God decides he’s had enough, I suppose.