March 25, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Human Dominion Trumps Socialist Idealism
Well, at least so far.
It really is s a beautiful idea. In fact, it’s the only sustainable idea, the conception that the means of production, distribution, and exchange of goods ought to be owned, regulated, and controlled by the community. The world would be a better place if most of its inhabitants embraced a socialist perspective of economic and natural resource sustainability. Because the idea of limitless growth, an entirely capitalist idea, is totally foreign on a planet of finite resources.
Unfortunately, primitive beliefs prevail. There is no greater example then when we turn to dominion politics, something as old as the human race itself. It goes something like this. You must assert your will upon another, else another will assert their will upon you. It’s a dog eat dog world, you either kill, or be killed.
You see this play out anytime there is a terrorist attack in a Western nation. Right-wing authoritarian voices call for greater dominance. Case in point, in the aftermath of the terrorist bombing in Brussels, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, a Christian, calls for law enforcement patrols of Muslim neighborhoods. While no such patrols are likely to happen, Cruz is presiding over his form of dominion politics, and arguably tens of millions of Americans emphatically agree.
This desire by human beings to be masters of their domain, which incidentally often includes the domain of others, is why its near impossible for socialist idealism to bubble to the surface. We like to think of ourselves as empathetic and charitable, often our actions say otherwise.
There is no worse example of human domineering than the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. There are people in America who see their dominance slipping away. The social order that put the old white man at the top is under attack, and Donald Trump is the answer, because he is going to “Make America Great Again.” Can there be any better slogan to represent white dominance? The old guard sees the growing influence of minority groups, namely African-Americans, Muslims, homosexuals, and yes, even women, as an existential threat. They are looking for an authoritarian strongman who will restore the social order to their favor.
But, why is this so?
It’s because we are collectively selfish. We are scared. We fear what we don’t understand. We care more about our social dominance at the cost of our neighbor’s survival. And if this neighbor doesn’t look like us, we care even less. And if we perceive weakness, or we believe this neighbor a “taker,” then we have no choice but to summon our greatest contempt.
This is why we can’t have nice things. Socialist idealism will not work in the United States unless we find a way to shed our undeveloped need to dominate our neighbor.
Inspired by Zero-Sum in Brussels: the Savage Vision Driving a Terror-Ridden World, by Chris Floyd