Left or Right: Where’s the Correct Human Nature

Most political debates come down to the following fundamental question – is it the left or the right that should have the power? Philosophically, this could also be seen as a question about human nature and how we should shape it. In the following few paragraphs, we bring Ed Rooksby’s contribution to the modern attempt at answering these age-old questions.

Every political party has its own ideology, and in turn, every ideology presupposes some kind of an understanding of what a human being is and should be. Often, this understanding is not explicated and remains implied in the party’s own set of beliefs and values. However, even when it’s only implied, it can be deduced using the same beliefs and values as starting points. Here’s what Rooksby believes it means to be in the left or in the right when it comes to the understanding of human nature.

Conservative thought is usually positivist when it comes to worldview. A conservative person believes they can come to the correct conclusion regarding human nature simply by observing people and using their common sense. What they see in them is an egoistic nature that thrives in competitive environments. Also, people are incapable of change when it comes to these simple facts of nature. That’s why capitalism is actually the most appropriate type of social order for human beings as such.

The left has a much different conception of human nature that’s fundamentally Marxist. Marx’s individuals can’t even exist without a larger social context. He believed we were essentially producing beings, and that all our producing activity was necessarily social. Even language, the tool every human being uses in everyday life, is intersubjective.

In conclusion, the right sees us as individuals, while the left believes we are social beings. This is a huge difference that reflects on all the other beliefs any one party may have. Unfortunately, we still can’t be sure which of the two ideologies is in the right.