The Spectrum of Human Kindness and Altruism
There is a spectrum regarding the extent to which human beings exhibit kindness. At one end of the spectrum are people who, naturally, behave in an extraordinarily kind and altruistic manner—the altruistic end. At the other end are people who are naturally inclined to be extraordinarily selfish and ruthless—the sociopathic end. Sadly, deep kindness and caring has been rare amongst the USA’s financially and politically powerful. This is no surprise, because Capitalism, by nature, promotes, requires, rewards, and gives practice to the most selfish capacities of Human Nature.
Unfortunately, the Private Corporate Economic Model (Capitalism), particularly at the giant transnational corporate level, inherently and increasingly elevates people from the less altruistic end of the behavioral spectrum to positions of power. Thusly empowered, these “leaders” tend to hire like-minded, like-behaving people into their power structure. Altruists are not hired, not welcome, nor would they want to participate in the unseemly corporate practices of these giant corporations. In such an economy, altruism increasingly becomes marginalized, while callousness inexorably escalates. The Private Corporate Economic Model inherently and inevitably leads to the increasingly obscene income inequality and increasingly malignant and ruthless geo-political behaviors we are seeing in the world today— as evidenced by the behaviors and actions of Trump, the Clintons before Trump, the politically powerful in the U.S. government, and the corporate/financial/military/industrial/media complex.
Certainly, there is no absence of kindness and caring amongst the American people in general. The vast majority of the general population appears to fall along the altruistic half of the spectrum. A big problem, however, is that mis-education (promoted by the financially and politically powerful) can greatly counteract, misdirect, and demoralize people, even those who naturally exhibit considerable degrees of kindness and caring. The policies and actions of the financially/politically powerful can suppress or otherwise frustrate kindness and caring, rendering most people’s kindness and caring effete when it comes to fundamental, large-scale social change.
The vast majority of people have tended to resign themselves to accepting the status quo (except for contributing to small-scale, local change), particularly if they have been mis-educated to avoid consideration of fundamental, large-scale social-economic change—like replacing the capitalist economic model with a Public Economy model. Many, out of frustration and hopelessness, have stopped caring altogether, or have at least severely narrowed the scope of their caring. Many kind, caring people have concluded that it is best to not pay much attention to current geopolitical problems, because it is “too stressful” and “too negative” to engage in geopolitical criticism, especially when (in their view) such engagement is unlikely to result in fundamental change.
Moreover, the majority of people have been trained to ignore the wisdom of those at the kindest, most caring end of the spectrum. In fact, they have been taught to view the social ideas generated by people at the altruistic end of the spectrum as being too idealistic, too impractical, too unrealistic, too dangerous, and too threatening to even warrant discussion, much less consideration. Unawareness of alternative, altruistic social ideas has been Humanity’s loss, while being a gain for the financially and politically powerful.
How could we correct the above situation? First, we could recognize and explain to others that capitalism, by nature, tends to promote people from the sociopathic end of the behavioral spectrum to positions of power, particularly at the transnational corporate level. We also need to recognize that such corporate “leaders” tend to have undue influence over who gets elected to governmental office and how those elected officials behave once in office. Along with this, we could recognize and explain that it is no wonder that callous decisions are increasingly made, when people at the sociopathic end of the spectrum (like Trump) increasingly ascend to positions of power. We can emphasize that the problem is not so much that Humanity in general is gradually devolving toward increasing callousness; but, rather, this devolution is due to the increasing ascent of callous decision-makers into positions of power, coupled with increasing marginalization of people whose inclinations and behaviors more naturally fall along the altruistic half of the spectrum. We could then support candidates (for governmental office) who make it abundantly clear that they understand the above and will not be influenced by the sociopathically-inclined Finally, and most importantly, since the root cause of this problem is the capitalistic economic model, we can protect ourselves (and the planet) by advocating replacement, globally, of the capitalistic economic model with a Collaborative International Network of Creative National Public Economies, which are administered by democratically elected people whose behaviors fall along the altruistic half of the spectrum. Such a replacement would need to be preceded by a massive public education effort, globally, to explain the problematic aspects of capitalism and the beneficial aspects of global implementation of national public economies.