["Human beings are prone to seek luxury, to feather their own nests, to aggrandize themselves socially, to presuppose inferiority in others, etc."]
Manifested as with all other herd-animals. A few alpha types at the top fight for total dominance, and the herd is generally content with finding good
grazing with minor conflict.
This can be mankind's salvation (not meant in a religious sense) or its downfall.
Human dictators use territorial instincts, our constant relatively mild greed and social engineering systems of distribution (of power, money, food,
sexual access etc) to further their own aims by creating polarized situations, with outer enemies being a threat to the whole system of the herd.
On the other hand are the herd-members not that keen on joining violent ventures, especially not if they have a nice little grazing spot reserved for
Our (and probably that of most biological life on this planet) fate depends on the balance between these two drives.
Quote: ["Even overtly egalitarian social systems like communism/socialism evolve their hierarchies and hypocrisies. Are Christians really the worst at
that sort of thing? Maybe they are just the most irritating."]
Maybe 'even' isn't a proper word in this context of 'overtly egalitarian', because 'egalitarian' principles alone haven't a chance of being socially
functional. Humans are basically born un-equal with some degree (see above) of social Darwinism. Transforming this un-equality into the political form
of egalitarianism is practically impossible, if the aim is enforced uniformism; resorting to smallest common denominator of social and human
qualities. Such a process requires 'education of the masses' (i.e. indoctrination) and the new alpha bosses will soon emerge as those who dictate the
content of this 'education'.
'Secular' and 'liberal' are needed also, so as to prevent any elitist claims at top- or underdog level. Inside such a system's periphery there's some
individual freedom to be un-equal. The periphery protects the principle of 'egalitarianism'. "So far goes your rights, but not further".
Quite ingenious actually, considering our other options.
I would say, that the herd is generally quite content with this system, apart from an unavoidable amount of quarrelsomeness.
And that dictators in spe hate it can't come as a surprise. Now they have to be just ordinary, non-elitist citizens without any privileges. In the
context of ATS threads with mainly christian extremists as representatives of fanatical fascist ideology, 'liberals' are often propagandistically
associated with some satanistic agenda by the extra holies.
If christians are 'worse' or not depends on the actual power-constellations. In our present global situation I would personally consider the christian
right as the most dangerous minority-part of mankind. With jihadism as a close runner-up.
edit on 18-1-2011 by bogomil because: spelling