One of my fundamental disagreements with the monopolies of the academic social pseudo-sciences is that they overwhelmingly ASSUME human nature does not exist, that “people become the way they are because of culture, social conditioning [education and Media and…], economic incentives…..” This was already at the extreme at Harvard when I was an undergrad [1955-1958]. Skinner was the ultimate extreme with his rat-psycology assumptions about human beings. But all the faculty except a few anthropologists like Kluckhohn [whose great grad. course on ethnology from bio and bones to high culture I LOVED] assumed society is a separate level of existence that determines what human beings are [Durkheim’s famous assumption which is totally against all the centuries of liberal experience and thinking since the ancient world]. I became a professor and moved to the top very quickly for income reasons and to become independent, but I always thought those assumptions were absurd and said so in my earliest books and essays.
I eventually even taught courses about human nature in civilization, including one by that name at UCSD. My general argument is that human beings are biological beings with a very shared genetic base [with group and individual variations], cultural beings, social beings, neuoro-psychological beings, and beings with some degree of free will at the margins to decide what to do within all those obvious inputs, the spiritual human being [though “spiritual” is “Verboten!,” an absolute no-no in the academic world, so I rarely used it in academic settings]. Human nature is all the fundamental in-puts into all levels of that complex process of human life, thought and action by the shared genes and human situations.
This is vital in understanding basic aspects of human life like POWER.
I developed the general theory of power in human life in my book in 1987 on THE MYTH OF THE WELFARE STATE, using the great studies throughout history, obviously those of Machiavelli and the American founders and Acton, etc., and my own work.
Power [status, dominance-submission, fighting, warfare….] are universal in the primates to widely varying degrees. It is fundamental to human beings. It is not simple, even in baboons. But it is always an issue of great importance.
A CRUCIAL POINT: ALL OF PRIMATE AND HUMAN LIFE HAD STRONG CONSTRAINTS ON POWER UNTIL THE EMERGENCE OF THE STATES ROUGHLY 5,000 YEARS AGO. STATE POWERS SWEPT AWAY VITAL LIMITS ON POWER INHERENT IN HUMAN LIFE.
Before the state power seekers were restrained in power seeking by many complex factors in human life [and you can see this clearly in primates like baboons and chimps].
There are individual variations in all human passions, from sex and love and hunger to power drives. You can see this from infancy to the end of life, though there are also stage of life changes.
In simple, primitive societies some rare individuals would be power-mad, driven by a lust for power, if for no other reason than genetic anomalies [which leads some people to be born with no hands or two heads].
The family, clans, neighbors, tribes would stop them.
The STATE was a fatal invention that allowed some power hungry individuals to keep seeking more and more power–and some did. POWER LUST BECAME ENDEMIC IN STATE COMPETITION.
Very importantly, the STATE SITUATION OF VAST POWER AT THE TOP LURED THE MOST POWER HUNGRY AND FED THAT HUNGER, SO IT GREW WITHOUT LIMITATIONS EXCEPT EQUAL OR GREATER COUNTERVAILING POWER OUTSIDE [THE CLAUSEWITZ PRINCIPLE].
AND THIS UNLIMITED PASSION OF POWER LUST TAKES CONTROL OF THE RULER MORE THAN ANY OTHER GRAND PASSION EXCEPT THE PASSION OF SURVIVAL AND MAYBE SAVING ONE’S CHILDREN.
STATE POWER LUST BLINDS THE RULER TO BOTH HIS OWN SELF AND THE REAL WORLD IN CRUCIAL WAYS THAT FEED THE POWER LUST. This power lust at the extreme so blinds imperial rulers that they literally are gripped by POWER PSYCHOSIS in the exact sense in which the category of “psychosis” is used in psychiatry and psychology, though they almost never mention this crucial fact of modern life.
This power hunger, arrogant pride and blinding effects were recognized by the Ancient Greeks in their many city-states. They named it HUBRIS.
In its extreme form in immense empires, above all in the Global U.S. Empire with the absolute power to destroy mankind, power psychosis always produces paranoid, delusional dreads of attacks on the Empire and on its rulers. The power of the rulers does in fact inspire secret rage and hatred of them because their absolute power makes slaves of all the rest of us and human nature leads us to loathe such enslavement. The rulers learned long ago, a century and a half ago in the U.S. with the murder of Lincoln by a lone gunman, that there are huge numbers who loathe them and some who will risk death to kill them, so they have built vast systems of secrecy and walls and tunnels and armies of body guards like the SS [Secret Service] around themselves. This isolates them from the real world and feeds their illusions of all kinds, including the dread of being murdered, so the paranoia spirals out of control and by now had led the U.S. imperial rulers to see horrific dangers to themselves and their power base around the world, even in tiny peasant societies and small groups like al-Queda. They are starting wars all over the world to save themselves and their power. This leads to more and more loathing of them, more and more attacks, so the paranoia spirals out of control right along with the general power-lust psychosis and they multiply each other directly and through their effects on people around the world.
Americans rarely even mention this terrifying paranoid power-lust psychosis, even in its ancient form of HUBRIS, because they assume human nature does not exist [except maybe in deciding what brand of car or candy people choose]. And they assume AMERICAN EXCEPTIONLISM even when they assume God does not exist to produce exceptionalism [grace and salvation].
ALL THE RULERS OF VAST, POWERFUL EMPIRES LIKE THE U.S. GO INSANE WITH PARANOID, POWERLUST PSYCHOSIS. [This was depicted very realistically in the early days of the “absolutist” states, as in the works of Shakespeare. But in our absolutist Empire today almost no one even points out how weak and local and unthreatening to mankind rulers such as the Tutors were compared to the utterly immense powers and murderous wars of the U.S. rulers. The U.S. alone has probably killed many times as many people in my life time of 77 years as existed in the whole world in the Age of the Tutors.]
This, of course, is what you’re seeing in people like Bill and Hillary, George and BO. You also see it in BIG Corps. in our fascist age because the state powers of free money, monopoly regs., etc., give them vast powers, but even Larry Fink at huge Black Rock is not as power mad as Chiefs Of State.
[There are Little Hitlers that emerge in our big bureaucracies from churches to car makers and universities, but they are normally finally cut down by local coalitions of powers. I’ve seen many come and go in universities. But the people like Napolitano who have been swept away by the hubris of secret police powers remain inherently dangerous.]
The vast power of the U.S. Global Empire, the first really global empire in history that rules all the world when it chooses to do so and has thousands of nuclear and bio-chemical weapons that can destroy all of human life, drives anyone who has that power mad with blinding hubris.
The U.S. is now an extreme EXISTENTIAL THREAT TO MANKIND ruled by people totally in the grip of blinding powerlust psychosis.
They become absolutely convinced that they rule the world in all ways by right and anyone who gets in their way of ruling as they wish–or anyone their paranoia leads them to imagine is in their way– is a traitor who should be destroyed.
The rulers of America are now monsters of paranoid power-lust hidden from the American people by their ignorance of history and the world today and by the total wrap-around Big Lies of the government and the Big Media totally dependent on the rulers for their “licenses” to broadcast.
This U.S. Global Empire is so blinded to reality by this power psychosis that its rulers are destroying their own Global Empire and it is now hated by the entire world, except for the criminals and puppet slaves who thrive by supporting their masters.
The dying of their wealth and power makes the U.S. rulers more enraged and paranoid.
All of us human beings will face the growing, terrible threats of blind-rage attacks from this dying giant until the U.S. Empire implodes from within.
We cannot predict how long this Age Of U.S. Paranoid Rage and Existential Threat will continue, but I suspect we are rapidly approaching the financial implosion of the U.S. Global Financial System which will trigger the general implosion of the U.S. Empire.
We cannot predict whether mankind will survive these terrible U.S. rages and attacks around the world as it strikes out in blind fury with absolute conviction that it is absolutely rational and good for all of mankind and all of being.
In just the past few weeks the U.S. imperial rulers have started WWIV against the huge nuclear nations of Russia and China and their many allies. This is an extremely ominous sign of powerlust psychosis. The U.S. is sinking into a Black Hole of bad debts and wildly inflated money pouring into paper asset bubbles, but it blindly starts ordering giant nuclear nations to do whatever the U.S. wants and is rushing U.S. forces up to their borders and starting wars on their borders as in the Ukraine.
The exposure of the total U.S. system of spying on Americans and the world has led to totally insane assertions by the U.S. that it has absolute right to do whatever it wants to do.
All of this and all the smaller wars the U.S. starts every week or so indicate the giant is now totally paranoid and in a terrible, blind fury.
This could be a rush toward the final rage and then the implosion into the Black Hole. Or it may be just another terrible fit of rage that will dissipate.
Mankind has proven extremely resourceful and resilient when suffering other existential threats. I have great hope that we will survive the U.S. Empire’s power psychosis and dying furies.