I know I didn’t write in a long time, and I kinda sorry for that, not because I thought you all wait for me to write, but also because this blog for me, is a place to test various ideas, a place to think out loud and share it with whoever is willing to read. I hope that whoever read these ideas or loud thoughts, enjoy them, and try to think about different things for a change, and taste something that is not “more of the same” news articles, or gossip garbage.
I was busy with my thesis, as I completed my first or second chapter’s draft (depends how you look at it). It is fascinating, and I had great fun in these five tedious days of writing. Of course I had many days to read and digest everything, so I could actually write down everything in 5 days. It was challenging to produce something worth called a research. I’ll sure try to share it with you, as I will feel that I had this subject of “human nature” out of my system.
So, I talked about how some people believe that we are evil, that the only thing that keeps us from eating each other alive are laws, and the sovereignty of the state, as it monopolizes the use of force. But, some believe that our nature is not necessarily “bad” but self-preserving kind of egoism that we can channel it to advance ourselves through our economic system. We are all greedy, but we can be all happy if we create a system that takes this greed, and turn it into a way for us to produce things that make us better off. That we are rational in our attempt to be happier and more wealthy, and we carefully device plans to maximize our profits.
These are arguments within philosophy\economy about what we are. Even though many other philosophers argue about different things which I will try to tackle someday. The last trend in philosophy is Postmodernism and constructivism. We are not born, or we do not operate as X because we are born, or we function as such, but we are the product of our environment, both physical and social ones. A violent criminal wasn’t born a violent criminal; it is most likely because he was born into impoverished conditions or into a family that abused him or her. They grew up in such an environment that their understanding of the world, and how one should navigate his way in it is different from a “normative” child who grew in a happy, loving family. We experience life, and through those experiences we come to understand the world, which shapes our character and identity and act according to it. As we act we reaffirm our identity. Identity is a fluid thing that can change over time, so people who say “people are bad” just experienced the world in such a way that drove them to conclude that. Maybe they were born in times of wars and great violence? Or were abused themselves? Victims of their reality? So, maybe there is not “human nature” at all, as we recreate ourselves over time, depends on what is going on around and within us.
Maybe there is no right or wrong, good or evil, truth or reality? We all live the world through our experiences, our social encounters and so on. Maybe the world we think we know, through TV, is not actually what is going on at all? I think the media has a big part in our perception of the world. Though it is essential for us to see and understand that there are different realities outside of our own, media has its limitations. But, most people’s lives are to some degree predetermined, meaning that they fall into a daily routine. Then in most places, people relay on the media to understand the “bigger picture.” Think about it, when do you meet the “state”? when do you encounter different people? Most likely rarely. The “state” you meet when you go abroad and go through custom or immigration, or when you have some bureaucratic business with it. Otherwise, the “state” is an amorphous body that is hard to grasp for the ordinary person.
In the end, we get these “realities” through some other people. They are like a filter, that sort out what is essential for us and what is not. They produce a program or write an article that then we consume. But who said they got it right? Who said they don’t have any agendas? Or maybe they lack understanding of the subject? Maybe they don’t do their job that well? And it happens quite often. Newspapers and news sites live by advertisements. To sell those they need to create traffic or ratings. How they do that? Well, one of the ways is to create a “Moral Panic.” This idea was developed by Stanley Cohen, as he identified that there are some things, or some phenomenons in a society that become to be identified as “dangerous” or detrimental to the core values of society. Then the media for a certain period, discuss about this phenomenon and keep it in the head of the news. Thus, creating this “panic” of morality. He gives an example of how youth violence was this issue in the 60s and 70s in Great Britain. It can be things like domestic violence, or robberies and drugs, or corruption.
But, in many cases, these issues are constantly happening and more or less at a stable rate. The thing that had changed is not the “real world” but the attention this phenomenon get from the media and through it the public. So suddenly everytime a youth violence occurs, there is a big scandal of it in the news. This is precisely one of the features of “Moral Panic.” This is an example of how the media can distort reality, make us believe that human beings are bad or the world is a cruel place, even though we have never experienced the world in this manner. It effects out a way of understanding the world, and how we perceive it, so do we actually understand the world? Or just get a distorted image of it? I’ll continue to speak about things that might make our understanding of the world different, and ask, maybe there is no real world?