Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:34

Extant societies are based on partial view of human nature

Written by 


Ozodi Thomas Osuji

America, Europe and much of the extant world are based on false perception of human nature.  People are capable of behaving differently than they behave in the West and much of the world.

People are capable of loving behaviors. In so far that they have a tendency to evil it is not their nature but a result of the weakness induced in them by their weak bodies.

In spirit people are strong and love but in body they are weak and are capable of self-centered, evil behaviors.

The currently accepted notion that people are motivated by only self-interest hence look after their good at the expense of other people, the operating premise of Western society, is wrong.  The result of this wrong assumption of human nature is that people are not encouraged to engage in loving acts towards one another but instead to do only what serves their self-interests.

And since people need to feel connected to other people to feel alive they seek other people's attention in a narcissistic instead of loving manner.

The women dress up in beautiful clothes and bedeck their bodies with jewelries and present their bodies to other women and men to admire them and if they feel admired they feel connected to the admirers; this is not real connection but pseudo connection, for the women still feel lonely.

The men seek egoistic goals of power and prestige; if they obtain a sense of importance in other people's eyes they feel connected to them (this is false sense of connection for they still feel alone).

These are sick, unnatural ways of obtaining connectedness with other people; people can obtain connection by loving other people and serving their collective goods.

Given human nature, loving, social democracy with a mixed economy is the best political and economic system for human beings.


Naturalists such as Nicole Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, folks on whose writings what is called political realism is based, are partially correct.

We all begin our life on earth as self-centered and selfish and caring only for ourselves. Yes, Hobbes is correct in stating that life on earth is war of each against other people and that the result is that our lives are nasty, brutish and short. He is also correct in stating that we need government to pass laws that protected us from each other's evils.

Charles Darwin is correct in stating that animal life is pure and unadulterated competition in which the fittest survive and the weak die out.

The world these Western observers describe is what I see with my naked eyes. I see the egoistic self they painted in me and in the people around me.

Having accepted naturalism, I also see another part to me and people. People also are loving beings. I do not use the word love in a religious or sentimental manner but in an objective, scientific manner.

People are wired to be selfish and also to love and care for one another. Whereas we begin out being self-centered the eventual goal is for us to learn to love one another.

In love one sees other people's bodies and egos and sees what they are doing: self-centered behaviors, without denying the evidence of one's eyes.

My perception shows me men and women who mostly work for their own good and do not care for other people's good.

Love tells me that self-centered people are misguided in their egoistic behaviors and asks me to overlook their bodies and what they do with their bodies and still love them.

If their behaviors are anti-social and criminal, of course, they are not to be overlooked but to be corrected, for no one has a right to harm other persons.


We can set up a government and society that accepts people's proclivity to self-centered behaviors and attendant depravity and at the same time accept their capacity for love. Thus, we see people working for their self-interests but teach them to work for social interest and public good and positively reinforce their social serving behaviors.

The type of government that would carry this goal out is a social democratic government (as exists in Scandinavian countries).

The extant American government and economy is predicated on political realism, the position that people are self-centered and that laws must be passed to protect them from each other's evil behaviors, to arrest, try and punish antisocial persons.

Clearly, we need political realism; this is because we are capable of tremendous evil but, additionally, it is the function of government to teach people to care for one another, to strive after our highest good.

American and Western governments that stop at political realism, I believe, only see people as sub human savages to be controlled and set up a government that deals with supposed sub human beings.

Whereas we are sub-human beings we are also capable of having Christ like loving behaviors. It is a mistake to see people only as egos and as evil; people are complex creatures that combine both ego and Christ, hate and love, self-centeredness and social centeredness in them.


Alfred Adler in his individual psychology (see his The neurotic constitution, 1911) argued that the neurotic (what today we would call persons with personality disorders) feels inferior and compensates with desire for superiority; the neurotic pursues superiority and power with obsessive compulsive quality; he must seek to be powerful and important in an all or nothing manner; if he did not do so he would feel inferior and anxious, like he would die.

Karen Horney, in her book, Neurosis and Human Growth, pretty much said the same thing that Adler said; she said that the neurotic rejects his real self and pursues an imaginary ideal, powerful self with obsessive compulsive quality and feels anxiety from not attaining it.

These seminal psychoanalysts say that to be psychologically sick is to seek to become an alternative to what one is for one deems ones real self not good enough.

Adler defines mental health as devotion to doing what serves social interest. The healthy person does what is good for his self and his society.

So, is it true that the healthy person does what is good for society and that to be self-centered and do only what is good for one is neurotic, sick?

The unequivocal answer is yes. If one is healthy one tends to think and do only what serves public good, what is good for one and for other people. This is not a moral and or religious issue but a self-evident fact. It is psychologically sick to think only of doing what serves ones good.

Therefore, if we seek a healthy government and society we must construct governments and social institutions that encourage people to serve social interest.

(What is social interest is what people in utilitarian fashion believe gives them more pleasure than pain.  On Utilitarianism see the writings of Jeremy Bentham, John Mill and John Stuart Mill.)

Extant Western society and much of human society is predicated on people who take serving their private interests alone as what is good for society.  Everywhere people are self-centered and do not care for other people.

Most of our social and political institutions originated in folks serving their self-interests at the expense of public interests. This is why it is not really scientific if social science merely describes social institutions and peoples behaviors, for what it is describing is sick people and their sick society.

What is useful is for social science to tell us what constitutes healthy society, healthy human behavior and encourage political actors to change social institutions and make them serve public good.

It is not enough describing the social pathology that is, for example, American politics and society, what is necessary is to change that pathology to a healthy politics and society. We need to restructure the human polity and make our institutions and people serve people.

A social democratic and mixed economy is what serves people best. Take a look at the Scandinavian countries and see the best organized human society; a society that provides all children, through university, with publicly paid education and gives all people publicly paid health insurance.

Compare and contrast Scandinavia with the USA; the USA is a jungle where each person looks after his interests at the expense of other people and if he can get away with it he screws and even kills other people hence the absurd high level of criminality and homicide in America (borrowing from the colorful language of Donald Trump, the USA is a shit hole country).

Whereas excessive idealism and socialism is neurotic some idealism and socialism is useful; we need some idealism to help us contemplate ideal human behavior and society and work to bring them about.

Clearly, capitalism is the most productive economy but it tends to benefit a few and leave the many homeless, as is in America; therefore, we must incorporate some socialism into capitalism hence mixed capitalist-socialist economy is ideal political economy.

We may not have perfect human behavior and society, for to be human is to be imperfect but we must continually strive for some attainable ideals.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

January 14, 2018


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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176