Political Revolution

Dr. Harriet Fraad Talks Human Nature, Society and Economic Systems

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Written by JoAnn Chateau

Is capitalism the best economic system simply because it suits human nature? That is, are people naturally independent, competitive, and greedy?

Or are people naturally communal, cooperative, and kind?

Mental Health Counselor Dr. Harriet Fraad argues that human nature is shaped, that human nature adapts to societal expectations. From feral children raised by wolves to affluent prep-school students, we are all taught to aim for specific standards of behavior.

She and economist Prof Richard D. Wolff explore this perspective and the implications it may have on social and economic systems.



Peeling Back the Layers

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

2 Comments

  • Perhaps it would behoove us to stop making profound, sweeping proclamations about something as amorphous as human nature and start focusing on public policies designed around that which we know based on empirical evidence.

    As detailed in the above discussion, there are many facets to human behavior as well as a multitude of contributing factors. Human nature is neither “good” nor “bad.” We must move beyond this overly simplistic and subjective moral dichotomy because our very survival as a species might just depend upon it.

    Another false dichotomy that tragically dominates our public discourse is the undeclared Capitalism versus Communism war. There is no such thing in practice as a purely capitalistic or purely communistic system. The U.S., ostensibly the foremost bastion of capitalism, is awash in socialist programs. Likewise, modern China and the former U.S.S.R. are/were economically dependent upon the profit motive espoused by free market advocates. Nothing is as it seems if one looks closely enough at this crazy world of ours.

    For the record, I support private ownership for citizens; however, I strongly oppose laissez-faire practices, corporate personhood and perpetuity, and supranational business entities.

    • Wonderful rant, Robert. Nothing is black or white. Unfortunately, those “profound, sweeping proclamations” are useful in propaganda, like advertising jingles.

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