About ahumanistsperspective

I believe in the capacity for genuine goodness in all people.

On War And The Working Class

Recent reports regarding the murder of 30 farmers and the injury of an additional 40 in Afghanistan by a US drone attack, are grim reminders as to the primary victims of war. For no demographic suffers more from the military conflicts of nation states than the international working class. The fact that such geopolitical conflicts are primarily at the behest of international oligarchs and almost exclusively on behalf of the interests of the global wealthy class compounds such disproportionate injury with indefensible insult. Frankly, the victims of war for the most part have no stake in such matters beyond trying to survive the aggressive nature of contentions between the world’s power elite as they attempt to outdo the other in their respective quests for global domination and resource extraction. All the more reason then why the international working class has no practical reason or moral justification for either endorsing or engaging in war on behalf of their respective nation state.

For when we of the working class engage in collective murder on behalf of our nation state, we subsequently act against our own interests in more ways than one. Firstly, when working class people of any country engage in war against another, they actually fight on behalf of their own oppressors. For the wealthy oligarchs who exploit labor for the primary benefit of their elitist class are likewise the primary beneficiaries of battlefield conflicts and military conquests. And true to their nature, predatory capitalists consistently exploit the working class in the process of military engagement rather than fight their interventions wars for themselves. Secondly, when working class people of any country engage in war against another they actually fight against their own common fraternity. For we of the international working class are circumstantial compatriots in the hierarchical structure of economic theft and systemic exploitation of time and labor. In this regard, American factory workers and retail laborers have more in common with the farmers who were recently murdered in the pine nut fields of Afghanistan than we will ever have with those who benefit from such actions of US military aggression and interventionist wars.

War in the context of the current global geopolitical structure involves the collective murder of the working class by the working class on behalf of the wealthy oligarch class. A shameful and senseless endeavor with no foreseeable conclusion.

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On Socialist Values And The General Welfare

Socialism is a collective effort to provide for the common good and general welfare of all people within any given society. The scope of the application of socialist principles can range from a collective as small as the family to that of an entire nation state. In fact, the general welfare clause appears two different places in the US Constitution; including Article 1 Section 8 where Congress is commissioned with the responsibility to provide for the common defense and the general welfare. That the term “general” was by no means intended to be an all inclusive term is evident in that even as those words were being penned, the slavery of human beings was an instrumental practice in the early development of the US economy. Clearly, the framers of the Constitution envisioned a select application as to who exactly should provide for the welfare of whom. A scenario that has only changed so far as concerns institutional logistics over the course of the last 230 years.

For from the founding of the US, the laboring class has always provided for the welfare of the capitalist class. The relationship between each class has consistently been that of the exploitation of the former for the primary benefit of the latter. And there is little doubt that this arrangement is by design and strategically managed to that end. The fact of the matter is that capitalism is an amoral system whose primary purpose is to exploit labor for the welfare of wealthy oligarchs. Now this is not to imply that all capitalists are amoral people; however as the basic purpose of capitalism is to maximize profits and accumulate capital, there is simply no code of humanist ethics incorporated into the system itself. And so when the controlling class accumulates wealth, claims personal possession of, and assumes control over the surplus which is produced by the working class, they are acting in accord with the fundamental principles of an amoral economic system. Hence the primary objective of capitalism is to provide for a concentrated, rather than the general welfare. Capitalism ultimately then is the systematic process of a well orchestrated oligarchy.

Socialism on the other hand is a collective effort for the common good and the general welfare of any given society. In essence socialist values are based upon the concept that any society is a family. And just as in a family the ultimate objective is to provide for the general welfare and for the good of every one in the family, so likewise socialist values are based upon a natural incentive for exercising collective efforts for the benefit of everyone within any given community. Furthermore, just as any family which operated by the exploitation of the weaker by the more powerful would clearly be regarded as dysfunctional, similarly any collective which so operates merits the same assessment.

In conclusion, although the US was never intended to actually operate so as to provide for the general welfare; nonetheless the farmers of the constitution laid the groundwork for a society which functions in accord with socialist values by twice referencing the general welfare as an intended objective of our sovereign nation state. Ultimately the interpretation of and the application of the general welfare clause is rather telling as to our social values. The issue then becomes whether our collective values are such that we as a people would prefer to continue to provide for the concentrated welfare of wealthy oligarchs, or whether we would exercise our collective efforts for the common good and the general welfare.

A Brief Commentary On Capitalism

Capitalism is an amoral economic system which allows, encourages, and enables profiteers to accumulate capital by exploiting labor, manipulating markets, and bribing public officials. By qualifying Capitalism as an amoral system I do not mean to imply or insinuate that all Capitalists are amoral individuals. Rather, I am merely pointing out the fact that there are no ethical considerations or obligations of humaneness factored into the system itself.

Capitalist profiteers subsequently and systemically use their accumulated capital to manipulate financial markets so as to accumulate even more capital.

Capitalist profiteers use their accumulated capital to bribe public officials to further the accumulation of their capital in the form of government subsidies to their financial operations.

Capitalist profiteers use their accumulated capital to bribe public officials to increase the accumulation of their capital by incorporating the assistance of those public officials in minimizing the expenses of the labor which the Capitalist profiteers exploit in order to accumulate their capital.

Capitalist profiteers use their accumulated capital to bribe public officials to increase the accumulation of their capital by incorporating the assistance of those public officials in engaging in international trade agreements which enable the Capitalist profiteers to exploit even cheaper labor both here and abroad.

Capitalist profiteers use their accumulated capital to bribe public officials to increase the accumulation of their capital by sending the publicly funded military to invade foreign countries as muscle on behalf of the Capitalist profiteers, who then extract the resources of those countries to add to their already accumulated capital.

As Capitalism is an amoral system, then Capitalist profiteers are apathetic as to the source of labor, so long as that expense is minimized and the profits from the exercise thereof is maximized. It is thus preferable to the Capitalist profiteers to exploit labor by mechanical or technological means, when by so doing the profit gained from non human labor exceeds that of the exploitation of the labor of human beings.

As Capitalism is an amoral system, then Capitalist profiteers are apathetic as to any hardships that their endeavors to accumulate capital might cause, create, or otherwise influence for any person or species whatsoever.

In essence, Capitalism is an amoral system which creates poverty, initializes provocative wars, and disrupts vulnerable ecosystems in order to enable Capitalist profiteers to accumulate the maximum amount of capital at the least expense necessary to such profiteers.

The Birth Of Capitalism

By the strangest of circumstances,
A group of ten previously unknown,
Were deserted in a far off sea,
A tropical isle they now commonly owned.

We must work together, said one;
And together erect ten huts.
If we will only cooperate,
Then we won’t find ourselves in a rut.

We must also gather food,
So each one of us can eat.
We will share what we gather,
At an appointed place we will meet.

Most everyone agreed,
Yet as plans were underway,
A certain man stepped forward,
He had something he wished to say.

Everyone was silent,
As this man made his case,
He said equality is wrong,
Then he volunteered to run the place.

He explained that their plan,
As pleasant as it might seem,
Was actually Socialism,
Contrary to the American Dream.

Cooperation is a liberal plot,
And sharing lacks the appeal,
Of good old fashioned competition,
Then he offered them a deal.

You obviously need a leader,
And folks I am just the man.
If you nine will work for me,
I will be the leader of this land.

So first you must build a hut,
But you must construct it oh so fine!
Build it firm and strong,
For this first hut will be mine.

Afterwards from the scraps,
And whatever may remain.
You may build nine common huts,
Make them about the same.

Now your daily work,
Will be for my Corporation.
But realize the merits,
For we are now a Nation.

Those of you who do the most,
And complain not at any given task,
Will be allowed more than the rest,
What more could you possibly ask?

Granted, I will keep the most,
And I will always have the very best.
But work with pride at what you do,
Then you will be better than the rest.

Surely you now understand,
Since I’ve enlightened you with realization,
That the plan as I have explained it today,
Is the way of civilization!!

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

Two Dudes From Dallas

As a child growing up in Dallas County, Texas; I was taught about life in general and local legends in particular. As to life, I was taught that what we are and who we become is based upon personal decisions. As to local legends; there are two who most notably stand out in my mind.

The first legendary dude from Dallas was wild and foolish. He is best known as a Depression era thief and killer. As a child, his family was so poor that they lived under a wagon, until they could afford a tent. Eventually his family ascended the social ladder to residency in the slums of West Dallas. Having failed as a dirt farmer, this dude’s Father was somehow able to purchase and operate a local filling station on Singleton Blvd.

Now this Dallas son of poverty made many foolish decisions which would affect his entire life. As a teen he and his brother were arrested for stealing turkeys. Eventually he worked his way up to grand theft auto. In prison, he murdered another inmate who had raped him several times. Once this Dallas dude got out of prison he went on a robbing and killing spree that concluded when he and his girlfriend were gunned down by the FBI in Louisiana. As his dead body lay in his bullet riddled car which was towed into a nearby town, gawkers and strangers tore pieces of his clothes and ripped handfuls of his dead girlfriends hair from her bloody corpse.

Now the second legendary dude from Dallas was more wise and frugal than the first. His Father likewise was in the petroleum business. Except instead of operating a Texaco station, his Father was a highly successful Texas oil tycoon. So successful in fact that his Father died as the most wealthy person in the world.

Instead of choosing crime as his way of life, this Dallas son of wealth wisely invested his Father’s money into several sports leagues and teams. Furthermore he and his brothers never stole another person’s turkeys; though they did make an effort to corner the silver market. And unlike the Depression Era outlaw from Dallas, this gentleman lived a long and happy life. In fact, he died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.

I have often wondered why the wild and foolish bandit from Dallas did not do as the wise and frugal Dallas businessman whose financial endeavors entertain millions even to this day. Why did he not likewise invest his Father’s money into sports teams as his way of life instead of stealing from others?

And I also wonder why the wise and frugal Dallas son of wealth never resorted to stealing turkeys or grand theft auto. What, I wonder, was his secret to a happy life as a law abiding citizen?

I see no need to identify either of these Dallas legends by name, for I was taught that one’s identity has nothing whatsoever to do with who a person becomes in life. For neither parentage nor pedigree has any influence in the decisions that one makes in life, one way or the other.

And so concludes my tale of two dudes from Dallas.

On The Communal Society and Human Decency

The principles of social communism are rooted in the nobler aspects of human nature. Caring and sharing towards the common good are derived from the sympathy and compassion which are representative of good and decent people. Cooperative efforts for the common good are the bedrock of social communism; and are likewise humanity functioning at our finest.

Conversely the principles of capitalism are rooted in the baser qualities of human nature. Ambitious greed and the accumulation of wealth in a world of want and poverty are representative of apathy and insensitivity for the plight and circumstances of one’s fellow human being. The exploitation of human labor and the concentration of wealth while humanity suffers are fundamental to capitalism; and furthermore manifest humanity functioning at our most shameful.

Cooperative efforts for the common good is a society.

Predatory exploitation of the many on behalf of an elite is dysfunction and dystopia.

On A Voluntary Socialism

It is evident that industrialized capitalism is the refined art of human exploitation. The economic system that allows and enables the exploitation of human labor for personal gain is founded upon the concept of private property as a means to amoral ends.

The concept of private property must be abandoned in favor of communal efforts for the common good.

Unfortunately as those who control industrial interests likewise own the political spectrum, the military machine, and the public propaganda medium of the mainstream media; there is little hope for humanity at this point.

In fact the only peaceful means to convert from a capitalist world to communal efforts for the common good would entail global education as to such principles; in hopes of solidarity based upon sensible thinking and voluntary socialism.

That said; although I personally have little hope for humanity to survive the climate crisis and world wars that capitalism has produced; it would seem that the preservation of a sound Public School system, the strategic utility of social media, and local teach-ins as to the merits of basic communal principles are our only hope if at all.

On Natural Ethics In An Existential Reality

The moral nature of the human being has long been a topic of debate among the vast variety of philosophers. The fact that most every person has a natural sense of right and wrong is widely accepted. But the implications thereof lead to differences of perspective as to a possible source of such instinctive feelings, and as to whether there is a natural moral standard for all human kind.

Some religious philosophers cite our moral nature as evidence for the existence of a moral god, who created us in her or his image (usually the latter). Others maintain that our existence is that of an unintended separation from a realm of multiple deities, and that each of us has a spark of divinity within, which serves as a moral representation of who we truly are and from whence we actually came. Then again there are secular philosophers who regard the moral nature of humanity as a natural development of the human experience.

The question as to whether there exists any deities in a celestial realm seems irrelevant to the matter of the moral nature of humanity, if in fact our sense of right and wrong does not regulate human conduct to peacefully coexist in the here and now. For what difference would the existence of a god or gods make if humanity chooses to either defy our moral nature, or at the very least discriminate as to adherence to such? So long as humanity opts to give in to hate rather than be guided by indiscriminate love and concern for each other, then the speculations of a celestial superior seem both incidental and irrelevant to the existential state of the human experience.

This is not to imply that faith is a hindrance to a peaceful coexistence. But the point being that faith seems irrelevant to the matter one way or another if believers in a celestial superior live in social conflict in this existential reality. Discrimination, hatred, and collective murder are social wrongs regardless of whether those so involved are people of faith or mere humanists. The effect is the same either way, and amounts to a defiance of our natural sense of right and wrong.

For the moral code which is innate to our very being reveals itself by way of our natural and indiscriminate sensitivity to the suffering of others. The Chinese philosopher Mencius used his theoretical example of most people’s instinctive reactions to a child who falls down a well to illustrate this very point. As Mencius observed, most people will feel a spontaneous and indiscriminate concern for the well being of the endangered child immediately, and most will rush to the child’s aid regardless of whether they know it’s identity. The instinctive concern and spontaneous reactions in such a scenario are universal, and therefore seemingly natural to all human beings. And thus the theory of a natural moral code innate to us all.

Yet if we choose to bicker, hate, and collectively kill; then nothing short of actually adhering to our moral nature will ever save humanity from ourselves. In essence we have the potential to live a peaceful coexistence, because our instinctive nature is to be indiscriminately concerned for the well being of others. But so long as humanity opts to defy our innate moral code by giving in to hate and greed, then both our moral nature and our lives are quite frankly woefully wasted.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

On Antiwar Sentiments And The Standards Of Autonomy

My antiwar sentiments are derived from what I perceive to be a universal natural aversion to suffering, and an innate sense of personal autonomy; together which enable me to form a peaceful code of ethics and a reliable moral standard.

It seems evident that every human being has a natural aversion to discomfort which is manifested from the moment of one’s birth. Every newborn asserts their aversion to even the slightest discomfort in no uncertain terms. The cries of a baby are by no means without reason. Those reasons invariably being that everyone has a natural aversion to discomfort.

This natural aversion to discomfort is so overwhelming that life amounts to a moment by moment quest for an ever illusive and rarely lasting state of comfort. In fact the most basic instinct is to manage circumstances in search of satisfaction. The dog that seeks shade on a hot Summer day does so for the same reason the human opens the window and engages the electric fan. Each being monitors its elements in search of comfort in accord with a natural aversion to discomfort.

In fact the moral code which seems to most naturally emerge from the human experience is to recognize and respect each other’s innate aversion to discomfort. For most people from even an early age manifest sensitivity to the sufferings of others. Indeed the sounds of the suffering of a stray or even unidentifiable animal cause a distress in most every person which seem unbearable. Additionally these feelings of distress transform into a seemingly irresistible sense of duty to alleviate the suffering of others in such circumstances.

And so the innate aversion to suffering which serves as the basis for our first effort to communicate on the day of our birth, invariably over the course of time and experiences develops into a universally recognized natural moral code: Do no harm to another, and alleviate the suffering of others. In fact the teachings of social reciprocity in such philosophies as Confucianism and Christianity would be unintelligible were people not innately endowed with a natural aversion to suffering. It thus seems that the moral code which naturally develops from our innate aversion to suffering is that of nonviolence and peaceful relations.

Yet if this natural moral code is universal, as experience and observation generally confirm, then how is it that violence proliferates and war prevails throughout the world? It seems clear that humanity is conflicted by an existence in an impersonal and unpredictable universe which consistently negates our natural quest for comfort by inflicting pain and suffering without regard for effect. Similarly humanity seems conflicted between a natural moral code of nonviolence and peaceful relations based upon our innate aversion to suffering, and otherwise tendencies towards aggression and domination.

I would suggest that the conflict between conscience and conduct relates to our autonomous nature and the tripartite personality. The latter refers to the Freudian theory that humanity develops the capacity to reason and experience feelings of compassion, but that our core instinct to seek pleasure is innate. In fact the pleasure principle is so instinctive as to be irresistible unless internally regulated by reason and compassion. In this regard, the instinctive quest for comfort is neither rational nor moral in and of itself.

Frankly our irresistible pleasure principle would neither regard self preservation or the effects of our actions on others in our instinctive quest for comfort unless humanity had developed the capacity to reason and care. Unlike the instinctive pleasure principle though, our capacity to reason and care are qualities which are neither irresistible nor involuntary. In this regard the individual human being is an autonomous agent who can employ or subjugate the naturally developed capacity to reason or care based upon personal choice.

For many the freedom to think for themselves and to forge their own moral code creates a sense of alienation and helplessness which can be somewhat overwhelming. Circumstantial dilemmas can be so dramatic that the burden is too difficult for people to handle alone. It is not unusual at all for a person experiencing even the daily drama of existence to seek the counsel of a trusted friend or a trained professional in times of doubt or dilemma. The comfort sought in such circumstances is oftentimes that of sharing the burden of responsibility in the decision making process. Such scenarios are by no means unusual and the process of mutual deliberation can prove effectual towards achieving a desired end while at the same time maintaining sound mental health.

At the same time the freedom of autonomy can be a responsibility so overwhelming that some seek a somewhat permanent dependency to relieve the stress of self governance. Such people require more than the occasional conversation asking advice from a trusted ally in times of dilemma or doubt. As a coping mechanism they subconsciously surrender the burden and responsibility of autonomy to outside sources. Their effort to escape from freedom (a phrase borrowed from Fromm) leads them to subjugate their own autonomy to an authority type which both relieves them of the burden of self governance and simultaneously redirects their thinking through regimentation and indoctrination. They may join a street gang, embrace religion, enlist in the military, or merely adopt the philosophy of a collective authoritarian ideology. But by so doing in each case such people surrender their autonomy at least to a certain degree, thus allowing an external source to do their thinking and feeling for them.

It should come as no surprise that the greater demographic who make this transition do so as late teens or as early adults. This is by no means coincidental. For when folk surrender their autonomy to another they are in ways replicating the relationship of the child to their parent figure. And so most people who embrace the concept of religion do so at the very time in their lives when they are evolving from their heretofore lifelong relationship as subordinates to their parents, and are emerging into alienated autonomous agents. The concept of self governance is too much of a burden for the psyche of many who are at that point in their lives, and in such a state of their existence they are quite vulnerable to exchanging autonomy for the security of faith in a higher purpose and a supreme being.

Similarly, late teens and early adults are oftentimes vulnerable to the indoctrination of tribalism and xenophobia when confronted by such by street gangs and military recruiters. They are especially susceptible to the subtle seduction of street gang and military recruiters when they face limited financial prospects. When a person has little in the first place, and when their hopes for social improvement are dim if not doomed, then the prospect of joining an authoritarian collective can offer a sense of purpose and belonging for an otherwise alienated and seemingly nihilistic existence.

Whether a person exchanges their sense of self governance in order to serve a god by joining a church or a government by way of joining the military, either way the act itself is that of surrendering personal autonomy for an authoritarian relationship. And in so doing a person voluntarily subjugates introspective feelings and intellectual reasonings for authoritarian indoctrination. In essence, when people surrender their autonomy to a god, a group, or a government then they allow others to decide their values and even their actions.

Conversely, an autonomous individual does not rely upon others to decide who qualifies as either an enemy or an ally, nor does the autonomous individual need a religious ideology in order to maintain ethical standards and a moral code. Granted, there are those who honestly feel they need religion as a means to live a decent and peaceful life. For such, then their faith is a coping mechanism which enables their quest for coexistence in a world rife with conflict. The end surely justifies the means as a necessary expedient towards a peaceful existence for those so inclined. However; if a religion teaches, encourages, or endorses violence and war as a just or acceptable enterprise, then surely an alternative religion which encourages trust in introspective sensitivity for the suffering of others as a reliable code of ethics and one’s personal moral standard is preferable for the purposes of peace and coexistence.

The potential problem then of exchanging autonomy for any form of authoritarian ideology is that one might be distracted from the natural moral code to do no harm to another, and alleviate the suffering of others.

Peace to all.
And no more war.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

On The Psychological Implications Of The Economic Competition Based Culture

It is my personal theory that there are fundamental psychological implications inherent to and natural within an economic competition based culture. Thus I offer the following thoughts regarding both the human personality and the social predicament of life in an economic competition based culture.

Freud’s theory of the personality is based upon the concept of an ongoing conflict between three components of the human psyche. The basic instincts; known as the id, seek pleasure and self gratification without any concept of reasonable regulation or moral constraints. The newborn child functions primarily in accord with such base instincts, and thus cries out for comfort and instant self gratification with no regard for any conflicting concerns. The cries of a baby are instinctive reactions to discomfort, and are likewise indicators of a natural hedonism as our core instinct.

Left unfettered of course our instinctive hedonistic nature would destroy self or others in an irrational and amoral quest for instant gratification and self fulfillment. For example, a toddler who chases a ball into traffic lacks the reasoning capacity to comprehend the perils of their own pursuit of pleasure, and can thus prove a danger to their own self existence even though their actions are in accord with their base instincts. Or that same toddler might hit and dominate a weaker child in an effort to take away a toy that tickles their instinctive fancy. Chaos would ensue and the preservation of the self and our entire species would be questionable were we to never develop beyond our core instinct for pleasure without regard for consequences.

The human thus develops the faculty of reason; known as the ego, which coordinates and regulates the interaction of the instincts in real world relationships so as to pragmatically protect the individual from their own instinctive impulses for instant gratification. Self preservation is the primary concern of the ego, and thus the rational self regulates our base instincts towards that practical end. However, a reasonable sense of self preservation in and of itself lacks any moral direction with which to govern our quest for self gratification.

The human thus develops a moral faculty, which Freud termed the superego. The super ego thus serves to regulate both the instinctive hedonism and our natural sense of self preservation. Without any moral faculty there would be no safeguard to preserve our species against the chaos which would ensue from a world of beings whose instinctive hedonism was solely monitored by each person’s sense of self gratification.

In essence the Freudian theory of the personality is that of an ongoing conflict between and the coordination of three selfs within each person. The instinctive self seeks instant self gratification with no regards for the consequences to self or others. The rational self measures self preservation against the instinctive desires and so governs the wants in accord with one’s own self preservation. The moral self factors an ethical code into the reasoning process and so governs the will in accord with socially acceptable standards and a natural sense of compassion and empathy. The conflicts between and the coordination of the three selfs within each person function so as to allow each of us to emerge into mentally healthy and socially balanced individuals.

There are of course a variety of factors which conflict with the natural development of the tripartite human personality. Stress which arises from one’s social environment as a child can create a host of neurotic thinking and behavioral patterns which alter or even damages the development of the natural tripartite human personality. The expectations of accomplishments in a competitive social market imposed upon the individual as early as preschool ages through forums such as organized community sports programs creates social stress which is oftentimes escalated by fanatical adults whose addiction to the concept of winning creates a culture among mere preschoolers that labels certain children as more talented or less talented than others even as they are enduring the natural stress of entering Kindergarten.

The labels and class identification informally imposed upon mere children progresses and escalates through their entire childhood as the distinction between the physical and intellectual skills are insensitively exposed through a variety of competitive civic and school related forums. The psychological effects of unfulfilled expectations, perceived failures, guilt of “letting down” one’s community or family, and basically the transparent labels of “winners and losers” creates undue stress which impairs the natural development of one’s tripartite personality even before emerging into adulthood and “everyday life”.

Additionally the ongoing stress of the everyday struggle to survive as an adult in a competitive economic system which forces meaningless alienated labor and which exploits human efforts and energy inflicts psychological injury and emotional impairment. In such a system humans are reduced to the role of a mere commodity to serve as the transparent means to the beneficiary ends of an isolated elite. Psychological effects from the labels which distinguish success and failure based upon how one fares in an economic competitive society are by no means lost on adulthood. Meanwhile those who live a leisurely existence as a result of the efforts of others are insulated from the psychological suffering of insecurity and the mental degradation of being exploited as a mere commodity.

The ego of the exploited laborer thus conditions working class folk to function as a commodity in an economic system which affords no reasonable alternative. When survival is based upon a person having to sell their daily efforts and energies in order to enrich the economic ruling class, then the instinct to seek one’s own good serves to condition a submissive compliance with such a degrading scheme. The worker is thus ruled by their own capacity to reason through a scenario with limited alternatives to arrive at the conclusion that to be used and exploited is preferable to hunger and death. The psychological effects of compliance with an arrangement which renders the individual a willing slave to their need to survive surely impairs the natural development of the human personality.

One such manifestation is the general depression and chronic angst of working class people in economic competition based cultures. The economic insecurity of working class people who are overworked and underpaid, or who are unemployed creates undue stress which oftentimes leads to drugs, depression, general anxiety, and a host of other social and behavioral disorders. The constant fear of the loss of income, or the agony of budgeting bills when one lives paycheck to paycheck can oftentimes result in physical and mental illnesses. Stress is a slow killer, both physically and mentally, and the struggle for survival in a competitive economic market amounts to systemic stress and manipulated misery.

By nature the mind may protect itself by a variety of coping mechanisms. One such feature in dealing with the stress of the everyday struggle in an economic competition based culture is experienced through the socially conditioned superego. Oftentimes those who are victims of exploitation in such a culture cope with their circumstances by actually rationalizing their conditions of meaningless alienated labor on behalf of others as a natural experience or even more extreme yet as a seemingly noble endeavor. Protestant religion which emphasizes a strong work ethic and respect for authority seems a coping process of the superego for those who are so indoctrinated. Thus Protestant Christians are conditioned to accept the degrading experience of alienated labor and transparent exploitation in an economic competition based society as a matter of faith and duty.

Meanwhile the super ego of the economic ruling class is negated by their instinctive ego to serve their own good by using and exploiting other people. Their fixation on their own leisurely comfort negates any concept of right or wrong even when such exploits the lives of others. Predatory exploitation of the basic need of others merely for the purpose of mass accumulation is clearly unethical and socially immoral to those who are the victims of such an arrangement, yet to those who are the primary beneficiaries of the labor of others such is rational and reasonable. The negation of the super ego is a social impairment of those who condition their conscience to justify the utility of other human beings as mere commodities for their own enrichment.

The insensitivity of the ruling class with regards to the psychological and physical suffering inflicted upon the working class victims in an economic competition based culture is evident manifestation of a suppressed super ego. The moral interpretation of the super ego of ruling class folk conflicts with the natural aversion to suffering which is innate and instinctive. Subsequently, seemingly civilized people of the ruling class are able to rationalize and justify the suffering of the working class people whose alienated labor and transparent exploitation sustains their leisurely existence.

Even more so, the suppressed superego of the ruling class renders them capable of justifying further social atrocities such as collective murder in the name of war, genocide and occupation in the name of manifest destiny, and environmental irresponsibility in the name of progress. The standards of ethical and moral concerns are different for those of the ruling class, as their sense of entitlement and their lust for power have conditioned them to suppress the natural development of their superego so as to justify the psychological and physical suffering which they inflict as they use and exploit other people.

In essence, working class and ruling class folk each tend to cope with an economic competitive culture by living in denial. Each functions in accord with our natural hedonism in their daily quest for comfort. The ruling class is most comfortable when using and exploiting others in order to sustain their lives of comfort and leisure. Thus their suppressed super ego allows them to do so with a sense of assumed entitlement and a clear conscience. The ego of the working class meanwhile rationalizes that alienated labor and transparent exploitation are more reasonable than suffering and death, and so they submit to their daily degradation with a sense of dignity and self respect. The superego of some working class folk even embraces their alienated labor and transparent exploitation as a natural experience or even a noble endeavor. Living in denial is a natural safeguard of the human psyche.

For such are among the psychological implications of the social predicament of daily life in an economic competition based culture.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas