Human Nature and Political Systems

H.L. Mencken, scholar, author, and social commentator, once said,

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

from “Defence of Women,” 1923

This has probably been true since humanity came out of the caves and began to organize socially. Throughout history, many forms of human social organizations have been tried, from anarchy to totalitarianism. All of them have butted up against human nature. The “solutions” to managing populations usually involve what Mencken said above.

Reformers and activists, who want to change society for the better, constantly struggle against human nature, for there has never been a political system designed that can equitably force human beings to cooperate and tolerate one another. Efforts to do so inevitably result in coercion, conflict, and war.

The closest a modern political system has come to such an ideal society (and its faults have been manifest) is the one designed by the framers of the United States constitution back in 1787. Under this system – a federal constitutional republic – human rights are inalienable (not granted by the government), minorities are protected, and a system of “checks and balances” is set up between the parts of government so that one or the other does not usurp power to itself. This design for a government created conditions that made the US, after WW II until recently, the wealthiest and most prosperous nation by far in human history. At one point after WW II, the US, with 4% of the world’s population, was producing fully 60% of the economic activity in the entire world. Previous to the US, the tiny island of Great Britain did the same in the 19th century. Both countries had political systems that encouraged debate and the exchange of ideas. Both societies fell when the uglier part of human nature took over, and greed and corruption became rampant.

Unfortunately, social organization under some form of -ism can never overcome the inherent nature of human beings. Let’s take human trafficking, which is a $150 billion industry worldwide. How do you stop human trafficking? Well, you can identify traffickers and try to put them in jail, but that is a very difficult proposition.

The UN’s Global Report on Trafficking in Persons says,

Just how big is the human trafficking problem globally? Without a sense of the magnitude of the problem, it is impossible to prioritize human trafficking as an issue relative to other local or transnational threats, and it is difficult to assess whether any particular intervention is having effect.”

“Global Report on Trafficking in Persons,” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,” at

Yup. Even if we could increase our enforcement efforts and put more traffickers in jail, they will simply be replaced by other traffickers because the money is so good.

Human trafficking is a demand-fueled activity, and that involves human nature.

90% of the people involved with child pornography are men (and the demand is mostly fueled from within the United States). How do you stop men with a desire for child porn from wanting child porn? The answer is you can’t, no matter how many well-intentioned activists yell and scream about it, no matter how many laws are passed against it, or forced treatments are given. You can drive trafficking underground, out of the eyes of the public, but if the demand is there it will still occur.

Child abuse and all of the problems of humanity are demand-side activities. The hard truth is this: There has never been and cannot ever be a political system, or any social organization system devised by human beings, that can create equity and prosperity in the absence of a change in human nature.

A change in human nature is a consciousness problem, not a social or political or economic one.

National and international prosperity can only come about when society broadly agrees on tolerance and the allowance of differing points of view. Once that breaks down, even the best system of checks and balances will fail, and society will fall apart as it is doing today in our Age of Rage.

Tolerance, harmony, acceptance of differing ideas, and cooperation are qualities of human consciousness. A civilization that believes human beings are meat bodies will eventually fail because it cannot access the higher qualities of consciousness. Without the recognition of the human being’s divine origins and qualities, society falls apart. Without a correct definition of human consciousness, civilizations fail. This means that a Transhumanist society is an evolutionary dead end. It’s a non-starter.

A strictly materialist/secular society will crumble because it cannot access the higher aspects of human consciousness. Harmony, peace, tolerance, and acceptance of different ideas all originate on the higher plane of consciousness, the plane of Spirit, God, the One, whatever you want to call it. Every human being has access to this higher plane because it is built-in to human biology and human DNA.

It’s about time humanity faced up to this. No -ism ever invented has or will have the power to create peace on earth and a prosperous human civilization for all without an understanding of the true nature of human consciousness.