I find it hilarious, and also more than a little ironic, that a thread entitled "Let's all get along" has provoked such passionate disagreement. It kind of reminds me of the quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series: "If God had said, 'Let there be light,' He'd have gotten no further because of all the people demanding, 'what colour?' "
I think the point that Lustful Bride was trying to make with her original post was that although we all may disagree on things, quite strongly in some cases, that is no reason for us to be dicks to each other. You can take a stand for what you believe in and still manage to remain respectful and civil while doing so. Yes, social change does sometimes require people to stand up and say, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more!" and yes, sometimes you have to make people uncomfortable, or inconvenience them, in order to upset the status quo. But there is a difference, a world of difference, between making people uncomfortable and attacking their person, property, or reputation.
Take Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Both are famous examples of civil disobedience. Civil
disobedience. King organized marches, sit-ins, and boycotts, but he never advocated violence. Gandhi rallied his supporters and went on a hunger strike in order to bring about his nation's independence. Both effected real, substantial social change while still taking the path of civility.
That's what I think Lustful Bride meant, and what I think Kythia was trying to say. We don't have to agree on everything, but we do
have to afford each other a modicum of respect if we wish to engage in actual, productive debate. Otherwise the discussion quickly devolves into pointless and childish insult-slinging.
I should probably end my post here, but I simply have to comment on this:
What we think about as "Human Nature" is actually thousands of years of capitalist society being applied to cultural norms. Greed is a trait of "Primal Human Nature" because we're trained from birth to perceive objects as owned and that objects can be traded for other objects. So of course it's best to get as many objects as possible so you can have enough for ... whatever.
With all due respect, I couldn't disagree with this sentiment more. We're not trained from birth to be selfish bastards; quite the contrary, I believe that we're all Selfish Bastards by default. Have you ever sat and watched little kids interact? Kids are not naturally inclined to share. Everything is "mine!" Mine, mine mine. That toy is mine, this cookie is mine. No, quite the converse, we have to be taught
to share, to sympathize, to be unselfish. The fact that we're not all out there fighting each other over a scrap of meat is because human beings learned, through many thousands of years of evolution, that while selfish behavior may profit you more than unselfish behavior in the short term, in the long term you're better off cooperating with your neighbor. (E.g. The Prisoner's Dilemma). And thus society has evolved, to the point where we have Nutella and the Shamwow. But all other things being equal, half of us would still rather save the life of our pet than the life of a human stranger.
That tells me that, trappings of civilization aside, we're still all Selfish Bastards at our core.
Capitalism is just a way of harnessing that selfish nature to drive technological and economic advancement, like using a yoke and harness on a horse to drive a plough. Adam Smith's Invisible Hand and all that. To paraphrase the great Winston Churchill, Capitalism is the worst economic model known to mankind--except for all of the other ones that have been tried.