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human nature

Why socialists don’t need human nature

 

 

By Themistoklis Pantazakos

 

May 22, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal In his recent Jacobin article, Adaner Usmani makes a claim that will sound odd to the socialists of our times, or at least to the post-structuralists among them. This claim is, per the title of Usmani’s piece, that socialists should believe in the existence of human nature. That this claim should raise a fair amount of eyebrows among contemporary socialists is expected, as Usmani himself recognizes: human nature has been a repository, a refuge and a departure point for much of the reactionary political thought of the modern era. The concept is typically summoned to block any kind of socialist programme in its genesis. Per a certain right-wing ideology, human nature, which is held to consist of qualities of the ilk of selfishness and greediness, is intrinsically antithetical to a life built on solidarity as described in a manifold of socialist and communist political programs.

 

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