Presentation & Discussion: “The Notion of ‘Human Nature’—As a Reflection of Capitalist Society” 5-17-11 at Revolution Books

Tuesday, May 17, 7 pm

Revolution, socialism, and communism? This is supposedly impossible and “utopian” because “human nature” is inherently “sinful” and “selfish.”

But in his recent talk “Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, but Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon,” Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party Bob Avakian shreds these defenses of today’s capitalist system, exposing how:

* In reality, human nature is “a ‘nature’ that is conditioned by, corresponds to, and is reinforced by....the dynamics of capitalist commodity production and exchange”

* Capitalism compels people by “to compete with each other in a thousand ways, and this system too in a thousand ways promotes and rewards selfishness and surviving, and if possible thriving, at the expense of others. Survivor!—think what that television show is about and promotes”

* Communism represents a transition to an entirely new era in human existence. It’s not some kind of "perfect state,” but a whole new "plateau" upon which human beings will interact with each other and with the rest of nature, on a qualitatively, radically different basis from the past.

* Capitalism conceives freedom in negative terms – as protection from government and other people. Communism sees freedom in positive terms – moving beyond commodity relations and alienation between atomized, competing individuals, and fostering social intercourse on a cooperative basis among the members of society while giving greater scope to individuality in this collective framework.

Presentation and Discussion based sections: “The Notion of ‘Human Nature’—As a Reflection of Capitalist Society”  and “Communism and Capitalism: Fundamentally Contrasting Views of Human Nature and Human Freedom,” from “PART 1: REVOLUTION AND THE STATE”  of Bob Avakian’s recent Talk: “Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, but Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon.” (Excerpted in Revolution # 229 and #230.)

See also, Basics, from the talks and writing of Bob Avakian, page12, quote #19.