Azer represents a traditionalist while Mantessa represents an independent extremist.
Azer: Human beings naturally seek to submit to authority and always desire someone to lead over them. Therefore anarchism is unworkable because of this fact. Mantessa: What IS human nature? I would believe human nature to be the traits, feelings, actions, thoughts, behaviour, etc. that define us. They are our fundamental and defining characteristics. Such aspects of human nature would include, by the definition I have provided, introspection and abstract reasoning.
Azer: Fine, so we’ve defined what human nature is. Then how do we ascertain what traits are part of human nature or not? Mantessa: If one uses empirical and logical evidence, then it would be straightforward to determine and certify what human nature actually entails. Using this methodology, one can recognise that human beings generally possess an aversion to pain, or that human beings naturally seek happiness. Regarding the former, people in general attempt to avoid situations that would inflict pain. People in general don’t like pain, since it is unpleasant, by definition. Pain exists as a physiological means of telling you that a part of your body is injured or experiencing a physiological abnormality. Injury or physiological abnormality impairs our ability to function physically and can be to the detriment of other areas in our lives. I’m no biologist, but I would deduce that such an aversion to pain is an evolutionary response and an evolutionary advantage. Regarding the latter point, it can be deduced that humans cannot function physically or emotionally whilst experiencing excessive pain. Because of this, we look for happiness, since it permits optimum human function.
Azer: So, can the aforementioned methodology be used to examine whether humans are prone to submit to authority? Mantessa: Well at present, practically all humans live under the control of a government. It has been proven that people would even kill others if they experienced enough coercion. However, the conclusions of this study cannot wholly be attributed to human nature. Government has only existed for the past several millennia. If humans have only lived under the spectre of governments for a small period of our history, then how is submitting to governmental authority part of human nature?
Azer: If one looks at social species in the animal world, then there is little evident need to submit to authority. Mantessa: Granted, animals aren’t sapient in general. If one examines chimpanzees, then yes, their social groups are led by an alpha-male. Still, this organisational structure arises from need, more so than a desire to be ruled over. As chimpanzees evolved, those groups with a strong male who controlled society would have prospered. Such groupings would have been more secure, had access to better food and be able to adapt to new situations and difficulties.
Azer: Therefore, is it rational to force people to submit to authority, if such an attribute is truly intrinsic. Mantessa: Humans aren’t generally forced to eat food, since eating is part of our nature. Humans aren’t forced to seek social interaction, since associating with others is an inherent distinction. Nature is clearly distinct from force, in this instance.
Azer: As a child, you must be obedient to your parents. In a family, you must submit to authority. Mantessa: Being obedient does not mean whatsoever being submission. In most cases, children are being compelled. Children are compelled to adhere to their parents’ wishes due to the evident disparity of power between parent and child. It is often the case that the parent’s values may be false, illogical or irrational in nature. As a consequence of this, children may accept authority since they lack the means to be wholly independent of their parents.
Azer: People must accept the state ruled by the government. Mantessa: Many people also accept the state due to government brainwashing and coercive state education. Government schools don’t tell nor teach our children how to think, or reason, or properly make sense of the world around them. Schoolchildren are taught to value government and are never taught to question the status quo. Evidently, education is a social construct and isn’t a part of nature or material reality. Therefore, a widespread acceptance of the state cannot be attributed to human nature.
Azer: Having a government means we are more organized. Mantessa: Using empirical means, we can see that some human societies don’t possess an organised government or a “monopoly on the legitimate exercise of force.” In many hunter-gatherer communities, decisions are often collectively made without the need for a centralised bureaucracy.