Why are people brutal?


Will’s Rule # 9:

  • All humans are inherently: Lazy, Greedy, and Violent.
    • We begin lazy.
    • We see others have things that we want (greed).
    • We want it so much that we take it (violent).
  • Humans have a natural drive to find and thrive in individualism
    • Society naturally restricts individualism and in its quest for “order” and collectivism
  • Language is the glue that brings and holds us together.

Civil society requires:

  • Shared Language
  • Shared Customs
  • Shared Rules (Law)
  • Civil Debate/Conversation

Throughout human history religion has been the basis of morals and virtue. Religion, an institution created and lead by “man” is destined to be corrupted and utilized to manipulate humanity for their benefit. Thus, religions have experiences ebbs and flows, growth and purges. Nothing left unchecked will remain viable.

Conversely, without religious moral and virtue precepts people will misbehave and destroy even themselves when free enough to act without boundaries. Anarchy is total chaos. There will always be someone with a bigger stick, a bigger gun, etc. The basic concept of religion has been used to create rules that have aided groups of people; societies, to survive together and reach heights otherwise unattainable. It is a double-edged sword.

Morals and Ethics are similar, but not the same. Morals are malleable, Ethics are fixed. John Locke posited that ethics were “Natural Law”. Natural Law does not require explanation, it is obvious not negotiable. Murder, theft, nonessential brutality and force, etc. Morals are flexible and often subjective. Either way they both function to reign in the inherent behaviors of human nature.

Sociology emerged in the late 19th century as we strained to understand human nature and develop fair and functional societies. William James, Emile Durkheim, . William James (the Father of American Sociology, wrote about habit and the human condition in his landmark book, “Principles of Psychology” Click here for the PDF of the book. Chapter IV [1] Habit is of special interest. An excerpt is available on PracticeSelfReliance.com

We must strive to study, learn, share, debate, and grow together or we shall certainly perish.

Supportive Material:

Without language, we as human revert to what I have coined my (Will's) basic human traits: lazy, greedy, and violent. All humans are inherently. We begin lazy. We see others have things that we want (greed). We want it so much that we take it (violent).

Simply put, the reason that humans are so brutal goes to a deep set of physiological factors.

The Holodomor; derived from морити голодом, "to kill by starvation", also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and—before the widespread use of the term "Holodomor",

Self-preservation is the first factor. If you are hungry or thirsty, if your children or loved ones are, you will rationalize many behaviors that you would otherwise view as repugnant. We see this play out during times of crisis. During one of the most horrendous times in history; Joseph Stalin oversaw one of the worst genocides in the history of mankind. The Communist/Socialist regime used starvation as a weapon against the people of Ukraine. It was so bad that the Soviet government posted posters imploring the people to not eat their children. Estimates reveal that they caused 7 to 10 million Ukrainians to starve to death between 1932 and 1933. The people turned to eating their dead, even killing their children to eat them. Unfortunately there are many other instances of similar human suffering, the majority of them under the stewardship of collectivism/Socialist/Communist governments.

"It's a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words." — 1984, George Orwell

It is language which binds us together. It underpins the creation of customs, common experiences, and in turn establishes a hierarchal system and rules. Without language we digress into hungry scared creatures scraping for food.

No matter how far that we advance from the root human tendencies they remain just beneath the surface. The further we get from our liberty, freedom, and safety being threatened, the more powerful and protected that people perceive themselves to be. It becomes more likely that they will digress into selfish destructive behaviors. Excessive regulation provokes similar responses.

Individualism is great but, if people are to survive and attain greatness they must learn to interact with each other in a civil manner. Unfortunately, the social constructs created by religion has often caused the failure and collapse of great nations. Well read students of history have seen the effects of unbridled altruism on great nations. There is a balance that must be struck. Finding that balance is elusive.

It is worth reading two of Nicolo Machiavelli’s treatise:

  • “The Prince” Click here for the PDF


  • “On the Art of War”


Machiavelli is known as the "Father of Modern Political Theory". His divergence of political/social morals from religion may have some value in this discussion.

Click here to read our article on Machiavelli.

Click here to read our article on Guarding Yourself from Manipulation

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