Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Cynicism [is] eroding trust in our institutions - and rightly so!

LINK to Guardian article, Whatever happened to trust? by Marek Kohn

Never mind the "
state of nature", it is the "nature of the state" which gives wholly justifiable cause for cynicism.

my reasons for saying this.

The reason we flip between loving and hating the state and its institutions (government, business, the health service, the BBC, etc.) is that they conflate and confound TWO fundamentally different environments, which our brains evolved to respond to very differently.

One is that of our extended family group or tribe, which we depended, absolutely, on and subordinated our individual interests to (even that of individual survival, because one's tribe was the basic unit of genetic continuity). The other was everything external to it, including other, rival, groups of humans, which was there to be exploited to our own (tribe's) advantage. We were rightly fearful of other humans (who were not members of our own tribe), because of the natural tendency to take advantage of and exploit each other.

We are (self)-deceived into believing that the state is the natural extension of and heir to our original tribe. On the contrary, it arose and developed to facilitate society's self-exploitation, as an ENVIRONMENT, to the advantage of those with the most power and influence.

TRUST itself, in my experience, is of profound social importance, its presence or absence determining my basic attitude and feelings towards others.

If I'm trusted, I am highly motivated to prove myself worthy of it, by being as good and trustworthy a friend or acquaintance as possible. If, on the other hand, I find that I'm mistrusted, even after knowing people for a long time (initial distrust, or caution, is, of course, natural), I'm likely to take strong offence and lose my sense of good will towards them.

1 comment:

  1. HI