Have the rich and powerful lost their altruistic instincts?
Humans are the most altruistic and good of all the animal species, yet at present, our rich and powerful allow the poorest of us to starve to death by hoarding their wealth. This is unheard of in the animal world.
Generally speaking, in ancient days the rich and powerful insured that the poor were taken care of to the best of their ability. In the past, the rank and file demanded that the rich and powerful live up to that good altruistic trait by revolting against them. The French Revolution is a good example of this. Have the rank and file lost their altruistic and good characters by allowing the rich and powerful to let people starve to death while doing nothing?
Are the notions of liberty, equality, and fraternity dead in the world?
Is mankind at the point of losing the altruistic instincts that has made us the greatest animal that the world has ever produced?
I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree. I see no evidence to support that the our society has altruistic instincts. Our history as a species has been marked with the rich and powerful abusing the less fortunate. The Egyptian empire built their wonders on the backs of slaves. The Roman legions were manned with by the conquered and today social Darwinism is the guiding principle of business and politics. It is unfortunate, but I don't think this is a new problem.
There has always been some form of social contract between the rulers and the people. Even forms of slavery have an implied agreement between rulers and ruled.
Have a quick look at this and note how we are so altruistic that science is having a hard time explaining it.
Science has shown us that we are all born with a strong altruistic nature.
The rich do not know they are rich when they are born and thus default to altruism as it is the better way to insure ones survival.
Why do you think DL that wealthy people ever were alteristic?
Giveing a loaf of bread and some stock to a servant to keep them from starving isn't alttrusitic.
Wealthy people think poor and disadvantaged people are lazy and stupid.
Wealthy people tend to think they are the choesn ones - who deserve their 'god given rights of fortune.'
"Giving a loaf of bread and some stock to a servant to keep them from starving isn't altruistic."
If not produced by altruism, what is making the rich give bread?
If not a means of self defence, what is it?
It may be a means of self defence. Look at what happend with the French, or Russian revolutions for example where the monarchy was killed.
Having written that most people with healthy emotions don't want others to suffer. There have been studies about the high percentage of people in power who are psycopaths. Psycopaths don't care about others suffering. In cases like that what you may think of as altruism is nothing other than self preservation, or has a hidden adgenda.
A bare minimum of nutrition is needed to keep the slave/servant capable of work for the benifit of the lord and master.
There are a lot of studies about this.
The game of Monopoly for example where one person is given twice the dice of another player - thinks low and behold that he is guifted and 'smarter' than the other player.
Do you think that Mark Zukkerberg, or Microsoft's Bill Gates were able to attain the money they acheived by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. I'd argue that the money they put back isn't as much as they recieved by having golden spoons in their mouth.
Lets go further -
The Koch brothers donation to the sciences.
What's that about? -
Do you think David Koch 'believes' in science.
He dosn't believe in anything beside making money and controlling the political atmosphere as a hobby.
Why - because he has enough money that he can.
Here in lies a problem.
When one has wealth enough to control the politics it's no longer a democracy - it's an ologarcy/plutocracy - or whatever term you 'd like to use.
Altrusim - It makes me ill to my stomach that you think that's possible, even worse that you would allow people to inherent and have so much money that they would be able to have so much power.
I'm an old fashioned - don't know what to call it - pro democratic -anti dictator - King person.
If you think there is alturism with wealth you are absolutely wrong.
Without a King or dictator, which neither of us likes, there is no one to bring the rich into a more moral line.
We have no better options than in our oligarchies at this point in time.