Narcissists are hoarders of people

Corona panic, hamster purchases and Europe's inhuman refugee policy are currently determining the reporting. Can humanity still be saved or is it just hopelessly insane? Asks hpd editor Daniela Wakonigg.

It’s really difficult for humanists at the moment. At least if you understand humanism as trust in the good core and the ability to develop in people. There is little consolation that believers in God are no better off either. Because whoever regards man as the image of God or the crown of creation should seriously ask himself at present whether his creator is really as fragrant as expected.

At the moment you just can't help but get the impression that everyone has gotten nuts somehow. Corona panic prevails in the country. Half of supermarkets have been swept empty by stock purchases and disinfectants and respiratory masks are in short supply in the healthcare sector because ordinary people hoard things. And why all of this? Because of a virus that scientists are currently assuming an average mortality rate in areas with well-developed medical care that is not significantly higher than the usual seasonal flu viruses.

Not that we misunderstand each other: I consider precautionary measures to prevent the spread of a new type of disease to be absolutely sensible from a medical and political point of view. It is the utter inability of many people to respond appropriately to such circumstances that makes me despair.

On the one hand there are people who infect hundreds of others because they attend major events despite existing symptoms or because they go about their work after contact with an infected person as if nothing had happened. Guys, stay home when you're sick! And that applies not only to Corona, but also to every flu wave and all other contagious diseases. You may deal with your germs, but others with weak immune systems cannot. So keep the nasty little things to yourself!

On the other hand, people who panic completely and turn supermarkets into barren shelf deserts with their hamster purchases, as if a nuclear war were imminent. People who steal disinfectant from dispensers in hospitals because others have previously bought empty pharmacies. Tons of respiratory masks and disinfectants are now bogging down in largely harmless German households, the hospitals, doctors' offices and the chronically ill who really need them are missing. Whether all the hamster buyers and disinfectant hoarders are probably the same as the ones Fridays for Future-Imputing irrational panic to the movement?

The current behavior of the population is fueling the suspicion that people are primarily selfish assholes who only care about their own well-being, while the rest of humanity just misses the point. A suspicion that is reinforced by the current events on the Greek-Turkish border. Greek neo-Nazi thugs prevent refugee boats from docking on islands in the Aegean Sea. Europe sends armed border guards to the Greek-Turkish border to prevent war refugees from entering the EU. Women, children and - yes, I know - many young men too - but human rights also apply to them. Refugees who are carted to the border from Turkey by busloads are abused by Erdogan as a plaything to blackmail the EU so that it does not stand in the way of his perfidious policy.

What we are currently experiencing is probably just a foretaste of what the future holds. And by that I don't mean the upcoming hay fever season, which could possibly lead to exorbitant mortality from panic-induced heart attacks due to the generally increased sneezing frequency this year. I'm talking about the future in which the ever increasing air traffic will make pandemics a regular phenomenon and in which it is only a matter of time before we will hit the jackpot with a really dangerous germ. I'm talking about a future in which more and more areas of the world will become uninhabitable or sterile due to unchecked climate change and in which people en masse from those regions to Europe, because for them it is a matter of pure survival.

We would have so much in our own hands. The home workplaces and telephone conferences that are currently set up at lightning speed instead of international meetings point the way to a more meaningful future at work with fewer pandemic risks and less superfluous individual traffic and climate emissions. Of course, that's not enough to stop climate change. But it would be a start. If we could then get the matter of our egoism at least halfway under control, one might consider looking to the future with timid optimism. If.

19 comments

Comments

Madoc on the permanent link

We'll probably never manage to deal with egoism. That's what people are like.

Who knows, maybe at some point we will be involved in the creation of artificial intelligences that will spread in our universe instead of in the wider universe. They have a good chance not to be so selfish. But it would also be astonishing if the human or animal individual consciousness could be found again in them. In my opinion, this necessary precondition for leading an ego-stressed existence is a consequence of our biological properties. And I don't currently know of any compelling reasons why it should be necessary for complex, goal-oriented thinking.

And of course, I can well imagine jumping on this bandwagon and complaining about the majority of humanity in its characteristics as self-centered people. But that would probably give me the impression that I am something better. Maybe not flat and clear, but at least as an undertone. The satisfaction that this undertone could promise me would then be a possible motivator to deepen my negative attitude. And that would - I suspect - lead to frustration and bigotry in the long term, and not to the satisfaction I was hoping for. That wouldn't change anything for the better, only for the worse. So I don't see this as a good decision, despite all understanding of this attitude.

So I prefer to consciously accept that people are like that. This brings with it a little less frustration, but unfortunately also no simple new solution strategies. After all, I notice that any way to a solution must not only be reasonably correct, but also humanly adequate, i.e. adapted to human nature. Otherwise we have a beautiful ideal, but it cannot be implemented with the humanity that we have and are.

And that in turn means that another hurdle is imposed on realistic solutions. The horizon for hopes thins out quite a bit. For the moment I'm pretty much at a loss, and I'm afraid this may be permanent. But at least I want to keep my anger at people in check. As luck would have it, I'm one of them myself.

Thomas R. at the permanent link

"So I prefer to consciously accept that people are like that."
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"How people are" depends to a large extent on how and what they have learned to think. It therefore "only" needs a certain education, which is best started as early as possible in childhood, in order to develop the willingness to ethically curb one's own egoism. Once you have got used to disregarding the abilities of suffering and the interests of others linked to them at will, corrections of thinking and behavior are very difficult to implement.
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"After all, I notice that any way to a solution must not only be reasonably correct, but also humanly adequate, i.e. adapted to human nature."
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No, it only has to be adapted (rationally, of course, but moreover) to your very personal developmental ability. What other people think they can't (while they just may not really want to) doesn't need to - and shouldn't - matter to you.
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"Otherwise we have a beautiful ideal, but one that cannot be implemented with the humanity that we have and are."
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No matter. All lasting positive changes come from individuals who think more precisely and further than others. Everyone can decide to follow suit and thus become a role model for their part.
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"At the moment I'm pretty much at a loss, and I'm afraid this could be permanent."
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It is entirely up to you, because YOU decide whether and to what extent you want to be part of problems or rather part of their solutions.

Madoc on the permanent link

I agree with the point that people's behavior is significantly shaped by their early upbringing.

But I would add: merely complaining about how you perceive the behavior of other people is not productive, but rather creates personal frustration in the long term. The people who act now, and who are presumably the subject of this article, have already been educated. As they write, later changes to basic thinking and behavior are difficult. I don't see how a possibly justified echo question about their behavior on any relevant scale could change positively.

And for me to accept that people are like that is not the same as not wanting to change anything about it. In my opinion, the excitement is the non-acceptance. But I believe that if you want to find solutions, you should first of all accept the current state for what it is. So accept. This also includes understanding how it came about, which, in my opinion, can also develop a certain appreciation for underlying mechanisms that can curb the emergence of a constructive-critical attitude. And from this perspective, you can then think sensibly about which ways to improve there are. So I am in favor of dealing carefully with the issue.

Otherwise, I see the risk of getting into a bitter attitude in which one sees the misguided people as the problem to whom one feels superior. This creates a spiritual ivory tower, and before you know it, you judge others from above and imagine that the lack of improvement is only due to the lack of will on the part of others to see what you think is right. And that kind of approach is doomed to failure, in my opinion.

It just doesn't make sense to convey the message to the mass of humanity criticized here: "You all didn't understand it, but I did. You do a lot of things wrong, and now I'll explain to you how you should do it better. Only if you do accept that, be smart, otherwise you are what the title of the article is, namely all nuts. " - I think that no important social change in human history has been brought about in this way.

This kind of "ivory tower thinking" described is the easy way. However, to really deal with reality in a constructive way, that requires the formation of a differentiated attitude and then differentiated solutions. This is difficult. I suggest not reaching for the low-hanging fruit here. Of course, a good solution has to be adapted to the real situation.

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"It doesn't matter. All lasting positive changes come from individuals who think more precisely and further than others. Everyone can decide to follow suit and thus become a role model for their part."

At the moment when you think of yourself as an individual who thinks more precisely and further than others, there is a risk of slipping into a narcissistic perspective that serves no one but yourself.

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"It is entirely up to you, because YOU decide whether and to what extent you want to be part of problems or rather part of their solutions."

Oh, that old saying. He divides humanity into two categories, quality classes as it were. In reality there are not just two levels, but a spectrum. And it is often impossible to find at least halfway objective criteria for how much someone is on the side of the problem or on the side of the solution. That's easy to say, but not practical.

Thomas R. at the permanent link

"But I believe that if you want to find solutions, you should first of all accept the current situation for what it is. So accept it."
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That is not my understanding of "acceptance". Wanting to change something presupposes NOT accepting it (after it has been RECOGNIZED as a grievance).
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"You all didn't understand it, but I did. You are doing a lot wrong, and now I will explain to you how you can do it better. You are only smart if you accept that, otherwise you are what the title of the article is , namely all crazy. "
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Where is the problem? Everyone is free to prove that and to what extent this assessment is wrong. So: overcome your "helplessness" and throw yourself into it!
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"The moment you think of yourself as an individual who thinks more precisely and further than others, there is a risk of slipping into a narcissistic perspective that serves no one but yourself."
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Only if you already have narcissistic tendencies, and even then you don't have to give in to them. Incidentally, the truth value of statements is independent of the "perspectives" of those who meet them. So even narcissists can be right, and that is all that matters.
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"Oh, that old saying. It divides humanity into two categories, quality classes as it were. In reality there are not just two levels, but a spectrum."
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From an ethical point of view there are actually only two alternatives: either, one is a moral person because one strives for the most systematic and seamless behavior avoiding suffering according to the ethical principle of equality in the central interest of all sentient beings, or not. How well this works in each individual case is a different question and depends on many factors.
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"And it is often impossible to find at least halfway objective criteria for how much someone is on the side of the problem or on the side of the solution."
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Nope, it is usually quite easy to reconcile someone's behavior with what they (under the very specific circumstances of their life) morally MIGHT do or fail to do.

Wolfgang at the permanent link

They have forgotten something: the churches, they are silent, they do not provide rooms for refugees, they prefer to elect bishops, presidents and other carnival presidents.

Let us pray for the poor, for the refugees and for the relatives of the victims in Hanau. And we talked openly about the many evils over a cup of coffee and now leave us alone, the Lord will sort it out.
Our stupidity, we love you forever, amen.

A.S. at the permanent link

Dear Daniela, yes, you are right, each person is a selfish asshole. Me too. To believe that humans are "good in themselves" is naive daydreaming.

With more realism, humanity would be better served. Unfortunately, realism is inconvenient and unsightly.
We know from biology that we are two-legged mammals that roam the country in groups, hunt and gather - and when hunger gnaws, we also attack conspecifics and take away their supplies.
If, on the other hand, the horde is full, it is peaceful and the individual specimens of the horde begin to stroke each other.

Yes, Erdogan is pursuing a cynical policy on the refugees' backs. And he pulls our life lies before our eyes. The reality is that we cannot help everyone and when in doubt, our shirt is closer to each of us than our tails.

Gerhard Baierlein at the permanent link

Dear Daniela Wakonigg, a very apt article, but unfortunately they are described

People don't read it, and if they do, then just ignore it as appropriate to their mentality. In spite of everything, do not lose your optimism and continue to fight for humanism according to the well-known motto, "whoever fights can lose, whoever has not fought
already lost.

Jann Wübbenhorst at the permanent link

Thank you, Daniela Wakonigg - now I know that not everyone is (completely) crazy.

Fredrit Beman at the Permanent Link

"I'm talking about a future in which unchecked climate change will make more and more areas of the world uninhabitable or sterile and in which people en masse from those regions to Europe

because it is all about survival for them. "
"Are all the hamster buyers and disinfectant hoarders the same who accuse the Fridays for Future movement of irrational panic?"
No, they are part of the Fridays for Future movement, who talk about a future that should be all about survival? And all of them are not crazy!

Dreivel on the permanent link

If we could then get the matter of our egoism at least halfway under control, one might consider looking to the future with timid optimism. If.

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That won't work, dear Mrs. Wakonigg, and I believe that you will
that is also aware.
How does it still say that hope dies last?
Yes you will.

Arno Gebauer at the permanent link

Hello,

the corona panic comes to politicians at just the right time.
With the help of the Corona panic, politicians steer away from the failure of the
inhuman EU refugee policy.

Thomas R. at the permanent link

"The current behavior of the population fuels the suspicion that people are primarily selfish assholes who only care about their own well-being, while the rest of the people are theirs

chheit just bypasses the worst. "
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This is a rush for every historically informed and ethically thinking person.
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"We would have so much in our own hands."
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INDEED! In fact, the vast majority of the abuses that humans suffer are man-made, and billions of non-human animals would do better the fewer humans were speciesists.

Konrad Schiemert at the permanent link

"Corona panic, hamster purchases"
It's not yet fully proven, but buying hamsters could help against the virus. The only open question is how to prepare the hamster.

MartinT on the permanent link

I asked myself: Why do they buy all those cute hamsters? Clearly, the hearty ones are probably already sold out ...

Martin Winkler at the permanent link

Erdogan only makes the "problem" of Syrian refugees visible again after we had paid him princely for a long time to put a cloak of silence and disguise over it.

However, it is also a fact that the majority of people in the EU do not want open borders for people who, to a large extent, are still deeply shaped by a patriarchal and women-despising image of humanity and they also know that we do not accept all refugees in the world can. It may be selfish, but it is also deeply human. The highest maxim of evolutionary humanism should also be to orientate oneself to people as they are and not as one would wish them to be. Therefore, this type of appeal is of no use. Rather, strategies for action must be devised that alleviate the suffering of the less fortunate people in this world and yet do justice to people's egoism. Utopias ultimately fail because of reality, just like belief in the good God and good people in Western countries. The same will happen to a humanism that strays too far from the visible, tangible nature of man.

chucky at the permanent link

Not so long ago I heard the claim that someone would buy the planet, some 31 light-years away from us, with the abstract designation "GJ 357 d" at a non-negotiable price of nu

r 18456 208 357 dollars and 5 cents offer. But whether this offer was actually made or not, it seems clear how "crazy" such an idea would be in any case. Because one could just as well offer bosons as, so to speak, tiny particles for purchase for the financially less well-off "wealthy" at equally low prices. On the other hand, it would be much more difficult to find someone who can afford to buy the universe as a whole, but the question is less to what extent people see themselves as entitled, at least to a relative extent, to be or be the owner of the same allowed to.
With that in mind, I would think that humanity has actually become hopelessly nuts.

Christoph at the permanent link

Dear Ms. Wakonigg,

Thank you very much for your well-written appeal, and in some way thanks to all of the commenters here for showing that there are so many different approaches to getting things wrong.
Without people who stand up and loudly express their displeasure about the conditions in reality, nothing, absolutely nothing, will develop for the better, that is what history teaches us. Anyone who claims that one should, or worse, should not place oneself above others, is misunderstanding the basic idea of ​​humanism in a very consistent way. Every person who opts for humanism and for the ideals of humanism is per sé better than everyone who takes refuge in religious worldviews and hides behind some ancient gods. Every humanist is a child of the Enlightenment who has recognized that things have to change because stagnation and foreign faith inevitably lead to ruin.

Hiding behind the thought that you can't change anything anyway, so you shouldn't even try, only helps those who are (still) well. Someone who does something like this refuses to accept humanism because he allows fatalistic strangers to rule over him. Strangers who really don't care where the current development will lead us, namely into an initially social and then humanitarian catastrophe of unknown proportions.
We are told that we should trust some gods who would judge it, because their ways are known to be unfathomable. Every humanist knows that nothing good has ever arisen from this statement, on the contrary. Never before in our society have so many people suffered from depression. Why? Because never before have we seen injustice in the world on such a full scale.

Calls not to place oneself above others also contradict man's instinct for self-preservation, a deeply human quality. People develop through experience and what they have learned. The claim that adults cannot be re-educated is also simply wrong, only that is called propaganda. Information is processed in such a way that a desired worldview is conveyed in a targeted manner. For over 100 years, social scientists have been researching how to control people and the masses. Unfortunately, there is currently no humanistic, but a very authoritarian worldview. Divided into "good" and "bad" people. The "good guys" are our political leaders in Berlin, Brussels and Washington who show us how well we are supposedly doing. The "bad guys" are all those who question the worldview conveyed, all those who show that we are actually really modest, all those people who are supposed to be "Islamophobic" or critical of religion.
It is absolutely telling how the "good guys" treat people like Julien Assange, one of those "bad guys" who shows what goes wrong in the world of the "good guys".

Something very simple can be said about "good and bad" and morals in general: "Good and bad" are always in the eye of the beholder, there is no universally valid morality. An act may be viewed as deeply wrong in one value system, while it is absolutely justified in another value system. As an example I would like to cite the stoning of "criminals". While in Germany it is a despicable abomination to bury a person up to the waist and then throw any amount of stones at the victim, in various Islamic countries it is a common punishment for (predominantly female) adulterers. Many (believing) people take part in such executions there, because as a rule the victim dies from the consequences, and if not, they will be marked for a lifetime with deformed skulls, scars, blindness and / or missing teeth, etc.
Again, this is a reason to say that any humanist is better than those believers who think that such an act is appropriate as a punishment for a crime.

Acceptance is a dangerous word because it implies that we judge certain behavior as appropriate or understandable. I cannot accept that even in the 21st century people still think that Islam is a "religion of peace". I have to tolerate it, but I will never accept it, and certainly not respect that someone thinks or even speaks that way. The same applies to our "good guys" in Berlin. I have to tolerate them doing things that I disagree with, but I don't have to respect or accept them. As a democrat, I can vote for parties other than the "established" ones. As an independently thinking person, I can express myself critically and organize myself with like-minded people. As a curious person, I can get information and deal with more than just the easily accessible (state) media. But above all, I can help people in my social environment.

But you can just as well lean back, claim that you can't do anything and watch an episode of "Berlin Day and Night" or the daily news in comfort.

Elke Metke-Dippel at the permanent link

Thanks for the great contribution, Daniela Wakonigg :)

... This sentence: "... that people are primarily selfish assholes who only care about their own well-being, while the rest of humanity just misses the bottom" ... is exactly my opinion and I felt a bit "bad" because I don't want to join in the solidarity rumble.

Franz Sternbald at the permanent link

Swearing by the k & k prophet Karl Kraus

".. our thanks go to the heroes of pharmaceutical science for their efforts on the occasion of the corona pandemic .."

During the First World War, Karl Kraus stated that the orders of merit always go to the earners of a crisis, never to the victims.
About a year before the great Spanish flu in 1918, he wrote in the "Torch":
"Since the Hamlet question of to be or not to be became the ultimate question of all state wisdom, one might find oneself in the fact that the arrogance of the offices and the shame, which shows unworthy, silent merit, are among those daily experiences from which the comforting before going to sleep Knowledge is gained: War is just war (against macro- or microbiology). What else do you want to expect and demand from human nature, which once tasted power and machine? If war is war, a wise man who has been inclined to melancholy from the past will still be helped by the better insight that the poor tyrants who, according to the inexplicable advice of their likeness to God, have barred our little existence, if not shortened, at least for us, on End up being the last slaves of their own whims.
In the face of the dying, a creature watching with the lorgnon is decorated for valor; Financial crooks whose language is barely sufficient to understand the necessary professional practices wear a dress of honor; ... Now imagine this kind of downwardly expelling humanity endowed with increased authority - then does not the world suddenly look as if the propagated necessity was just an appointment to finally satisfy its deeper need of neighborly hatred in an inappeliable way to be able to? Will not human dignity be that rarest foodstuff immediately confiscated by the state, the lack of which makes it possible to persevere through such a transformed life?
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Franz Sternbald - "The pyramidal principle 2.0"; the world as the will to power