The Transcript of Part 2 of the 3-part video titled
‘Savage Instincts Excuse’, which has Jeremy Griffith
talking with Franklin Mukakanga, Tim Macartney-
Snape, Stacy Rodger and Tony Gowing in Sydney on
3 March 2017. This Part 2 describes ‘How universities
are built on the false savage instincts excuse’.
Jeremy: In all these ivory towers of universities like Harvard, they build them higher and higher and fill them with more and more professors and they’re all working on this bullshit savage instincts explanation for human selfishness, just refining it [see for an explanation of swearing]. So they’re pushing this lie but if you push a lie, it will start to fall over after a little while so you have to keep patching up that lie. Like, Darwin said some members of a population reproduce more than others in a given environment and he left it undecided as to whether those individuals that reproduced more could be viewed as winners, as being ‘fitter’. And then his associates, Spencer and Wallace, however, said, ‘Hey mate, you’ve got to interpret that as survival of the fittest. It’s a competition for survival’ they said, and persuaded Darwin to substitute ‘natural selection’ with ‘survival of the fittest’. However, that excuse was deficient so it was then further developed into Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology, which was then found to be deficient and so they patched that up with Multilevel Selection theory for eusociality. And who’s the architect of all these patch-ups? Bloody E.O. Wilson [see for an analysis of these false biological excuses].
Tim Macartney-Snape: You could say, ‘Ego Wilson’. [laughter]
Jeremy: Ego, E.O., same thing [laughter]. So these huge castles, these academic institutions, like Oxford and Cambridge and Harvard, they’re all dedicated to maintaining this lie and refining it. It all starts with humans feeling guilty about having destroyed paradise, seeing animals tearing each other’s throat out, and saying, ‘Well, that’s us, we’ve got the same heritage’ and suddenly feeling relief. Now psychologically, they’d hardly be aware of why it was so relieving because they don’t understand the equation anywhere near as clearly as I’ve described it [see and ]. Nevertheless, there’s a deep relief, like, ‘Phew, that’s a good one, I’ll use that.’ Even the cavemen or the early bushmen (and actually we should stop using ‘cavemen’ because it implies that they are brutes and aggressive and that’s the opposite of what they were) would know, they would get some relief from scientists saying, ‘Well, we all must have been like those animals, like that lion that’s tearing that zebra’s throat out, and that’s why we’ve got to manage our instincts.’ There would have been an underlying feeling of relief.
So this is where it’s all coming from. (TYL) is beautifully structured because it deals with the enemy’s misconception straight up and acknowledges it, and then proves it wrong by explaining that we’ve got cooperative, loving moral instincts which is our conscience and then it goes on this journey explaining that of course we needed this excuse but it’s bullshit, that all these universities are dedicated to refining that bullshit excuse but now we’ll give you the real reason, the psychological-based one in which is the Adam Stork story. And that’s a beautiful structure. [See for an analysis of TYL’s structure and underlying strategy.]
Now this same integrity exists in the introductory video series at the top of the WTM homepage, because that’s our front-foot, that’s the most important thing because it’s what people come to first. In the first video of the series, Tony Gowing talks about the real issue being the human condition and our destructive behaviour and The Up River Story. Then straight away in the second video, bang, he goes into this bullshit excuse and how we’ve used it and how it’s full of shit. He says, ‘I know everyone uses the excuse that our competitive and aggressive behaviour is due to us having savage animal instincts, which are driven by the need to reproduce our genes, but surely this is just a convenient excuse while we searched for the real reason for our divisive nature.’ Then the video goes on to demolish it. The second video, which only goes for a few minutes, then tackles that misconception head on and solves it. [Please note, Tony Gowing’s opening video at the top of the homepage has now been replaced by Jeremy Griffith presenting Your block to the most wonderful of all gifts, and Tony’s second talk has now been replaced by a presentation by Jeremy Griffith on the same subject, .] And then in the third video I give the real psychological explanation which is the Adam Stork story. So again, ‘bang, bang, bang’. It’s dealing with it properly, sequentially, head on, same as in TYL which goes into a little bit more depth because it’s got a bit more space to do it in. It talks about the bullshit biology and uses the bonobos as well to illustrate the point. And if you read FREEDOM, this is the opening two paragraphs of :
“This book liberates you, the reader, and all other humans from an underlying insecurity and resulting psychosis that all humans have suffered from since we became a fully conscious species some two million years ago.
This underlying insecurity and psychosis that exists within every human is the product of a very deep anxiety, an uncertainty, of not knowing why, when the ideals of life are so obviously to be cooperative, loving and selfless, are humans so competitive, aggressive and selfish. Certainly, we have relied heavily on the excuse that our behaviour is no different to that seen in the animal kingdom—that we humans are competitive, aggressive and selfish because of our animal heritage. We have argued that we are, as Lord Alfred Tennyson put it, ‘red in tooth and claw’—a victim of savage animal instincts that compel us to fight and compete for food, shelter, territory and a mate; that we are at the mercy of a biological need to reproduce our genes. But this reason that biologists, including the most celebrated living biologist, the Harvard-based Edward (E.) O. Wilson, have been perpetuating cannot be the real cause of our competitive, divisive behaviour because descriptions of human behaviour, such as egocentric, arrogant, inspired, depressed, deluded, pessimistic, optimistic, artificial, hateful, mean, immoral, guilt-ridden, evil, psychotic, neurotic, alienated, all recognise the involvement of our species’ unique fully conscious thinking mind—that there is a psychological dimension to our behaviour. Humans have suffered not from the genetic-opportunism-based, non-psychological animal condition, but the conscious-mind-based, PSYCHOLOGICALLY troubled HUMAN CONDITION.
So that’s one sentence, two sentences, three sentences—the third sentence of FREEDOM—‘Certainly, we have relied heavily on the excuse that our behaviour is no different to that seen in the animal kingdom—that we humans are competitive, aggressive and selfish because of our animal heritage.’—that gets straight onto that lie that we have savage animal instincts. So it’s structured with enormous integrity. In other words, it nails that argument right up front. TYL nails it right up front. And it’s so important because that’s why we have trouble with the left-wing because they just think that dogma is the only way we can solve our destructive behaviour. The unsaid words are, because human nature is unchangeable, we have these instincts that we can’t change. So the only solution therefore is to impose ideality on it. Now that turns out to be the absolute opposite of the truth. We had to become more and more upset to find sufficient knowledge and only then could we explain the psychosis and get rid of it. Whereas they are saying we don’t need any knowledge. As [the political theorist] Karl Marx said, ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is [not to understand the world but] to change it [just make it cooperative/social/communal]’ (Theses on Feuerbach, 1845). And there’s the problem in a nutshell. That’s what Bob Geldof was saying, ‘Jeremy you want everybody to hug each other but I’ve worked this through many times in my life. Look mate, human nature is what it is, you’ll never change it.’ ‘There’s always going to be bad people’, as Tony’s mother said, ‘blah, blah, blah’. As Geldof said, the question is how do we control our brutish nature, our innate, ‘unchangeable’ behaviour? Unsaid words, obviously the only way we can do that is to impose ideality on it.
So that’s why we’ve got this incessant argument between the left and the right. The left doesn’t see anything wrong with dogma. Whereas the right knows that dogma is the antithesis of what solves the world’s problems. Dogma means no knowledge. Dogma means just impose this without any rational explanation, whereas we’re searching for understanding. So you can see just how insidious, if that’s the right word, how bad anyway, that excuse that human nature is unchangeable because we’ve got savage animal instincts is, how dangerous it is, how it just leads to all these other stages of dishonesty and bullshit and deception and delusion. And then you end up with the left-wing going crazy and it doesn’t see anything wrong with dogma. Whereas in fact, finding understanding of the human condition is the opposite of dogma, it’s the search for knowledge because only knowledge, ultimately self-knowledge can liberate us. [See on the danger of left-wing dogma.]
This is very important for Stefan Rössler [the founder of the Austrian WTM Centre] because he just wants to tell people the Adam Stork story [see ] and not deal with all of this kind of thing, which has got its rationale, because Stefan’s strategy is that if you catch people in an unfocused moment and you just tell them the Adam Stork story, it’s so plausible they think, ‘Oh, Jeez that makes sense.’ They have to walk around for a week and think about it before they get the old defence back in place that we’ve got [supposedly] innate competitive instincts. But Stefan’s argument is that by then [by telling them the Adam Stork story] we’ve got our foot in the door, so you don’t have to hit them up with all this complicated stuff about the human condition being the real issue and that we’re using this false excuse. You can dodge all that and get straight into the Adam Stork story. So that’s why I sat him down and took him through this because he needs a very clear understanding of this when he’s talking to people, like Tony talking to his mother in the previous video, of what he’s actually dealing with, so that he might be able to ‘trick’ some into just listening to the Adam Stork story and they might then think, ‘Oh, shit, that all stacks up, that all makes sense, that’s very plausible.’ But really, if you don’t deal with this underlying problem which these three books do, and very quickly, then you’re cheating, you’re going to try and cheat your way through.
It’s just important to know when you talk to people. I’ll give you a little scenario Franklin. You spoke to that ear doctor and he’s been looking at TYL and you were hoping he’s made some progress and you’re pretty comfortable that he is because he said to you, ‘I’ve got an appointment at a hospital so I have to leave straight away and can’t talk but I am interested in it.’ Now you might be right, but I’ve got a gut instinct that he might start to hit a wall, start to feel a bit confronted and not want to look at it. But if that’s the case and you start talking to him, you might notice that he starts saying the same thing as Geldof, ‘Look, I’m not sure we’ve got moral instincts or I’m not sure that we’ve got a cooperative past like that. I doubt that.’ Unsaid words, ‘What I actually believe is that we’ve got competitive, brutish, savages instincts. I subscribe to that other philosophy that everyone else is using, which is that we’ve got savage instincts’, and that might be what you’re up against. Now, if that’s the case and you are forewarned by this talk then you can explain very clearly, ‘Yeah, I know what you’re subscribing to. I know the rationale behind that, but these are the arguments against that. And that was just a holding excuse until we found the real one.’
Jeremy: So, because you’ve told him that you know the game he’s playing, that disarms him. That makes him a bit more likely to listen to you as opposed to you saying, ‘Shit, I don’t even know what that argument is you’re using.’ But if you’re ahead of the play, in effect, that gives you more power to sort of persuade him to look a bit deeper. That’s all I’m saying. And I’m just warning Stefan that if you try to dodge Part 1 of TYL and videos 1 and 2 in at the top of our homepage you might encounter problems because you haven’t dealt with their underlying excuse.
Franklin: Absolutely, okay.
Jeremy: Is that all…Tone? [Tony nods]
Tim: Yes, for sure.
Jeremy: But it’s a warning we all need. We need to have a very clear understanding of this with this information. Otherwise we get frustrated with the left-wing. How can they believe in dogma when we know, once you understand the Adam Stork story, that dogma is the opposite of what we need. We need knowledge. More and more knowledge until one day we had enough knowledge to explain the human condition. They say, ‘fuck knowledge’ you know? That’s where it’s all locked up. That’s where the whole impasse is locked up around that crap.
Anyway, so I just wanted to give you that summary.
Franklin: Yeah, that’s a great summary.