Common Humanity

Socialists argue that by nature humans are altruistic, thinking of others and empathising with the feelings and suffering of others. In this sense all people are brothers and sisters- or comrades- they share a common fraternity (like a family).  Compassion is part of human nature, which is plastic and moulded by circumstance. Socialists take the nurture rather than the nature perspective, arguing that we are the product of our society and environment and therefore can be understood only with reference to others. Crime, for example, is not due to some people being ‘born bad’ but due to the impact of the social environment and upbringing. All socialists therefore have a positive view of human nature, arguing that we have potential for improvement and betterment of all in society. Many socialists reject ideas such as nationalism to argue that common humanity crosses borders. Socialism has been closely linked to internationalism and the idea that class consciousness crosses state borders. It can be seen to oppose nationalist ideas to emphasise the fraternity between people.