From a young age, people in western societies are exposed to material that “emphasize” humanity’s worst qualities: selfishness, greed, and survival. “Lord of the flies” is one of those materials. Although at the same time the book was written, a true account of the story’s premise had actually happened and not imagined, little light was shed on it. Why? Because unlike the lord of the flies, it was actually a story of cooperation, goodness, and faith in humanity.
This quarrel over human nature goes back to the “man” as perceived by Hobbes and Rousseau. The former sees him as brute and selfish while the latter sees him as innately good. The fact that our societies, especially after the second world wars chose Hobbes’s version is telling of the world we live in today. They chose the imagined version of the “lord of the flies” written by an abusive father and an alcoholic that believed that each one of us has a Nazi inside them. They chose it because they didn’t want to be questioned on their role in the atrocities of the second world war by an “awoken” hippy youth movement in the late 50s and 60s. So in order to limit this moral “Nuremberg” they needed to indoctrinate their youth from a young age, just like the Soviets did with theirs. Only difference is that Western indoctrination is flashy and comes with the support of Hollywood and the media and all political parties. Consequently, the book was admitted into school curriculums and the western pop culture and eventually the world.
A man that is unselfish, kind, cooperative is not the type of building block that a capitalist system seeks. Instead, it needs individualism, competition, survival instinct that creates a “superconsumer” (sorry Nietzsche) that will endlessly consume all goods thrown its way.
The cherry on top of all, that is that democrats or centrists in Western countries that are seen to hold Rousseau’s view of man, don’t really question this individualistic curriculum. Simply because they benefit from the capitalist system that produced them in the first place. They take legitimacy from it and they return it back. Anyone hoping that the salvation of humanity will come from the Obamas and Hillarys of the world is all but disillusioned.
We are good. They just don’t want us to see ourselves this way.