Originally Posted by pcfoo
Just to throw it out there, I don't believe humans are innately "greedy" or "violent" etc. Nor are most of the animals out there, especially the social ones.
Our characters are multifaceted, and cannot be generalized to "single words".
There is a lot of research proving that social structures can bring out the worst, just like the best in us.
In an unjust society with high inequality, it is only logical for solidarity to suffer, even what appears to be mindless violence to erupt.
But it is something that gets cultivated by social interaction. If anything, our empathy is also innate to us, and that allows us to sympathize with the close out our kin.
The issue is, that it is hard for us to identify what is close to us.
Was hard when cities were forming thousands of years ago, it is much harder now in a highly diverse, multicultural environment. Add the size and population of the US (or China and India for that matter) and the great inequality that prevails in most parts of the world but gets peaked in certain areas of those countries, and there you have it...
If you are after a single word that describes us, it is not greedy, or violent.
We are unhappy. And in a society that favors to portrait happiness counted in possessions, it is only natural for us to crave for possessions as end of means instead of means to an end.
And natural for "taxes" that claim back our only "happiness" as something sad.