Banding Together for the Common Good

In the beginning, there were people.

For thousands of years, it was popular among philosophers, theologians, and social commentators to suggest that the first humans lived as disorganized, disheveled, terrified, cold, hungry, and brutal lone-wolf beasts. But both the anthropological and archeological records prove it a lie.

Even our cousins the apes live in organized societies, and evidence of cooperative and social living is as ancient as the oldest hominid remains. For four hundred thousand years or more, even before the origin of Homo sapiens, around the world we primates have made tools, art, and jewelry and organized ourselves into various social forms, ranging from families to clans to tribes. More recently, we've also organized ourselves as nations and empires.

As psychologist Abraham Maslow and others have pointed out, the value system of humans is first based on survival. Humans must breathe air, eat food, drink water, keep warm, and sleep safely. Once the basic survival and safety needs are accounted for, we turn to our social needs - family, companionship, love, and intellectual stimulation. And when those are covered, we work to fulfill our spiritual or personal needs for growth.

Our institutions reflect this hierarchy of needs. Families, whether tribal nomads or suburban yuppies, first attend to food, water, clothing, and shelter. Then they consider transportation, social interaction, and livelihood. And when those basics are covered, our families turn to our intellectual and spiritual needs.

Read more here.


Randall Paul's picture
Randall Paul 6 years 14 weeks ago

Thom, today's blog is viberant with world history and psychological needs for a healthy society. I took a screenshot of it to share and save. You are exactly right about quoting our Maslows needs. When I went to a trade school for a few classes in auto repair; at one time I had the equivalent of two and a half fulltime jobs for about six months. Then I went onto get a bachelor's degree and onto a M.Ed. I was 99% completed and a Nation Honor Student. I relocated to Troy, Ohio and the school board told me they don't accept resumes off the street, and if I wanted a job in their schools, I would need to have an administrator recommend me. I told them I just moved here and don't know a soul. The lady said: "Try volunteering, maybe they will like you." and I walked away thinking, I need a paying job. Anything, a teachers assistant! So higher education does not mean greater employment. $180, 000 in student loans and FAFSA Grants...for what?

I could have stayed a mechanic and been a millionaire!

Lol, Randall

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 6 years 14 weeks ago

Jefferson was keen enough to recognize the risk to democracy of "moneyed corporations" as early as 1816, the year winter never ended, but I doubt he could foresee how a monopolized 21st century media could indirectly place a demagogue in the White House.

This is especially alarming to anti fascists like myself because it proves that even here in the United States we are at risk for a Putinesque figure to rise to power. Felonious Donny is harmless compared to who the Kochs and Putin could prop up in the near future.....via the citizens united money pipeline to the corpse media and high tech social media.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago

Anyone on the left want to speak to this?

snip from:

And if it weren’t for The Daily Caller and CNN’s Jake Tapper, we wouldn’t have known about a particularly ugly Farrakhan eruption the other day at his Saviours’ Day 2018 address.

We also wouldn’t have known about the tortured logic that some, like U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, the Chicago Democrat, use to explain their relationship with Farrakhan.

“White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God's grace, has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I'm here to say your time is up, your world is through," Farrakhan said in his speech.

He said other things too, but I’m not going to spread his hate here. What interests me is the silence of the left.

My barber Raffaele Raia understands this kind of silence.

Chi tace acconsente," says Mr. Raia. “He who is silent says yes. The silence is the consent."

Of course it is.

And when it comes to Farrakhan, the left is silent. They’d rather be silent than risk being denounced by him.

The other day, The Daily Caller — a conservative news and opinion site — capitalized on the silence, and on the acquiescence of Davis, who was quoted as saying Farrakhan’s views aren’t a big deal.

The Daily Caller has called out others on their relationship with Farrakhan, from U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California to Democratic Party Vice Chairman Keith Ellison. And so far, from them and others on the left, you hear crickets.

praising how is this ok with the left, how do you allow this and call the right racisist and Hitlers ????

Legend 6 years 14 weeks ago

Certainly did not catch my liberal left wing attention. There are plenty of extremist right wingers that you could pay attention to.

BoxCar's picture
BoxCar 6 years 14 weeks ago

Thrust of Primitive Society is to adapt oneself to the environment

Thrust of Western Culture (since Greeks) is to gain control of environment

Thrust of Socialism is to gain control of humankind

(Taken from a textbook on stucture of human societies)

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago


Exactly my point, seems the left is so busy looking for nazis on the right, they can't see the ones in plain sight on the left.

Ellison is the DNC party vice chair! And the left doesn't know that?

Or about mad Maxine? Plus several others.

Or about hiding the pic's of Obama with Farrakhan until after the election? Are you starting to see a trend here...Rev. Write?? (sp)

Farrakhan...the racisist..misognyist..white hating, Jew hating... baffoon?

The only reason CNN Jake Trapper told the truth is because Farrakhan is also against gays.

Or maybe the left just doesn't want to know...seems like the pot s been calling the kettle to me....

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago

Banding Together for the Common Good

is Thom's title.

I suggest we band together by first being honest about where we are...on all sides.

Thom seems to be stuck somewhere down history lane, while there is much to deal with in the here and now, together for the common good.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago

Well since there's no body home I'll continue....

Have Progressives lost their minds? We protested in Seattle against a tariff-free world in which workers in every nation are pitted in a contest to see who will work for lowest wages. The majority of Democratic senators voted against NAFTA.

In 2016, the Democrats lost Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin by theft for sure, but it would not have been close enough to steal except that Obama was pushing the TPP and Hillary free trade.

The idea of free trade with a slave state like China is a terrible joke played on America’s working class.

Do we hate Trump so much that we are obliged to attack when he does the right thing for the American worker?

Obama slapped heavy tariffs on Chinese auto parts before the 2012 election, and didn’t start a trade war. But he did win Ohio.

and more

jefflisse's picture
jefflisse 6 years 14 weeks ago

Sorry HC

This Jew... who actually got in an altercation with a "Farrakhan follower" several years ago, will talk to you. ;-)

jefflisse's picture
jefflisse 6 years 14 weeks ago

Yes... Bigotry, hate, anti-Semitisim, etc. isn't reserved for any one race, religion, ethnic group etc..

Legend 6 years 14 weeks ago

Are Republicans the supreme race?

PapiMiguel's picture
PapiMiguel 6 years 14 weeks ago

Nice article. I am no antropologist, historian, or expert in the matter. yet, I can make a few comments. I believe you present the evolution of social organizational with a naive perpective that after basic needs are satisfied "we" turn to our sosial needs. Nothing can be farther from reality. Both things happen and ARE happening SIMULTANEOUSLY, even today. Your view of the evolution of familiy is also flawed. I suggest you read "The origin of the familiy, private property and the stae" by Engels (That if you are not allergic to marx and engels). He actually follows and discusses closely the writings of L.H. Morgan, an american. As it turns out, ALL THREE elements, basic needs, social organization, and spiritual development evolved TOGETHER and not sequentially as your naive perspective proposes...

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago

Hi Jeffl,

Thanks for you response.

Dems, Repubs, Socialists...from my perspective most systems can work, but they will only be as good as the people running them. As long as evil, hatred,power,and greed are involved none will work.

Most people crave Love, respect, honor, and justice, too bad we fall so short.

HotCoffee's picture
HotCoffee 6 years 14 weeks ago


There is no supreme race, we are all on this planet together.

The divisions are created to keep us divided.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 14 weeks ago

#14 - Dead right!

And, the creation of some belief systems along with identity dogma that includes the race card... and on... and on

Gsaw's picture
Gsaw 6 years 14 weeks ago

I became an American citizen in 1999, mom being a TRU AMERICAN. A believer if peace justice and the American way.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 6 years 14 weeks ago

Yes, Hot Coffee! By all means liberals! Lets divert our focus from holding Trump accountable, to chasing down HCs rabbit holes.

Louis Farrakahan is not the fucking president! He is not he leader of the free world! But HC would have us divert our attention and energies from Trump, to chase down the rabbit hole of someone that is of little importance to the the current problems of the world and even the US.

Considering the clear and present danger of having a President Trump. HC would have us divert out attention of putting out our burning house to go and save the outhouse first.

And I really had to laugh about her statement: "Farrakhan… the racist..misongnysit (sic)…white hating, jew hating… baffoon?" Change the phrase "white hating" to minority hating, and you describe Trump and 90 percent of his supporters.

Then in her next post she decides to address Thom's topic of the "Common Good" after deliberately changing the subject for the purpose of stirring up shit. But that's what Trolls do!

The links below may not prove anything or make a point, but two can play at the posting links game!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 14 weeks ago

What's this rabbit hole thingy?

knerd's picture
knerd 6 years 4 weeks ago

If it weren't for cooperation and collaborative problem-solving, we wouldn't be here today. Now we are at a profound impass. It is just as important as when we climbed down out of the tree limbs and began to walk upright on the African Savannah. We have everything we need to move on. The question is, will we and can we?

Riverplunge's picture
Riverplunge 6 years 3 weeks ago

It was brought up in a conversation when I was a teenager, that no one person can do everything. (Where the heck are you going to put all the tools needed if you could??) This is why we cooperate with each other's strengths. Time never changed that bit of human nature. Maybe robotics will make us dumb and forget our roots. Until, then..

Mandy's picture
Mandy 5 years 46 weeks ago

I thik it becomes much harder to live in such circumstances ...

Coalage3 5 years 45 weeks ago

From Rod Dreher:


Have you been watching the progressive freak-out over the Attorney General’s religious liberty task force? Alexandra de Sanctis is right: the fact that left-wing organizations cannot grasp the idea that religious liberty is important shows exactly why we need a Justice Department religious liberty task force. More:

"Most fundamentally, these shallow, imprecise, and often inaccurate comments completely disregard the inherent value of religious liberty. But they also exemplify the political strategy of a progressive movement losing its bearings, sacrificing sanity in favor of stoking the fires of an ever-escalating culture war. Increasing numbers of thought leaders on the left put religious liberty in ominous scare quotes and redefine it as a buzzword for bigotry. They shouldn’t be shocked that scores of religious Americans are willing to hold their noses and overlook the serious flaws of the Trump administration for the sake of protecting their right to practice their faith without coercion."

Coalage3 5 years 44 weeks ago

From James Pinkerton:


Thus we come to the 1972 presidential election. Nixon was not particularly popular, and yet it was his great good fortune that the Democrats, hopped up on their own culture—plus, perhaps, various substances—chose to shun their moderate candidates, instead choosing a lefty, George McGovern. And McGovern was further weighed down by the baggage of those even further to the left, including those who gloried in a Sontag Sensibility.

Not surprisingly, McGovern was disastrously defeated, losing 49 states. We can stop this little historical tour here. Suffice it to say that never since have the Democrats run a candidate as far to the left as McGovern.

Well, actually, maybe we should say that they haven’t so far. As we have seen, the left’s cultural drift even further leftwards—to the point of outright antagonism towards America—is likely to put off many voters, even those who might not be fans of Trump. In other words, Social Justice Warriors might predominate in Berkeley and Burlington, but they play poorly in Pontiac and Provo.

So what will happen to the Democrats in 2020? Will they succumb, once again, to the siren song of McGovernism, with its notes of Sontagism, and, to apply today’s terminology, Jeong-ism? No plausible Democratic presidential candidate is openly hostile to the majority of the people in this country. Yet it remains to be seen whether any of the hopefuls will actively denounce Jeong’s words, thereby inoculating themselves against PC poison.

We might recall that such denouncing was the effective strategy of Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. In May of that year, Clinton responded to the incendiary comments of rapper Sister Souljah who said, “Why not have a week and kill white people?” by doing exactly what a normal American would want him to do and condemning her. Of course, Clinton was clever about it: he compared her to David Duke, the Klansman, thus triangulating himself in the sensible middle, equidistant from both noxious figures.

Yet his calculation notwithstanding, Clinton obviously did the right thing. In that moment—what’s remembered as his Sister Souljah moment—he established himself as a gutsy centrist, unafraid to take on extremism wherever he found it. He took heat from the left at the time, and yet, of course, in November the voters rewarded him and he won the White House in a landslide.

Can the Democrats repeat Clinton’s feat today? Can they free themselves from their coalition’s most politically toxic elements?

It’s entirely possible that the 2020 presidential election will hinge on the answer to those questions.

Coalage3 5 years 44 weeks ago

And now we have progressives/liberals/democrats openly advocating censorship (see Twitter, Facebook, etc.) under the bogus claim of "hate speech". And these same censorship advocates have the gall to label conservatives as facist? What a joke and a load of bull.

The democratic party I grew up with would never have backed censorship or tried to block someone from expressing their opinions, even if they bitterly disagreed with those opinions and views.

It is sad to see what has happened to the democrat party in this country. They have become a joke and a parody of themselves. The party of tolerance? Or should I say..the facist elite democrat party.

Coalage3 5 years 42 weeks ago

From Rod Dreher:


It is possible to believe that the current political and culture order has been corrupted in some fundamental way, and to believe at the same time that Donald Trump is no enemy of that corruption, but in fact is a product of it. I think that is manifestly obvious. The same corruption infests the Left. It consists of believing that truth and righteousness is what advances the cause of one’s own tribe. Many of the same left-liberals who quite properly call out Trumpists for their own hypocrisy will turn around and say, for example, that black people cannot be racist, because racism is solely a function of power. Under both corrupt schemes, right and wrong depends entirely on who benefits from the outcome. If this isn’t corruption, what is?

One of these days, Trump is going to be out of office, and a progressive Democrat will be in power. On what grounds will Republicans resist that Democrat when he or she behaves like Trump does? Will Democrats behave like so many Republicans, and sell out their own convictions for the sake of power? Of course they will, and when the Republicans down the road get back into power, they’ll be Trumpists without Trump. Damon Linker wrote an interesting piece this week on the naivete of analysts who believe that demonstrating Trump’s amorality is sufficient to cause his backers to turn on him.

And let me not get too much on my high horse here: given how hostile so many on the Left are to religious liberty, I cannot personally rule out voting for Trump in 2020, despite the fact that I believe he is a menace to the rule of law. To vote against Trump will almost certainly mean voting for a president who will turn the power of the state on people like me. That still might be the decent and correct thing to do, and if so, I hope I have the courage to do it. But it’s a hell of an ask.

Christine Meany's picture
Christine Meany 5 years 42 weeks ago

People from time immemorial united in groups. This is natural for our being. So why do many now deny it?

Coalage3 5 years 40 weeks ago


In July 2004, when the Berger story broke, Comey told the media, "As a general matter, we take issues of classified information very seriously. It's our lifeblood, those secrets." As Comey proved again in the summer of 2016, if a prominent Democrat is implicated, he and his colleagues do not take these issues seriously at all. If, however, the security issue involves someone who is unconnected or disruptive, prosecutors will turn over every stone just for the spectacle of turning them over.

Scooter Libby learned this the hard way. His undoing started with a news leak about a telegenic, if insignificant, CIA agent named Valerie Plame. The leak had nothing to do with Libby or his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney. No matter. Comey pressured his boss John Ashcroft to recuse himself from an investigation into the leak. Sound familiar? He then named a special counsel who just happened to be the godfather of one of Comey’s children. That sounds familiar too.

The Patrick Fitzgerald appointment took place at roughly the same time the archivists were alerting the DoJ to Berger’s repeated theft of critical documents. The media much preferred the Plame story to the Berger story, and so the opportunists played to the media.

Even before Fitzgerald really got started on the investigation, however, he, Mueller, and Comey learned who the leaker was. The news was not welcome. He was one of their own, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a veteran swamp dweller and an open critic of President Bush.

Still, Fitzgerald had his commission and the uncritical attention of the media. With their full-throated support, he did an unrestrained dumpster dive into the Bush White House not unlike Mueller’s into the Trump White House. All Fitzgerald managed to climb out with was Libby. The media were hoping for hated Bush advisor Karl Rove and maybe even Cheney. They had to make do.

Six months after Berger got his wrist slapped, Fitzgerald indicted Libby for a series of Martha Stewart-style process crimes. Unlike Berger who got no jail time, Libby was hit with thirty months. Under pressure from the right, President Bush commuted his sentence, but Libby had to wait until 2018 to be pardoned, courtesy of President Trump.

As to Armitage, he was never prosecuted for anything. The DOJ accepted his claim the leak was unintentional much the way it would accept Hillary’s “lack of intent” claim years later. The deep state takes care of its own.

In many ways, 2005 was a dress rehearsal for 2016. Mueller and Comey had learned how to play their parts. The media had learned how to play theirs. Indeed, the show would have been another huge hit if only Trump had stuck to the “good Republican” script the way Bush had.

Coalage3 5 years 36 weeks ago

Why the democratic party continues to go over the cliff:


My only haven will be the ballot box. Anything else would be a tip-off risking more alienation from many peers. The party needs to suffer more, before they can grow. Tactics like this are shameful. The question is…will they do it by 2020? Will we even last that long? I suspect there are thousands of people like me who are disgusted with the way they are heading. I loathe Trump, and would never vote for him; but the Democrats had one job…and they can’t manage even a partial turn to the center. That’s why I’m calling it now: Democrats won’t claim the Senate. If the Democrats can return to valuing the blue collar workers, and not just the minimum wage crowd, find room in their tent for those who find abortion wrong, and reclaim themselves as defenders of free speech; they might have a future. However, identity politics and all the myriad other ills seem too entrenched. So do the politics of destroying people, rather than honestly and ardently debating the flaws of their ideas.

Coalage3 5 years 36 weeks ago

And this from Erick Erickson:


I find myself in an odd position where, for the first time, I see myself, one of the original so-called "Never Trump conservatives," voting for Trump in 2020. I have inevitably concluded at times that Trump would do something to push me away from him. He has not disappointed on that front, from tariffs to character issues. But now I do not see how anyone else can offer a more compelling alternative to the president. Each time the president does something I do not like, his opponents play a game of "hold my beer."

Trump may have criticized Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, in a way I found inappropriate for a president to do, but his opponents have thrown out the millennia-old principle that a man is to be presumed innocent. The president may have enacted tariffs I find harmful to the economy, but his opponents are willfully destroying a good, innocent man so they can keep destroying children.

Between Trump and his opposition, I would rather vote for him, despite his flaws, than for his opponents who want a flawless progressive utopia. Trump is neither an ambassador for my values nor the articulate champion of my principles I would prefer. But he is a safe harbor in a progressive storm that seeks to both destroy my values and upend our constitutional republic.

Progressives believe Trump is an authoritarian tyrant barely constrained by the rule of law. With a straight face, these same progressives argue that the accusations against Kavanaugh are proof of his guilt, that he should not be presumed innocent, that a lack of witnesses is confirmation he did what they claim, that all women must be believed except the ones who defend Kavanaugh and that any dissent is just white male privilege. Progressives may claim Trump is Caesar at the edge of the Rubicon, but they have embraced the bastard love child of Joseph Stalin and Franz Kafka and enlisted the American political press to smear, defame and attack anyone who stands in their way.

The political press has behaved as co-conspirators with the Democrats in the Kavanaugh matter. They have clearly been fully co-opted. Reporters are planting their flags with the so-called Resistance and donning pink hats instead of defending truth and reporting facts.

There is much in the present political age about which I am uncertain. But there is one thing about which I am absolutely certain: President Trump is not my enemy.

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