Are humans inherently good? Historian Rutger Bregman explores this ‘radical’ idea

Historian and author of ‘Humankind: A Hopeful History,’ Rutger Bregman says he was cynical before exploring human beings and their true nature.
4:29 | 07/15/20

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Transcript for Are humans inherently good? Historian Rutger Bregman explores this ‘radical’ idea
It down. Most people are pretty piece. And the reason aggregate is that in the posture to twenty years. So many scientists from very different. This plans. They've been moving poem by cynical you human nature too much more hopeful news. Who we aren't you. We humans or knowing right we have the capacity. So fuel that's not. Janice can be aggressive cash. In the same nasty things about each other and the other at wheels haven't asked your great good in. Others are really old idea. Deeply embedded in our western culture that scientists call the near here. Supposedly our civilization is only if very thin veneer not very thin layer. And that. When something happens like crisis. Christ like we're in right now that humans to view our troops out. That we showed that deep down girl selfish or not sat. At this idea goes back all the way to the ancient Greeks who find it with be it Christian church fathers who find it would be allotment philosophers the founding father to the United States. It's embedded deep yet the heart occurred cap system right the idea that he's worked itself. But I think it's also wrong. Most people pretty decent but pulp for us. Our is really a big draw that damages the brain. We know for example from neurology at regular people brain scans. And you look at their regions that are flu being spent that season. We work well with people who are power. Cynical view of human nature has always been in the interests of those top right those at hope they won't you. He scare. Cynical it's great to know trust those around. Because then you need that and you need that leads you need be are unique those in need higher ranked. This cynicism has always been used legitimization. All our friends now if we German Iraq extremists. Then we can move through very different kinds this time. And maybe particularly relevant right now and those two very different kind of criminal justice. You know made TV don't need. The police riot gear and that's exactly yeah ever be towards separatism that our civilization has only been here. And hair and I think that what you'd assume and other people it's what it. What we've been doing for decades is we build a whole society rounded values petition itself in that's how we schools. What places are democracies. Are in our criminal justice system. And a dozen best thing. We can design. And play what if we assume that most kids are naturally created. For the Ottawa then maybe we don't needle the district boarding school and anymore maybe you can at a school where he meets all the ages. And mix all the academic levels. You don't have to beat out. You Dennis VSC air I just think it's all about the power of because help them and helps you to act. And else to do something if it's your health in this and it's. It's like complacency that you know it's not to be all right don't worry the air pessimists out what's the point cynical then let's point two billion hope it's all about the possibility. And I think that's 1 of the central lesson of history that I've learned as a historian. It's that there's nothing inevitable about the way we've structured our society and economy right now. And historians have long now that Christ like the one where it can be extraordinary airport opportunity for change.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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