I remember a long time ago in a Texas far far away, the Ayn Rand devotees used to corner me and demand that I confess if I thought that "...man was basically good or basically evil!" They seemed convinced that humankind was basically good.
Jean Jacques Rousseau seemed to believe that humanity in its natural state was fundamentally good. It was civilization that corrupted humankind by alienating it from nature's inherent benevolence and harmony. Voltaire famously made fun of this idea, and volunteered to walk on all fours.
The Marquis de Sade believed that human beings were basically predatory. In response to Rousseau's declaration that nature was averse to crime, he said, "Nature averse to crime?! I tell you that nature in all her pores yearns for bloodshed!"
John Calvin believed that humanity was evil and depraved, a craven bunch of sinners ready to sell out their better part at the drop of a hat for a bargain price. The gulf between God's glory and humanity's wickedness was immense. Only God could cross it. That God had any love for humanity at all was a mystery and a miracle.
I don't think we are basically good or basically evil.
If we are basically anything, then we are selfish and easily frightened, like all other animals. We labor under the prime directive of all life, self preservation.
Things get complicated, and interesting, when we try to move beyond that perimeter.