Posts Tagged ‘civilized’

Violence and Society

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that anyone, who honestly claims that the violence we see in our societies are an aberration, is profoundly ignorant of human history. Look at the virtual violence we surround ourselves with, and the omnipresent media hyping the decadent lifestyle, while the news glorifies, to the extreme, the psychopath. The next psychopath to be crassly milked for ratings as much as the first.

Now, if I made little figurines of the twin towers with a plane imbedded in it, and sold them, crassly for profit, that would make me an ass. To profit from a tragedy are the actions of an ass. Like the unbiased media or politicians fundraising from one. Not only profiteering from the tragedy but taking illegitimate political pot shots at a political faction. While, by exaggerating the crime, they are crying out to other damaged people who, ignorantly, want to live in the pages of history… They too can have life unending even if as a villain.

History is rife with violence. The Romans entertained themselves with virtual war in the arena. People the world over entertain themselves with cock fighting, dog fighting and every form of fist fighting there is. Not only us but every society in the history of Mankind. We were born of violence and it is in our nature.

It is our upbringing, that allows us to overcome our violent nature and grow us, morally, into civilized people. Hsun Ching said that the congenital nature of Man is evil, while Mencius said the congenital nature of Man is good. They were both correct… and they were both wrong.

Mencius argued that no person would not fret at seeing a child fall into a well… While this is for the most part true, there are those that would derive pleasure at the sight. Sick and twisted sociopaths that lack empathy. Hsun Ching claimed that we are all born needy and self indulgent. As we grow up our selfish nature is tempered by our parents teachings and we go from childish barbarians to civilized humans.

It can be argued, Alexander the great would not have defeated so much of the known world, had he not been schooled by Aristotle himself. In Plutarch, Alexander is quoted, as quoting Aristotle. So Alexander’s evil, selfish, (barbaric) nature was not so much civilized, by Aristotle, but empowered. Despite the sage teachings, in this case, it can be said that Alexander was more a product of his environment, than his teacher. Yet after his death and the disillusion of his empire, Alexander’s life amounted to the moving of a few lines on ancient maps, the deaths of tens of thousands of people, the destruction of farms, homes, cities and fortunes.

We are all a product of our environments… and our schooling. The most moral people need not be from the most moral backgrounds but they must have some spark of morality within. Some animals can be tamed, while others always remain a mortal threat, no matter the love showered on them; some people can be civilized while others remain a mortal threat. (Due to their barbaric upbringing ala Alexander). Those that are “untamable” end up as psychopaths and sociopaths causing innocent people pain and suffering.

Wile all violence is a tragedy, beyond all scope of comprehension, for the families of direct victims, the tragedy is no greater than for the families of soldiers, police, or any other innocent victim, randomly killed. Their loss is suffered no less, than when a member of the Elite, has been killed or wounded. I subscribe to the notion that all human life has equal value, only the lives of family and friends supersede. (It is impossible to hold the life of a stranger as dear as the life of someone loved… It is outside our nature).

So if the media would act maturely, the government would react with perspective, society would grieve respectfully and political factions would allow a tragedy to go to waste, so to speak, our society would be less violent and far less prone to this kind of tragedy. Unfortunately, our media is what it is, our government acts as it acts and society is still mired in the archaic notion, that the lives of the Elite are far more valuable, than the lives of the plebian masses.