The Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: a history of violence and humanity has not only. Tim Radford: The decline of violence, says Pinker, 'may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species'. Pinker, S. . The Better Angels of our Nature. New York, NY: Viking.


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The Better Angels of Our Nature - Wikipedia

Pinker convincingly demonstrates that there has been a dramatic decline in violence, and he is persuasive about the causes of that decline. Among the causes of the outbreak of altruism, Pinker and Singer attach particular importance to the ascendancy of Enlightenment thinking.

Reviewing Pinker, Singer writes: Pinker better angels began to look askance at forms of violence that had previously been taken for granted: But these values were not as unambiguously benign as is nowadays commonly supposed. None of these views is discussed by Singer or Pinker.

I am not familiar enough with the statistics that Pinker inundates us with to pinker better angels if 'violence' has actually dropped or not consistently, progressively and continuously throughout history.


But our propaganda alarm bells should sound when anyone makes a statement like that. According to Pinker, it is obvious that primitive tribes were the most violent humans ever.

The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker – review | Tim Radford | Science | The Guardian

I have read some fairly convincing arguments otherwise, but I think it is likely pinker better angels differences in opinion are going to come in the very definition of violence. The definition of violence by Pinker is dictionary strict, and very limited.


Humans sometimes have pinker better angels fight to survive. Pinker doesn't substantiate any difference in self defense and aggression, justice is mocked, freedom is not even covered. But when class struggle is just vain ideology to him, what can you expect?

Neither does he take on the prison industrial complex, although he does acknowledge the importance of caging up of the maximum amount of people that are considered most likely to fight back and apparently thinks it pinker better angels necessary evil if there pinker better angels 'a few too many' as deterrence.

Apathy or depression is not even mentioned.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

But of course if you look it up in a dictionary, violence isn't any of those things. Since onlyhave been killed in Iraq a disputed low-flying number and there were at least 1,5 million in Vietnam, apparently US foreign policy is getting way more compassionate.

Of course nothing is even mentioned pinker better angels thinly-covered up US intervention all over the world like in Latin America. An ignorance easily corrected by leafing through books like 'Killing Hope' by William Blum on the ongoing American holocaust. A book Chomsky says is 'far and away pinker better angels best book on the subject'.

But the book has leftist leanings, and is therefore intellectually irrelevant to a religiously loyal status quoer.

Democracy is hailed as a reducer of violence, and justifiably so. However he also has an extremely limited idea of democracy. There is a crisis of democracy right now because of a lack of participation the Manufacturing of Consent and Public Opinion and fast-growing awareness pinker better angels it.

John Gray: Steven Pinker is wrong about violence and war | Books | The Guardian

What about acknowledging the advent of a type of coercion that creates ignorance, apathy and depression? This is not considered as an element of violence of course.

It would even appear to be a positive thing, if it can reduce those violence stats and keep us wanking. Even if certain types of coercion cannot be defined as violence, why not pinker better angels it for what it is?