we do violence for the same reason as every other animal species does violence.

to survive

OK OK — I know that we survive in our modern era by going to a supermarket or petrol station to obtain the stuff we need to survive. Heat and light has been made available at our fingertips.

We get our survival-energy without a fight now.

What we lose sight of is that we are, at most, only 400 generations from the living conditions of the hunter gatherer. Many of us far less than that

400 generations isn’t nearly long enough to lose the violent instincts necessary to acquire our daily input of raw energy which our ancesters had to fight to get hold of, always from other animals who were unwilling to surrender it.

But our fight to survive instinct remains strong within us — -some far more than others obviously.

Those who have that instinct at its most acute are the ones we see at the top of the economic tree, taking the best of everything.

10k years ago they would have been the ones leading the hunt, taking the best of the kill and the rights to procreation with the best females. We can see the same thing in animal packs everywhere.

The pack leader must constantly prove himself, or be usurped by another, who is younger and stronger. Kings and princes had to lead armies to conquer new lands. Explorers decimate peoples they find. The millionaire must always strive for the next million or billion. Those who produce wartoys must create the circumstances by which they are used, so that they enrich themselves.

The politician must strive to survive, and encourage acts of violence in others. Trump, Bolsonaro et al fit that pattern exactly. Hitlet and Stalin came before them. Count back through the generations and you will find the same people, as far back as you choose to go. Some are far worse than others, obviously, but they are there in the pages of history.

They inflicted violence on ‘lesser people’ to bolster their status. The rule applies at any level. down to the man wandering the steets with a gun or knife, even to the wife beater.

All are driven by a perverse need to boost self image, even if it costs them their lives.

We are all hunter-gatherers:

co-author of The End of More, in paperback and kindle on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00D0ADPFY email pagett.communications@blueyonder.co.uk

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store