Everything Progressives do is part of a de-civilizing process that will plunge us back into the cruelty and murder that make up humankind’s natural state.
I am reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which is very enjoyable because Pinker is a lucid, interesting writer. Although the book was published in 2011, it’s amazingly pertinent in Trump’s America, because Trump has brought out true Leftism, red of tooth and claw, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to see the direction in which American Leftism is heading.
The book’s basic premise, which is spelled out in the subtitle, is that the world is an exponentially less violent place than it was in the past. Despite the “if it bleeds it leads” media world, which horrifies us with stories about violence, the reality is that, even in the most dangerous parts of the world, life is safer now than it was in the past. Pinker has all sorts of statistics and charts showing that murder rates, assaults, rape, torture, and even war have all declined more dramatically than most people realize. The pre-modern world was a horrific place, not just because of starvation and disease, but because of man’s unending inhumanity to man.
To me, a history major, this is old news. However, I bet for many readers, his vivid descriptions of violence from the ancient world through the mid-19th century is eye-opening. Human history is an endless litany of torture, mass murder, warfare, personal murder, more torture and still more torture. Whether you’re reading the Old Testament, Homer, Josephus’s Jewish Wars, explorers’ and colonists’ eye-witness accounts of savagery amongst indigenous people in the New World, or just the day-to-day history of the Roman or Medieval/Renaissance worlds, what humans did to other humans is completely stomach churning.
Data shows that stone age tribes across the world (including the Native Americans that Lefties always want to present as plaster saints) were ferocious when it came to torturing, murdering, and murderously torturing their foes. (Indeed, that stone age impulse instantly to kill any perceived threats just popped up again in the story of that young man whose missionary urge took him to an isolated tribe on North Sentinel Island, only to have the tribe promptly slaughter him.) Even as people abandoned being stone-age hunter-gatherers and started creating nation-states, these cruel impulses remained, whether in acts of violence individuals committed against each other, in warfare, or in the cruelty of increasingly strong states.
So, what happened? Pinker explains that there was a civilizing process that started in England and spread outward from there. There was no one thing that led to lessened violence. Instead, it was a collection of things. [Read more…]