Martin Luther King Jr.
(XR; fair use, educational)
Angel Graffiti, Paris
| Violence & Socio-Cultural Shifts
To reduce violence, the
basic action needed at a socio-cultural level is systemic change.
Here are many ways to enact this, of which the most important concern
the start of life.
we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness
replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at
the beginning of life for that is where our deepest patterns are set.
From these roots grow fear and alienation - or love and trust." (Suzanne Arms)
- Violence is often ingrained into us from our
earliest life, prenatally and perinatally. For example, cesarean section with its scalpel (Nancy Wainer,
Midwife, 2001, accessed 3 December 2020): "We must remember that cesareans are just one more reminder that we live
in a misogynistic world - they are a form of violence and abuse and they are
symptoms of fear, hatred, greed, misuse of power, and sexual dysfunction." Birth and early life needs to be
demedicalised and returned to women. Read more about Violence & Birth...
- Unmet Childhood Needs. We need to build babies not jails. To transform society, we need to attachment parent. Also see: (1) James Prescott article The Origins of Human Love and Violence and interview. (2) The Origins of Violence by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.
- Connected to this is that we need Birth without Violence (a book by Frederick Leboyer), and yet we continue to birth violently. Also consider: 'The pioneering work of
Stanislav Grof has showed me the importance and the possibility of transforming
the roots of violence that lie subconsciously within all of us. These are often
associated with suppressed memories of birth, either vaginal or caesarean. In
his work, survivors of concentration camps found that memories of the physical
and psychological agonies they experienced in the camps were less intense than
memories of what they had experienced in birth. According to Grof, the
intensity of the pressure, pain, fear, suffocation, helplessness and rage, and
the physical pleasure, excitement and ecstasy experienced in vaginal birth is
the most intense thing a human ever experiences.' (Jane
Butterfield English, PhD, Physicist, Artist, Different Doorway, p.18)
- Connected to this and championed by Alice Miller,
we need to avoid beating, humiliating and abusing children in their
first few years of life, when their brains are being formed. Otherwise
we produce an adult society of self-harmers, addicts, the depressed or
mentally ill, delinquents, terrorists and warlike people. See here.
- Corporal punishment,
defined as physical punishment, needs to stop. Smacking of children as
a form of discipline is included in this and must stop. These methods
are associated with increased childhood and adult aggression,
antisocial behaviour, sexual violence, depression, low
self-esteem, etc. - see here and here. When dealing with misbehaviour, rather use the Three C's of Alfie Kohn, to get to the roots of the issue! Also see Instead of Spanking and End Corporal Punishment
by Peggy O'Mara. However, adults still need to maintain a calm,
assertive presence. I might still use physical methods during an
incident, if appropriate. This is not to punish, but rather to control
or regain control, and/or even protect other vulnerable people.
Physical restraint and methods sometimes have to be used for
out-of-control and/or asocial adults. Cesar Millan (dated 2015, accessed 24 April 2016) shows this in action in dogs: ‘It’s exactly what a mother dog will do to
correct her pups when they’re out of line — roll them on their backs and hold
them down until they submit. She isn’t trying to intimidate or coerce them,
though. She’s making a simple statement of fact: “I’m the one in charge here”...
a true leader will use whatever technique is necessary to maintain control, but
always from a place of love.’
- Inheriting Violence.
All this lack of parenting without empathy not only produces a damaged
society, but there is the danger of it being continually passed from
generation to generation (see Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence, '12 - The Family Crucible'). This is why I suggest attachment parenting. We have to get to the root.
- Family/Mother Centred World - Part 1. Homo sapiens
is the most violent, destructive primate on the planet, which is due to
the creation of the neurodissociative brain through early life
developmental experiences over the past several millennia. The evidence
is animal research and that "primitive" cultures which subject
their infants to physical punishment and/or punish premarital sex are
100% violent, whereas cultures which lavish physical affection on their
infants and/or tolerate premarital sex are 100% peaceful. Modern
patriarchal culture - where early life is extremely undervalued,
unsupported, disrupted and peripheral - of course continues to create
the neurodissociative brain. And so we cannot develop a politics of
trust. See here, here, here, here, here, here.
- Family/Mother Centred World - Part 2. A nurturing society reduces violence. In such a
society, babies are highly valued. However, in our current society, babies at best are
tolerated and exist on the periphery. But what if we create a family-centred
world? Babies have a huge power in their cuteness, encouraging a nurturing
instinct in humans. The power of cuteness is so great that painting babies on London shopfront shutters had
a huge effect on curbing aggression and antisocial behaviour (The Power of Cute, BBC,
2016, 10m47s). Also see here.
- Emotional Wisdom. Much of Emotional Intelligence
by Daniel Goleman teaches the huge value to society of emotional
competence. It is ignored by education. So, we need to thoroughly
infuse growing humans with practical emotional skills: how to handle
anger, to resolve conflicts positively, to recognise emotions, to manage impulses and to cultivate empathy. This life skill = less violence, more world peace.
Privilege can make us oblivious to the suffering of the less fortunate.
Opening your heart to the plight of others will make for a less violent
world, as we take steps to create a fair world. So, be aware of your
privileges. Read more here!
- Alliance. Women are some of the most abused creatures on Earth. So, become an ally of women. For example: 5 Tips For Being An Ally, Men Rising, 101 Everyday Ways for
Men to Be Allies to Women. Also read here.
- Capitalism must be replaced with a New Money System. Capitalism
is a violent system that exploits vulnerable workers. It also violently
abuses low-paid carers (mainly women) and unpaid mothers to keep its
cogs turning. The superrich win.
- Patriarchy must be dismantled. The gender war must stop. Guys, learn how to connect to women.
Not to be replaced by feminism, but by a fairer society, which would
undoubtedly embrace much of what feminism offers. Also read here.
- Men, change already!
Sexism, bullying, hate speech, catcalling, harassment, rape must
become widely unacceptable. As we stand, some or many men think of
public space as belonging to men - and that women that venture
into it are consenting to abuse. Understand more of the systemic change
needed here. "This is not a men vs women issue. It's about people vs prejudice." (Laura Bates)
- Free Speech vs. Hate Speech. Curiosity and critical thinking must not be suppressed. Allow them! But we don't need hate speech.
- Cultures need to be purified of certain practices.
Cultures can claim certain acts to be cultural and therefore
untouchable, e.g.: bullfighting in Spanish culture; female genital mutilation ('FGM'; see here, here); circumcision ('male genital mutilation'; see here, here, here, here, here) [also see PWP's Circumcision/FGM]. But surely we need to reframe these acts as violence and not culture??
- Religions need to be purged of violent foundations. For example, if you read a book like Nomad by
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you can see how pervasive violence is as part of the
deep structure of Islam. It is so evident in family life and
particularly affects females and children. As I write elsewhere,
this required cleansing of religion implicates all religions. Also see
Alice Miller above. I see that violence can allow any ideological
structure to survive, but I also see that only Love will win...
- Role models must be positive. Consider the words of Meryl Streep in reference to Donald Trump: "This instinct to humiliate when it's modelled by
someone in the public platform by someone powerful, it filters down into
everybody's life. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence." (BBC, posted and accessed 9 January 2017) Also see here.
Trump, or similar psychopaths: Xi Jingping, Boris Johnson, Putin, Bolsonaro, Duterte, el-Sisi, Orbán, Duda, Erdoğan, Lukashenko, MBS, al-Assad, Modi, Min Aung Hlaing, Kim Jong-un, Scott Morrison, etc.
Martin Luther King, Jr - or similar
- Stand up for those less fortunate. For example: Mentors in Violence Protection.
- Silence = Violence ...which basically means the best way to address an
issue is to speak about it - and staying quiet means you agree with what's
going on... (BBC,
posted and accessed 10 June 2020) [This doesn’t need to be confrontational, nor on
social media. It can be with friends and family.] Thus:-
Speak out against injustice - whilst
staying safe if possible.
Speak out - especially if you wield much power in the
"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human
beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality
helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never
the tormented." (Elie Wiesel)
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
silence of our friends." (Martin Luther King Jr.)
"Evil thrives in silence. Behaviour unspoken, behaviour ignored, is behaviour endorsed." (Grace Tame, sexual abuse survivor, cited in The Guardian, posted and accessed 15 March 2021)
"Our lives begin to end the day
we become silent about things that matter."
(Martin Luther King Jr.)
"Never be afraid to raise
your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and
lying and greed. If more people all over the world would do this, the
world would change." (William Faulkner)
"Silence equals complicity."
(Feidin Santana cited at BBC,
posted and accessed 10 June 2020)
"Silence = complicity." (Prof Julia Steinberger, 13 May 2021 tweet)
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing."
a time when silence is betrayal." (Martin Luther King Jr.)
one's hands of the conflict
between the powerful and powerless
means to side with the powerful, not to be
neutral." (Paolo Freire)
"The ultimate tragedy
is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people
but the silence over that
by the good people." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
"The world is a
dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who
look on and do nothing." (Albert Einstein)
- War needs to stop. War
needs to be regarded as a last resort, to be avoided. So many people
suffer in war: innocent children, the rape of women, the
exploitation of refugees. Let us practise tolerance and respect!
- Stop Weaponising the World. The USA is the
world's leading weapons dealer. It is arming the planet: ‘More of these sales
have taken place in the globe’s most volatile region, the Middle East, than in
any other region of the world. The so-called peace deals between Israel
and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which were brokered by the United
States, were business deals designed to expand U.S. arms sales in the Persian
Gulf. The Trump administration has made arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the
UAE, and other Middle East countries the focus of its foreign policy in the
Goodman, CounterPunch, posted and accessed 23 September 2020). The EU and UK are complicit. Stop
Militarising the World. Stop the Culture of War!
- Guns surely
need to be somehow restricted? Good guys with guns is a fantasy, and
the macabre USA truth is that toddlers kill more than terrorists! (The Guardian, posted 13 March 2016, accessed 7 January 2017) If your country allows them, then
surely there needs to be extensive background checks? And a licence
that needs to be regularly renewed? Surely avoid the militarisation of
the police and the resultant arms race between police and criminals? Japan does this and has one of the lowest gun crime rates in the world. Read more: Gun Control; Strong Gun Laws Save Lives.
- Cooperation, NOT Competition! War and violence are partly rooted in competition for resources like food and territory - see here
(posted and accessed 18 September 2014). We need to create a world that
minimises competition for resources. One way forward is prioritising GNH over GDP.
- Emphasise Cooperation, NOT Individuality! Ownership and property rights are closely associated with violence. Human laws allow enforcement of these rights. Read more here.
Can we rather see ourselves as joint custodians of planet Earth?;
where we lead simpler lives rather than fight for material things?; and
where there is enough space and stuff for everyone as we are not
greedy?; where we are fair and we share? This is natural to many tribal
cultures. 'Civilised' humans highlight divisive individual rights,
whereas the natural way is far more collaborative, creating unity. This
is a very deep and important issue...
- Listen more. The two ears, but only one mouth truism. ‘When we are interrupted the brain registers a
physical assault... interrupting is a violent act.’ (Nancy Kline, The
Guardian, posted and accessed 24 October 2020) Be present more.
- Listen to the people more. We need Citizens' Assemblies, as current 'democracy' is basically violent rulership by the selfish superrich and immoral big business. Learn more here, here, here.
- Racism. “Institutional racism
breeds poverty! Poverty breeds crime! Crime breeds violence!” (Protest chant
cited at BBC, posted 11, accessed 12 June 2020) End it!
- We need to avoid the
ghettoisation of society - and more. We must realise it is abhorrent to
punish those who have been born into an underclass, if the privileged
and powerful [indeed all of us] take no responsibility for the system
that creates the underclass. See here and here. "People fail to get along because they fear each
other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know
each other because they have not communicated with each other." (Martin Luther
- Invest in Disadvantaged Communities. We must
invest in young people now - if we want them to be useful and positive
in society. The money is there, e.g. a posh UK boarding school costs
£30,000/year whilst UK Young Offender's Institute costs
£75,000/year. These young people are not inadequate. They are bright and powerful. Give them skills and self-belief. Turn these blighted communities into thriving communities (see BBC, 8m26s onwards, posted and accessed 27 February 2019). Also see here.
- Fund Anti-Violence Projects. Despite a world that is getting even more violent for women - due to pandemics and the CEE - rich countries are doing the opposite of what is needed. See here.
- Gang violence needs to be treated
as a community health issue rather than a crime problem. "What
if we were to invest in people rather than just mindlessly try and incarcerate
our way out of this problem?" Violence is "...the language of the despondent, of the traumatized, of the mentally ill".
a bullet like a job" handles about 80% of what needs to be
handled. The real work is in creating community, and transforming
the pain so you no longer need to transmit it. "If love is the answer,
community is the context, and tenderness is the methodology" (Father Greg Boyle adaptation, posted 25 September 2015, accessed 24 January 2018). Examples: Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles; Scotland's Violence Reduction Unit [BBC video].
- Understand Media Violence deeper. Portrayals of violence can be a plea for help or even act as a path out of real-world violence.
(1) Where a dystopian unjust world exists, music such as
drill, hiphop and gangsta rap can highlight to the rest of us what is
really happening in society. We need to listen, to act and heal (e.g. see the last ±9 points).
However our tendency is to say how bad an influence the music is. What
about addressing inequality, people? (2) For those emerging from that
dystopia and living with PTSD, the normalisation of violence
through media is "the first step in the process of reconciling
the events of what happened to you and finding a way to move on" (Rapper Reveal, BBC, posted and accessed 17 June 2020).
- Teachable Moment & Violent Areas. People who live in violent areas can be greatly helped with the likes of San Francisco's The Wraparound Project.
It reduced the rate of violent re-injury by 72%. They talk of a 'teachable
moment' for 48 hours after a person is hospitalised due to being shot, stabbed
or assaulted. It is a critical time when support and lifestyle change can be
embraced. For example, one man who had been shot on three separate occasions
changed his lifestyle and moved out of the violent area (BBC posted 18 July 2017). It is also being introduced to the UK (BBC, posted and accessed 3 November 2017). We need more...
- Lead is a potent
neurotoxin that is linked to crime, especially violent crime. It
damages areas of the brain that control our impulses. In the 20th century, when
lead was removed from petrol and our environment, crime
levels dropped too. This phasing out of lead continues, which is
the socio-cultural shift required. In 2021, its use in road vehicles seems to have finally been halted. But many countries
still need to reduce lead smelting pollution, including India and
China (BBC & BBC, posted 21 April & 12 October 2014, both accessed 16 October 2014). As at 2019, Canada's water supply is contaminated by lead pipes. In the USA: 95% of baby foods contain lead, arsenic, mercury or cadmium, with 25% containing all four toxins (HuffPost, posted 20, accessed 29 October 2019; petition); childhood exposure to lead from air, water, soil, paint, food, is ignored to protect corporate interests. Aviation fuel is still leaded. Wildfires from manmade global warming release high levels of lead into the air. Why do we allow all this??...
Porn is linked to increased sexual violence. It puts people at
increased risk for commiting sexual offences and accepting rape myths
(Washington Examiner, posted 28 September 2017, accessed 4 October 2017). Let us teach (young) men how to relate to real-life women (not to digital women) - see Inner Game. Also see Male Sexual Problems.
- Drug Usage. (1) Demedicalise society. We need to
demedicalise society, avoid drugs, especially those known to increase
violence. For example, modern widely-used antidepressant use is linked
to increases in violent behaviour (Healy et al., 2006, 'Antidepressants
and violence: problems at the interface of medicine and law', PLoS Medicine, vol. 3, pp. 1478-83). (2) Stop the war on drugs. It fuels violence - see here.
It has created more drug users, more organised crime, more death, more
prisoners, and it funds terrorism. The money saved can then
rehabilitate drug users. [Also see here, here, here.] (3) See 'Spiritualise' below.
- Alcohol is a common
drug. Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with violent
crime. In over half of all violent crime incidents in England and Wales
2013-2014, the victim believed the perpetrator was drunk (Office for National Statistics cited by BBC, posted and accessed 26 March 2016).
Can we make this planet a happier place, so we don't have to resort to
alcohol to block our pain and displace it onto others? We must build babies, not jails.
- Brain Injury. 'Experts say that any Traumatic Brain Injury
(TBI) can cause a person to experience problems dealing with their emotions,
forming and keeping memories and... controlling impulses. Often the individual
also becomes more aggressive. By some estimates a TBI will double your risk of
ending up in prison, but one respected Swedish study, which collected and
analysed data over a 35-year period, found that people with a TBI were four
times more likely to be jailed than the rest of the population. Research by
neuropsychologist Dr Ivan Pitman for the Disabilities Trust suggests that about
half of the UK's adult male prison population may have suffered a brain injury.' TBI's
possible impact on aggression must be widely recognised. Brain injury
rehabilitation needs to be vastly increased. This not only speeds
personal recovery but will also prevent crime and reduce the cost of
community care. (BBC, posted and accessed 10 October 2018) TBI is also associated with domestic violence - see here, here.
- Martial Arts. These are surely better than Street Fighting or War?
These sports can channel the intense energies of aggressive or somewhat
damaged people - see here or here or here. However, unlike Ronda Rousey,
I do NOT think it will solve USA's mass shootings, as disturbed and
hardened criminals do NOT want a fair fight, like MMA or Judo - they
are into asocial violence,
where there are no rules, no referee to step in when injury happens.
Where we must make a shift is in preventing the young naturally-loving
brain from becoming excessively aggressive or even asocial. Again, surely we must build babies, not jails?
- Can we change to a
Self-Regulating Society? Linked to the last entry (above), there has
been the suggestion that our new MMA-trained generation will
lead NOT to excessively violent societies, but rather give rise to a peaceful self-regulating society.
I do not see this because: (1) it takes too long to be a well-rounded
mixed martial artist, and it is very hard work; (2) of the risk of brain injury, with lifelong consequences for physical and mental health; (3) the asocial
psychopath does not play by the rules; (4) it is competitive. What
could quickly produce a self-regulating society would be a society that
teaches the likes of Target Focus Training:
(1) capable of being easily and sufficiently learned in only a few days by
almost everyone; (2) which is very safe to learn; (3) that does not play by the rules; (4) where peace is the purpose. However, in the long run, I do feel that only a Culture of Love will produce a self-regulating society.
- Understand the Difference between Antisocial and Asocial Violence.
By doing so you minimise the chances of violence ever coming into your
life. In a peaceful protest, for example, you will know when things are
escalating and can withdraw. Learn here and here. Also see Violence & Common Sense.
- Police Numbers. Until
many of the issues herein are faced, there is no sense reducing
the number of police. However, the UK has been cutting police numbers
and the PM denies any link between this and increased knife crime. On
the other hand, the top UK police officer Cressida Dick said (cited at BBC, posted and accessed 5 March 2019): "I agree that there is some link between
violent crime on the streets obviously and police numbers, of course there is,
and everybody would see that."
- Police Violence. Police brutality is a big issue: Belarus, Nigeria, Chile, USA, UK, etc. Stable democracies are becoming police states. White supremacists have infiltrated
the US police. Criminal gangs are within their ranks. Convicted cops keep their jobs. Stop-and-Search powers in the UK are overused
and are basically 'systematic sex abuse' where young blacks are stopped
on weak or no evidence then stripped and anally searched for drugs. Campaign Zero
offers researched policies that can save lives. In the USA, police
forces that adopt all eight of its policies would show a 72% reduction
in police killings. [Also see here, here, here.]
- Police-Free Future.
The problem long-term with police is that they exist to maintain
systemic inequality by the use of violence, under the guise of
'Law and Order'. As such, they are the largest most powerful gang on
Earth. In this brutal system, prisons are excessively used instead of
addressing deep social
issues. Also, perhaps 90% of calls to police are for things in which
they are untrained. Read more at: A World Without Police; Building a Police-Free Future FAQ by MPD 150; Abolitionist Futures (or here); CAHOOTS; [and here, here, here, here, here, here]. Basically we need to build a system of care and
community, not a system of punishment...
- Prisons/Punishment Culture → Caring, Fair Culture. "I am convinced that
imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does
nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus
maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and
useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions — poverty,
unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed — which are at the root
of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly
unpunished. It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit
that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system
survive it and hold on to their humanity." (Howard Zinn, You Can’t
Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times) [Also see 'Babies Not Jails', 'Culture of Love', 'A World Without Prisons?'.]
- Spiritualise. In our materialist society,
there develops a spiritual void. Then drugs are taken to
compensate. Violence spirals out of control - see 'Drug Usage' above. Rather, we need spiritual or sacred lifestyles.
- Animal Cruelty. There is a definite link between animal cruelty and human cruelty (like child abuse and domestic violence). For example: 'Upwards of 86% of the people that abuse animals abuse
people! 90% of the abusers already have a criminal record!' (Causes petition, accessed 10 June 2013) When
we consider that societies blindly accept this on a huge scale, we can
conclude there needs to be massive change. Examples include: Grand National horse race (UK), bullfighting (Spain), Yulin dog meat festival (China), whale research (Japan),
meat eating ("civilised" world), animal experimentation (science),
etc. We even teach children that animal cruelty is 'fun' with the likes of 'pig scrambles'. Unless we stop animal cruelty at a national and cultural level,
how can we expect individuals to see animal cruelty as unacceptable?
Its continuance is perpetuating not only animal cruelty, but also human
cruelty and violence.
- Children & Meditation/Relaxation.
"If every eight-year-old in the world is taught meditation, the world
will be without violence within one generation." (Dalai Lama) But, as this article warns,
it is not a quick fix, it is not a 'Buddha pill'. And meditation can be
misused. It needs to be part of right living, like alongside loving a high ideal.
The skill of relaxation is rarely taught to children; I believe it is far
more important than so-called core subjects; it allows kids
to slow down, manage anger, see clearly, make better decisions - see here.
- Group Meditation. We need to have specialist peace meditators all around the world. The
World Peace Group (accessed 13 April 2017) says: ‘Scientific research shows beyond any shadow of a doubt
that certain types of specialist meditators, when grouped together in one
place, radiate an influence of peace and tranquility to the surrounding
population. When this happens open warfare
and fighting stops within a day, terrorism
evaporates, crime trends
decline, domestic and international
harmony improves... The effect is spontaneous, immediate and systematic. Furthermore
it does not rely on any form of social, political or diplomatic interaction
between the meditating group and the effected community. The influence is
created by just a small group of these meditators equivalent to a tiny fraction
of the number in the rest of the population. This powerful and invisible effect
has been documented dozens of times in fifty
research studies (watch video) and is
now known as the Super Radiance effect...
The aim of the World Peace Group is to create a global Super Radiance effect
by collecting together as many of these experts as we can and pay them to
meditate in a group on a daily basis.’
- Inequality. Inequality is at a record high on Earth. Inequality in a capitalist system =
discontent, as few actually become wealthy = a police state or
revolution = violence is inevitable. (See 'The Super-Rich and Us', Part 2 of 2, first aired on BBC, 2015) UK knife crime most linked to poverty (BBC, posted and accessed 12 November 2018). Also see here, here, here.
(1) Poverty - like inequality - drives violence. For example, on UK knife
crime: "It is not a black and minority ethnic [BME] communities
problem. It's a societal problem. So whilst it might be impacting on
the BME communities the most - when we look at the root causes -
poverty drives knife crime and violence. That's what fuels it. Poverty,
lack of opportunity and inequality." (Ros Griffiths, Southside Young Leaders Academy, BBC, 0m45s, posted and accessed 27 February 2019)
(2) The very existence of poverty is a violent act. It kills people
early, damages their mental health, afflicts life
opportunities, violently sabotages their whole life. It stems
from elitist political decisions. It can be healed. Solutions include:
a living wage, strong trade unions, better welfare (e.g. UBI & UBS). "Poverty is violence." (Owen Jones, The Guardian, posted and accessed 1 December 2020) (3) Also see here.
in Education. If we continue with schools, it is
essential that self-help systems are prioritised above all academic
subjects. For example, when domestic abusers were briefly taught anger
and behaviour management skills, subsequent abuse was cut by a third (BBC, posted and accessed 31 October 2017).
Now imagine if a nation prioritised these sorts of skills!
- Expression. To reduce violence, youth need an outlet to voice and express themselves, says film star Naomie Harris.
For example, drama allows children to get on stage and express the
feelings they can't express in daily life. Sadly, arts funding seems to
continually being slashed.
- Educate men on Inner Game and Outer Game.
Why? Because violence is linked to sexual frustration. There is a courtship process
laid down by evolution of which men are apparently ignorant.
These communication skills or tools are more valuable to society than
- Sanitation and Clean Water. Sexual assault and violence on women is very high in areas where there is poor sanitation and difficult access to clean water (e.g. see here).
This is a matter for everyone, every country, especially the Rich World. As a matter of immense urgency, we need
to ensure these human rights are in place everywhere. Do it already! Build sewage systems not
The non-water part of the brain is 60% fat. It is built on fat even if
its fuel is glucose. This means healthy fats are crucial for brain
health. But since fat was demonised in the early 1970s, fat has been
greatly reduced in people's diets. Mental health issues have greatly increased
in the same period. This includes violence arising from mental health
issues. Maybe we need to reduce the added sugars that substituted for
the fat - and return to a diet plentiful in healthy fats?
We need to stop high-rise buildings and concrete coldness. We
need beautiful places for all humans. Nature connection is so
- Nature. Nature creates personal and societal harmony. For example: (1) 'Another study found that
watching nature documentaries eased
aggression in inmates of a maximum-security prison.' (The
Guardian, posted and accessed 26 October 2020); (2) Communities that are disconnected from nature show higher levels of conflict, violence, crime and racial tension. (Rewilding Britain, dated 2021, accessed 18/8/2021).
- Heat. The Climate & Ecological Emergency (CEE) is manmade - or rather capitalist-made, an economic crime scene. It is severely increasing global heat. It is unpredictable. Nowhere is safe. What does this have to do with violence? (1) Wildfires increase airborne toxic chemicals like lead, linked to crime. (2) Heat is maddening:
psychiatric emergencies increase, suicides double, domestic violence
and murder jump. Yet, rich countries refuse to stop burning fossil
fuels!! Not only are they complicit in probably billions of deaths
(mainly in poorer countries), they also create so many refugees and so
many wars over resources. In essence: the denial/greenwash/inaction in
powerful countries over the CEE = Violence. Tech is not the answer. The
socio-cultural shift required is degrowth and simpler lifestyles in the Rich World. A Solar Culture. A Culture of Love, not greed.
- Space. Humans need space. "We cannot pack a dozen
rats in a concrete shoebox without their attacking and killing each other. We
cannot pack millions of our young into the concrete boxes of our cities without
expecting them to lash out in pain and anger and violence. If I were asked to
solve today’s crime, and given the resources to solve it, I would take our
children out of the concrete boxes. I would give them space. I would introduce
them to open fields where they could roam at will. I would give them mountains
and streams and wildflowers and vast prairies. The gift of space, more than any
other medicine, would do more to prevent crime than any potion I know. Instead
of freeing our children from their concrete boxes, we smash them into smaller
concrete boxes called prisons, and upon their release expect that they will
have learned how not to be insane." (Gerry Spence, How to Argue and Win Every Time, p.253) Also see Cities, Tribe.
- Cities and Civilisation
and their dense populations are unsustainable and terribly linked to
violence: "Two things happen as soon as you require the importation of
resources. One of them is that your way of living can never be
sustainable, because, if you require the importation of resources, it
means you've denuded the landscape of that particular resource, and, as
your city grows, you'll denude an ever-larger area. ... And the other
thing it means is that your way of life must be based on violence,
because if you require the importation of resources, trade will never
be sufficiently reliable because, if you require the importation of
resources and the people in the next watershed over aren't going to
trade you for it, you're going to take it." (Derrick Jensen, cited at Wikipedia, accessed 29 August 2021) We need to end industrial civilisation and return to a life in harmony with Nature. This is something that we used to do successfully and relatively peacefully for many thousands of years. Also see Space, Tribe, here.
- Singing. We
need to sing again. Not as professionals, but every day as we go about
our lives. Not as performers, but together as humans. It
heals divisions, creates unity. "We are forgetting how to sing, and, in
the singing part of our souls becomes atrophied. We wonder about the
violence in this country. I would guess that a singing country would be
violent country." (Gerry Spence, How to
Argue and Win Every Time, p.158)
- Tribe, not the Supertribe of Modern Bureaucracy. Evolutionary science tells us the healthiest size for groups: "As sociologists have
proven, tribes that exceed about two hundred members do not function well... Our
society in no way resembles the tribal society, to which we are so genetically
suited... The principal feature of the tribal society, compared to modern
society, was that the tribal society was palpably alive. Its members created a
cohesive, living, integrated structure. Each member’s conduct affected the
other, and each member was an integral and essential part of the tribal
structure... Our society has destroyed the living tribe and replaced it with a
leviathan conglomerate, not of two hundred, but of two hundred and fifty
million souls [USA]. It rules through rule-bound, nonbreathing, soulless
bureaucracies. The bureaucracies do not know the people. The bureaucracies do
not know anything. They do not think, or feel or care or love. They do not know
pain. They cannot empathize... This bureaucracy is the new dead supertribe... We
cannot fight the governmental and corporate oligarchy that exploits us for
money, sucks us dry of our resources and our creativity, that destroys our
forests and putrefies our prairies and defecates toxic wastes into our rivers
for dead money. We are helpless to be heard, for the ears of the dead
supertribe hear only the crinkle of money. We live in the myth of freedom, but
we are not free of the violence imposed upon us. We live in the myth of love,
but we do not feel loved. We live in the myth of peace, but all around us the
dead supertribe consumes our resources to wage war against our brothers and
sisters both here and abroad." (Gerry Spence, How to Argue and Win Every Time, pp.250-252) Also see Space, Cities.