Previous section: “Preparing for the Fight“
Today’s section from Descending into War, Descending into Contempt, pp. 28-29:
The viciousness that conflict enables buries humanity in quicksand. It pulls all down down, thinning the resources to stop the expectation that ferocity and viciousness are normal behaviors.
Ferocity is an innate quality in people—in all people, but it is usually contained. When ferocity is allowed to take hold, the results are often tragic.
Unkindness is not an innate quality; it is learned. Children learn it from caregivers and people who affect their lives when they are young. If unkindness is doused on people, it drenches but does not pass into the behavior, unless the unkindness is consistently administered or is traumatically experienced. Unkindness that has become part of a person opens the person to release ferocity.
Uncontrollable hatred is also not an innate quality, but it is felt when it has been experienced or when it is lived by example. In other words, children who experience uncontrollable hatred directed at them may internalize it and use it against themselves or others, or children who see and hear demonstrations of uncontrollable hatred towards other people may unconsciously digest the hatred towards others and display it in the future. When uncontrollable hatred is felt and unkindness has been learned, ferocity develops.
Throughout history, people have viciously hurt other people. The cycle of ferocity does not change, because people continue to teach unkindness and hatred.
News stories focus on salacious and hurtful events so that people become inured to vicious and degrading actions. Books and movies describe loathsome and reprehensible characters, because people have become conditioned to see them as “entertainment”. Ferocity can be controlled, but it requires conviction, understanding, declaration (public statements), patience, vigilance, kindness, and action by participants and sideliners so that the ferocity remains inactive. Conviction is the solution to ferocity—conviction that ferocity can be controlled and neutralized.
Next section: “Casualties of Resentment”