J.3.             MICRO-VIOLENCE

IsnÕt most inter-personal violence the immediate result of uncontrolled anger in some situation, whatever the underlying causes?
The underlying cause could be prolonged ego frustration in some respect. The anger leading to violence might be triggered by something even trivial.

Not all anger is bad or inevitably leads to violence. Anger over injustice to oneÕs self or to someone else is not an improper part of oneÕs reaction. But anger without good cause is bad and should never lead to violence.

Road rage is an instance of uncontrolled anger where the cause is often not of great importance but the outcome is sometimes violence.

I can get mad when other drivers treat me badly, and know I should not, but my worst reaction is to fume out loud to myself.

Sexual violence is presumably often the result of sexual demands that are frustrated and the response is angry and violent.
Other sexual violence results from jealousy that is out of control.

How much inter-personal or even inter-group violence is the product of hatred? Inter-group hatred has to be taught in order for it to produce violence. But inter-personal hatred can be the result of very bad treatment of a person by someone else. Continued for a long time this sometimes becomes regarded as unbearable and leads to violence.

Youth who have been mistreated as they were growing up can become so disaffected and develop such anti-social attitudes as to want to inflict violence on any supporters of the social order.

Police who experience this or who are prejudiced to start with against youth groups or against some ethnic or racial groups are emotionally prone to use more violence against them than is warranted.

How much violence is due to fear and the fight or flight choice?

I suspect that only a little violence now results from flight not being possible and fight seems the only option, though such situations may occur.

This has been a brief discussion of the relation of emotions to micro-violence. Daniel GolemanÕs book, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, which is really about emotional maturity is the best I have read that has a bearing on all this. The question of how much reason can control emotions or is just subservient to them is as old as Aristotle and will not be dealt with here.

There is also the question as to how much violence can arise just from bad ideas or bad values. Clearly a lot of violence occurs under the influence of drugs or too much alcohol.