The Aggression Systems
Human Aggression - Introduction Page 7

Table of Contents


Preface Pages 1 - 2


Human aggression - introduction Pages 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8


Evolution of aggression - introduction Pages  9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14


Brain mechanisms of aggression - introduction Pages 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20


Dynamics of aggression - introduction Pages 21 - 22 - 23


It is well known that the mass media in the United States tend to emphasize pessimistic news, including so-called "socio-biological" explanations of human social phenomena. Detailed data are provided in the Winter-Spring 1981-1982 volume of Philosophical Forum. Books that perpetuate the myth that war is biologically programmed into human nature receive massive promotion, advertising, and dissemination by major sectors of the mass media.

On the basis of experience in trying to publicize the Seville Statement on Violence, I have come to the conclusion that propaganda about the biological basis of warfare is an effort to justify war at a time when its political and economic justifications are no longer believed by most people. The basis for this may be found in the final paper reprinted in this section, The Seville Statement on Violence: A Progress Report. To some extent, this may be a self-conscious conspiracy on the part of certain central sectors of the media that are linked either ideologically or financially to the military-industrial complex. In most cases, however, it is probably not a conspiracy; but normal operating procedure for a mass media that has come to be dominated by pessimistic stories to the exclusion of stories about people or groups who are trying to change the world for the better.

The scientific establishment is also heavily influenced by ideology. For example. one of the first acts of the Reagan Administration was to limit social science funding by ADAMHA. the National Institutes for Alcohol, Drug Abuse. and Mental Health which is the largest source of University research funding. The Reagan edict expressly forbid "studies of large scale social conditions or problems (e.g. poverty. unemployment, inadequate housing and slums, divorce, day care arrangements. accidents, and criminal behavior); social class and groups and their interrelations " Most scientists did not fight against the edict (in fact many didn't even know about it), but they simply re-orient their research in opportunistic fashion to investigate topics that can be funded, such as pharmacological and neurophysiological factors in behavior. The emphasis upon socio-biological 'explanations' is thus built into the federal funding structure itself and is ultimately translated into a bias or imbalance in the scientific literature itself.

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