The Aggression Systems
Human Aggression - Introduction Page 8

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


What can be done? One type of action is exemplified in the Seville Statement on Violence. A progress report on this statement is reprinted at the end of this section. Here is a statement that says that "the same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace." It has been endorsed by leading scientists and scientific organizations around the world. It is being used increasingly in educational systems to provide optimism to young people so that they can take a role in "inventing peace." As described in the progress report, the Seville Statement is an ongoing. worldwide "snowball" of activity for peace. It is being disseminated by a wide variety of organizations, including UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).

Another task to be done is the development of a new psychology that encourages progressive social change and that, in the process, encourages and develops anger as a constructive force in social activists. In my book, Psychology for Peace Activists, I have called for the development of such a new psychology with the following attitude towards anger:

The harnessing of anger is not only a psychological concern but it is also political concern of great value for the peace movement. Anger is not only ignored as a positive force, but it is actively discouraged by contemporary American psychology textbooks. It is treated as if it were pathology and disease, and it is blamed for the ills of society including war and crime, while the true economic and political roots of these phenomena are hardly discussed. But it will not be enough for the new psychology to "authorize" anger. Anger is a skill that needs to be developed, so that it is used constructively rather than destructively. When I say that "anger is the personal fuel in the social motor that resolves the institutional contradictions of history," I imply that anger is useless unless it is put into the "social motor." The new psychology must help engage people in today's "social motor" which is the peace movement, teaching them that their anger takes on constructive value within that social context. At the same time, it must guard against the harnessing of anger into reactionary social movements such as fascism.

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