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Crazy apes beat all

“Many theories have been proposed to explain violent behavior, including loss of control, involuntary impulse, unconscious motivation, lack of conscience, character disorders, genetic inheritance or neurological damage. Some of these theories are anecdotal, based on an observer’s interpretation of a violent actor’s intentions. Others derive from statistical correlational studies, which by definition do not reveal causal relationships but merely identify qualities that may be associated in some way with violent behavior. That people become violent because they have low self-esteem, for example, is a widely accepted theory that minimal interaction with violent people, including violent professionals, quickly disconfirms: violent people usually have overweeningly high self-esteem verging on egomania, because they are confident of their ability to handle conflict and because other people, fearing them, show them great deference. Not all sociopaths are violent; not all violent people have neurological damage; unconscious motivation is by definition unprovable; and any theory of violent development that fails to account for official violent behavior as well as criminal is incomplete.” – Richard Rhodes, Masters of Death

Published inRichard RhodesThe Second World War

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