The Cultivation of Hatred: A Brief History of Violence in America

Following American Violence and Education I was asked to take “another ride” on this subject and, following a workshop I was in this summer where, allegedly (it’s on film so I can’t deny it), I said that “we are all educators,” meaning those in and out of education proper, and that this makes us all somehow “responsible,” so, along these lines, I am taking another turn with The Cultivation of Hatred: A Brief History of Violence in America.

I am testing on Medium first since this is a good, well, “medium” to see what kinds of legs this approach has.  For those of you that measure these things, a la Medium, the 2444 word piece will take you 11 minutes to read. There are pictures and links to videos.

It begins like this :

In “The Dawn of Man” sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick introduces us to the usage of tools as “man” becomes an active element and gains the power of action over nature — tools make “man” an agent of change.

Paleolithic being discovers that the tool can protect and conquer; it can be used to advance one’s cause and eliminate all threat, kill it off — at least until an opponent engineers a more dastardly tool as we see in another Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove, and the making of the Doomsday Machine, and in Dr. Seuss’ The Butter Battle Book — both narratives about mutually assured destruction.

So it begins, “man’s” intimate relationship with violence. It commences quite rationally: to protect and to serve one’s needs and the needs of one’s community. Can’t be more fundamental than that, more reasonable.

Read More …  and thank you!

3 thoughts on “The Cultivation of Hatred: A Brief History of Violence in America

  1. Apparently the ever more capable internet is not going to check the economically forced march to the cities. We started with a sense of wonder trying to assign meaning to patterns in the stars, now the sky is pink all night. There’s some about this severing of our roots and shortening of the horizon that leads to a substitute, a toxic certainty, this sense that I can see all I need to see, that I know all I need to know. At this point if you give us easy global jet travel, we start yelping about the hotel as soon as we land. Didn’t the Great War prove that apart from individual edification, “getting to know other peoples” doesn’t really help? The internet lets us spew hate and appalling images, the airlines are enablers of breathtaking pollution, is there anything left but compression?

  2. Well, yes, I think that there’s something beyond compression, something slower, which I think we may be looking for. The uncompressed, the open, transcendence, which is fundamentally human, I think. Perhaps the lesson of the Great War was just the opposite, only we’ve rejected it, or at least markets have rejected it and we go along with the ideologies that markets bring. I only say this because there’s something here that has to do with the wild and crazy and very hostile political system we’re experiencing today. The main characteristic is extreme hostility. I guess I’m wondering how is it that extremes are what we expect, what’s common?

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