Society is becoming increasingly violent

For some time now, there has been a perception that violence in society is on the rise. The violation of laws and the lack of forceful punishments for transgressors seem to be turning us into a violent society.

We see corruption and impunity as daily elements of our life and we become a resigned society, if not accomplices.

The increasing and exacerbated tendency to resolve differences with others violently is the most common response. We try to impose our little quota of power when we get the chance. And no matter what the issue is – politics, football, personal relationships – violence, rather than tolerance and empathy, is usually the answer.

These disorders in the social behavior of a country They have serious consequences, especially when violence in society starts from political and economic power.

Aristotle’s social animal

According to Aristotle, the human is a social animal by nature; He calls it zóon politikón. This social nature of the human being it has been verified throughout history because, since its origins, man has lived in society.

That is, the human being needs to belong to a group with which it identifies and in which it is recognized. A community of equals in which their rights are respected. Aristotle called it polis.

To achieve organized and collaborative coexistence, the polis is governed by common rules, accepted by all its members. In his documents, Aristotle defines the basic structures on which life in society and civic coexistence must be based. For him, society represents “the greatest achievement” of society, constituted as “an association of equal beings, who aspire in common to achieve a happy and easy existence.” He points out that, to live in the polis, ethics is a “necessary, not sufficient, condition of citizen interaction.”

Social yes, but violent?

On the other hand, the liberals of the 18th century pointed out that the human being has always been violent, and they end with the human altruism attributed to the ideas of Aristotle. It is the liberals who pronounce the apothegm that “the rights of each end where the rights of others begin.” The others is the limit of my rights; exceeding that limit implies violence towards the other.

Classical liberalism states that human beings are social only out of interest, not naturally, and that society is a builder. For them, society is not consubstantial with the human being, but rather the human being creates it as a social pact. But they recognize that the human being is also rational. He knows that the social pact needs limits. For this reason, it grants the State the power to exercise violence to guarantee that the use of individual freedom does not violate the freedom of others.

Violence in society is controlled by legitimate violence exercised by the state. But what happens when the rules of coexistence are not met? When do I want my rights to go beyond those of the other?

Violent society

Forms of violence in society

Globalization, rather than allowing a greater understanding between human beings, has been a reason for violence in society to increase. The verification that the global world has allowed of human differences has not favored the evolution of tolerance and mutual respect.

The aversion to differences, the distorted perception of human diversity, and the misunderstanding and lack of tolerance towards other ways of seeing the world have led to the emergence of an increasingly violent society.

But it is not always easy to recognize violence. In many cases it is standardized and we accept it as something to be expected or even do not recognize it. Violent society has many ways of manifesting itself. It depends on how it is exercised, who it is exercised and on whom it is exercised. Therefore, we repeat, recognizing it is not always easy.

Physical violence and psychological violence take multiple forms in violent society. Domestic violence, violence in sports, school bullying, racist and / or homophobic aggressions, permissive society, vandalism, tyranny, prejudice … any uncontrolled exercise of power over others, permissiveness, contempt or incitement to hatred constitute violent acts. Even just exposure to violent acts promotes violence.

What to do?

As we can see, there are many ways in which violent society manifests itself, but violence is only one, with only one cause: lack of respect for the other. Respecting the way of thinking of the other, their feelings, their way of seeing the world does not mean losing my essence. It means being empathetic and understanding it in its context, in its reality.

Violent society leads us to want to be what I am not, to feel what I do not feel, to believe what I do not believe and to deserve what I do not deserve. It leads us to live for society and according to society, without taking into account the individuality and rich diversity of the human being.

But, as Aristotle said, society is made up of the human being, so violent society is created by the violent human being. Perhaps it is a vicious cycle from which it is difficult to get out. Is something impossible? Surely not, because the human being is also rational and emotional and, as the liberals said, even out of interest, we must fight to reduce violence in society.

We have to start from the fact that, in essence, we are all the same. Mainly, that we all have the same right to life, to improvement, to difference, to the enjoyment of the world as a society.

Finally, despite so much skepticism towards the values ​​of today’s society, globalization does not seem to have been so destructive. Knowing about the other and their circumstances also seems to have awakened the conscience of many people. So Aristotle may still have the last word …

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