Why Does Violence Increase in Society?

Year after year, violence in society surges. American concern over crime and violence is at its highest level since 2016, with 53% of Americans worried “a great deal” about it, according to a recent Gallup poll. This makes it one of the top national concerns, surpassed only by inflation and the economy.

In addition to the constant intensification of the ego that evokes violent impulses from within, there is also the influence of the environment. We are social creatures and are greatly influenced by what we see in the media, on social networks, and on the roads.

How can we treat violence at its root and stop it? The answer lies in addressing human nature, which is the root cause of violence. Our nature is egoism, a desire to have satisfaction, a desire to enjoy as much as possible at the expense of others, and it constantly grows. From generation to generation egoism evolves and aggressiveness increases.

The inanimate, vegetative and animal levels also have a desire to receive for themselves, but at low levels. The inanimate only wants to hold on to itself, the vegetative takes from the environment to grow, the animal moves and wanders to find food, a place to live, give birth to offspring. In human beings, the desire to receive reaches such a great level that it leads to violence, to the deliberate harm of others for self-benefit.

Humans are the only creatures that enjoy and feel even more successful when they succeed in destroying others in the process.

People erupt violently when they feel their ego does not get the satisfaction it needs. They are unable to calm and restrain themselves, and finally the wrath erupts on someone around them. A person beats, attacks, and even kills in extreme situations. Even if they are aware that they might get killed as well, it still does not make them refrain from the necessity of venting their anger at that moment. They must liberate what explodes inside them.

In addition to the constant intensification of the ego that evokes violent impulses from within, there is also the influence of the environment. We are social creatures and are greatly influenced by what we see in the media, on social networks, and on the roads.

In the age of great egoism being violent has become a common practice in society. Almost everywhere, from the parliament to the queue at the supermarket, there is a forceful and violent atmosphere. It is considered a show of strength when one manages to humiliate and subdue the other. It affects relationships in the family, at work, in schools, in any interaction between people.

What can help? Only education for proper person-to-person engagement. It should begin from infancy and continue throughout life. Ostensibly, today we educate against violence, the problem is that children see around them examples opposite of what they are taught. Many times, we as adults are impatient, aggressive, stressed, and speak rudely. We cannot preach the nice treatment of others and being courteous, when we act harshly to other people.

The first thing on the way to a change of direction is to recognize that we have a fundamental social problem related to people’s intensifying egoism. It is like a cancerous growth that eats us from within and does not let us live and get along with each other well.

We need to explore ourselves in depth, understand how to transform our nature from a destructive force into a connecting lever.

By and large, reality shows that fear of punishment or preaching morality about appropriate behavior is not enough to suppress violence in society. We need to fundamentally change human nature so that we learn to respect others instead of caring only about ourselves. Only in this way can we ensure that no violent impulses arise in us.

In tomorrow’s world, the main occupation of humanity will be just that: to learn how to treat each other properly, how to improve human relationships. Computers and robots will take a lot of work off our shoulders and give us time to learn and practice how to deal with each other properly, in complementarity, in mutual understanding. Only when there are such corrected relationships between us can we guarantee ourselves a life without violence.

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Michael Laitman

Michael Laitman

PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute.