The Aggression Systems
Human Aggression - Introduction Page 3

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

In our times the aggressive behavior of the individual is greatly misunderstood. On the one hand, social evils such as war and crime have been blamed on aggression or even called aggression, as if the participants in these destructive social phenomena were acting out of misdirected individual aggressive behavior. On the other hand, the positive role of anger in the activists who have tried to change society in order to eliminate these evils has been ignored and even suppressed.

From the studies reprinted here, the reader is urged to consider the thesis that individual aggressive behavior is not the cause of social evils. To the contrary, individual anger is an essential component of the psychological motivation of activists whose coordinated labor can rid society of these evils.

Individual aggression, in the form of anger against injustice, is actually an essential positive emotion which should be encouraged and developed. As indicated in the conclusion of the first paper reprinted here (On the Role of Anger in War and Peace), "anger may be seen as a positive and essential motivational force for those who struggle for social change. In particular, it is critical for the motivation of peace movement activists." The positive nature of anger is explained and documented in detail in the second reprint, the chapter on Anger vs. Fear from Psychology for Peace Activists. Quotations are presented from the great peace activists of 2Oth Century America, in which it may be seen that anger against injustice was a factor that spurred them into action and began their consciousness development.

The positive value of anger is not limited to peace activists, but is relevant to all who work for social change. It may be argued that anger is the personal fuel in the social motor that resolves the institutional contradictions that arise in the course of history. As such. it applies to the activists who rid the world of slavery, and who moved the political economic systems from feudalism to capitalism and from capitalism to socialism, and who are fighting today to rid the world of racism and sexism. The documentation of such a sweeping argument is beyond the scope of the present work, but hopefully it will be taken up by others.

(Continued on next page)

previous page
home page
next page