Violence and war overstated in the climate of fear
It seems as if violence is everywhere, but historically, we’ve never had it this peaceful. Statistics reveal dramatic reductions in war deaths, family violence, racism, rape, murder and all sorts of mayhem.
Prominent Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker Pinker writes: “The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species.”
And it runs counter to what the mass media is reporting.
Pinker and other experts say the reality is not painted in bloody anecdotes, but demonstrated in the black and white of spreadsheets and historical documents, amongst them:
— The rate of genocide deaths per world population was 1,400 times higher in 1942 than in 2008.
— The number of people killed in battle, calculated per 100,000 population, has dropped by 1,000-fold over the centuries as civilizations evolved.
— Rape in the United States is down 80 percent since 1973.
— Discrimination against blacks and gays is down, as is capital punishment, the spanking of children, and child abuse.
Even when you add in terrorism, the world is still far less violent, Pinker says. “Terrorism doesn’t account for many deaths. Sept. 11 was just off the scale. There was never a terrorist attack before or after that had as many deaths. What it does is generate fear,” he said.