Essay on Goldstein And Pinker 's Theories On A Worldwide Decline Of Violence

Essay on Goldstein And Pinker 's Theories On A Worldwide Decline Of Violence

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Goldstein and Pinker both use similar evidence and reasoning to explain their theories on a worldwide decline of violence. Goldstein even quotes Pinker in parts of his article. Their evidence does not just rest in modern history, but travels as far back as five thousand years ago. Both point to specific eras in history that in which certain types of violence was reduced. Goldstein tends to use the more recent examples, with his oldest just reaching 19th century Europe. Pinker basically covers from the beginning of written human history to current times.
Pinker espouses that there are six distinct periods of human history that can be used to prove that we, as humans, are becoming less violent. The first he calls the Pacification Process. He states that it started around 3000 B.C. and lasted for around a thousand years. With the movement of people to an agricultural way of life, rather than the previous hunter-gather style, came the creation of cities and governments. The violence that decreased in this period was that of raiding for land and resources by as much as five-fold.
Pinker’s next era or trend in the historical decrease of violence starts around the end of the Middle Ages and extends into the 20th century. Called the Civilizing Process, it lasted for five hundred years, this was when fiefdoms and other fragmented groups and territories started to condense into kingdoms. These kingdoms had a single central authority and allowed a larger level of trading and commerce. Pinker suggests that under this change from small, relatively self-contained feudal territories to large centralized Kingdoms that saw a drop in homicides between 900% to almost 5,000% percent.
The next era is the first commented on by both Pinker and Goldst...


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...y using self-control, empathy, a moral sense, and reason. There are also outside forces that help to contain aggression. Commerce, which is often associated with democracy, allows people to win without truly creating losers, as culture begin to respect women there become less of a violence based society, a central “monopoly [of] the legitimate use of force”, as people become more educated and have the ability to see the world on a larger scale, and to knowledge that violence is a problem to be solved and not just a means to an end.
Both Pinker and Goldstein agree that violence has been decreasing world-wide, although Pinker is looking at a much longer period of time. Both cite similar time frames when discussing this topic. While they do have differences of opinion they are in agreement that the world is slowly becoming less violent and my yet lead to a true peace.

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