View Single Post
Old 12-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #13
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 697
Re: No, the world is not becoming a more violent place so what are you getting out of

While there is no question that the stabilizing influence of 'civilization' results in less direct interpersonal violence in general on average we must look a bit more broadly to see what is going on. As Pinker describes it is the laws of society that impose on the populace a risk too great to bear to coerce behavior away from violence. The implicit risk of stiff fines, prison and death at the hands of the state are a class of violence that is left free of the accounting - does such state sanctioned violence get a free pass?

What happens to the fat happy middle aged middle class when things get quite a bit less accommodating? Perhaps they return to the violent ways in proportion to the circumstances in which they find themselves. Let us not delude ourselves to the pacification of the per capita statistic ... average Berkeley with Oakland and Richmond does make the numbers look a bit different than when the rates of violence are instead segmented by more realistic socio-economic 'bins'. We find declining rates of violence solidly follow indicators of wealth and stability. Folks under hardship bear the brunt of violence that only occasionally spills over into the 'nice' neighborhoods and makes a disproportionate splash on the evening news. People are people and when put into certain situations they pretty much tend to act in predictable ways - this has not changed over millennia. Recent economic trends do not bode well and locally we are seeing record rates of murder.

How do why categorize the impact on millions of lives when 'white collar' crime robs the people of hundreds of billions of dollars - is that not violence?

These issues are quite besides the point of the blog post so let us not get distracted. Budo without equal emphasis on martial efficacy and personal development is not budo. Flower arrangement with artificial flowers is looked at comically. Origami that folds many things but not paper is not origami. There is no room for 'pretend-do' - either budo or don't. Martial choreography-do is fine but it is not budo. When my children sing xmas songs it is cute and brings joy to us parents and even the grandparents but we do not mistake it for music and those kids are certainly not musicians. We feel no compunction to convince others that the kids were presenting a musical performance - just kids having fun.

I will take the audacious stance that if one is not practicing aikido with as strong emphasis on martial efficacy as they place on personal development then they are not getting quite as much out of their practice as they could (or even possibly should). On average, or median, or whatever mode floats your boat.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
  Reply With Quote