Aggression: …It just makes me want to…KILL…!

By Lida Prypchan
AngertoKilll01Aggression is a theme that concerns all those of us who live in a city. It concerns us because this attitude more than any other is the result of the depersonalization of city life. It is due to the hustle and bustle, the traffic, and the injustices.
One of the most vivid examples of aggression right now is the attitude of people who drive a car. In our city, day after day, drivers jam their cars up against one another almost as if it’s a way of unloading their problems on to someone else. It’s almost impossible for a pedestrian to cross a street in peace. Nobody will let anybody pass, some smart ones weave in and out and blow their horns enough to burst your eardrums, some shout vulgarities and insults at others and nobody gives way to anyone.
You no longer see what you used to see, a gentleman giving up his place in line to a lady, all that matters is getting there quickly. In a car, the danger lies in the fact that one doesn’t know the driver of the other car – he’s not even a human being, just an LTD or a Maverick. This explains the extremely churlish behavior of drivers. The worst aspect of human behavior is revealed at its maximum potential in the car. People have even been seen getting out of their cars and coming to fisticuffs. According to Konrad Lorenz, the result of imbalance becomes evident when a man is put in a little box – he is no longer human, but an engine with inert brute force.
Another root cause of aggression is the population explosion. This has been confirmed scientifically. Konrad Lorenz himself did a study on fish, which shows that the high rate of aggression is directly proportional to population growth. However, it is observed that if the population increases over and above a certain level, aggression paradoxically decreases. Thus, if there are reasonable numbers of fish, aggression is minimal, reaching its peak at a certain population level and then easing off when the population density is even higher.

Next to the population explosion we should mention the technocratic explosion, which generates competition and as a result, anxiety, tension and aggression. The population explosion, which as I said above, is connected with the technocratic explosion, means that each man would benefit from an ever more specialized field of knowledge, in which he would have to be a complete expert in order to compete with everyone else.
Ironically, this reminds one of the old joke about the specialist who acquires more and more knowledge about fewer and fewer things until finally he knows everything about nothing, and the one about the internist who know less and less about many things till finally he knows nothing about everything. We depend ever more on the expert. The small fraction of technical knowledge that a man can acquire fills up his time, overwhelms his life and his capacity to learn to such a point that he had no time to learn anything outside of his field.
Here resides one of the greatest dangers of urbanization and the population explosion. In comparison, aggression would be a minor problem if we consider how mentally confined present day man has become.

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