violence revisited (was extropians and animal rights)

Brian D Williams (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 12:00:41 -0800 (PST)

From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>

>I look at criminals as a natural phenomenon of the urban economic
>ecosystem. Individuals that are denied skills or opportunity to
>practice productive skills in the society will resort naturally to
>predatory economics, being economically carnivorous upon the
>assets of the members of the herd. It does not matter if the
>predator is an Ivan Boesky or John Dillinger, it is the same
>behavior. Just as with natural predators, criminals will develop
>a 'drug of choice' or preferred form of prey, which is why most
>criminals only practice one or two forms of crime.

I don't see this as purely economic, nor is it a matter of being denied skills or opportunity. I see it as primarily cultural, it is not mere coincidence that these levels of violence are prevalent in certain subcultures (neighborhoods). It doesn't take a genius to spot a gang-banger, it takes a clear head and a certain amount of gut's to do something about it, especially if it's your kid.

>Violent crime is similarly a form of repressed predation. Since in
>an urban environment, there is no other species besides humans,
>dogs, cats, and rats, you will get sociopathic individuals who
>will express their natural hunting urges first upon 'acceptable'
>species to prey upon, then marginally acceptable/unacceptable
>species (dogs and cats), then as the individual becomes more
>dislocated from society, they may prey upon the unacceptable prey
>species, humans. This progression is a visible indication of the
>progression of their mental illness, but the hunting urge is not
>the illness, merely how the illness expresses itself in an
>environment of a limited ecosystem.

I don't see any repression, this is clearly predator/prey behavior.

>This is one reason why I view the general urban/vegetarian fear of
>guns and gun owners as also an instinctual fear that the herbivore
>has for the carnivore. We as humans also have this instinct, which
>comes to the fore as we practice a vegetarian lifestyle, since we
>did evolve from vegetarian/scavengers who were preyed upon by many
>predators, including homo erectus, and the great cats. This fear,
>when it becomes the core of mental illness, is manifested in
>haplophobia, which is recognized in the literature as an
>irrational fear of guns. It is an illness of transference, as we
>have a natural fear of seeing the natural weapons of predators

I think you have a good point here. Prey species do not want any non-prey species about.

Here in Chicago we are going through a new round of brain dead haplophobia. Despite 17 years of handguns being totally illegal (except if you're a Chicago politician, can you spot hypocrisy?) we were just named murder capitol of the U.S. They can't get it through their heads they are approaching this the wrong way.

The answer? Simple, mandatory jail time (at least a year, I'd prefer 5 let's settle on 3) for possession of an illegal handgun.

>When attacked, a herbivore will tend to flee, while an omnivore
>will tend to stand and fight, which explains the whole debate over
>right-to-carry vs. no-right-to-carry concealed weapons, as it is
>merely a manifestation of the different viewpoints of the
>herbivorous (sublimated as an economic herbivore or as
>an actual vegetarian) humans who prefer to avoid and flee and that
>of the omnivorous humans who would prefer to stand and fight a
>predator, and would prefer to be equally matched to that predator
>in weaponry. Herbivorous humans, as herd creatures, will depend
>upon the 'tamed' few deviants they think they have control
>of (i.e. police/government) to protect them from the predators,
>but will also seek to disarm the omnivores due to misplaced
>association with the predators.

Fight, flight or for most urbanites, just plain fright.

Fighter, not a flight-er.

Member,Extropy Institute