Violence is a necessary evil, in asset-oriented cultures, since future risk must be mitigated now.

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Thanks for sharing this.

I'm particularly interested in conflict and do some conflict facilitation work using the Lewis Deep Democracy method, based on process-oriented psychology. The theory we work with states that conflict often results from resistance to a position that doesn't get heard and so it grows and grows. It shows up in sarcastic jokes and gossip at first, but later progresses to strikes and all out war/separation. To me, this seems like a deeper explanation of cause rather than the factors that enable violence shared above.

I think the South African experience of violence inflicted by the apartheid government has a huge role to play in conditioning people to accept a lower standard of human-human interaction, and the trauma of those days still plays out in people's psychologies and interpersonal relationships - also being passed onto to younger generations if you look at Indigenous people's in Canada's work on intergenerational trauma.

Violence happens because we don't invest in healing - at least one of the puzzle pieces in the complex story.

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Thanks for this thoughtful comment, Aslam.

My only concern is that your theory also struggles to explain the large variation we observe across communities, even within a town or a city. Why are some neighbourhoods so much more violent than others, even if they were equally affected by apartheid policies?

That healing is necessary, I have no doubt. And investment in that is indeed much needed. But I'm not sure that is a sufficient explanation to explain either the change across time and the variation between regions.

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