Jump to bottom


1 Amory Blaine  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 12:18:52pm

Steven Pinker was on Colbert last week talking about this. Good interview.

2 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 2:52:52pm

This is probably true, sadly. But the glass is half-full, right? Still, we need a Brita filter that turns water into scotch.

3 SpaceJesus  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 4:13:09pm

Interesting list. Practically all of those events were motivated by greed.

4 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 4:18:43pm

re: #3 SpaceJesus

I'll disagree. Evidently, cruelty is a thing in itself, not a by-product. You can get pretty darned rich without mass murder.

5 SpaceJesus  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 4:28:30pm

re: #4 Bob Levin

Yes, you can get rich without mass murder. How does that change the fact that most of those events were caused by greed? Ghengis Khan wasn't just running around Asia for the fun of it, he was after money, land, and individual power.

6 Interesting Times  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 4:35:56pm

Humans are not "less violent than ever". The tools for preventing humans from indulging their violent natures are more effective. And they can be lost at a moment's notice:

Never, ever, ever take civilization for granted.

7 Daniel Ballard  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 5:12:27pm

re: #6 publicityStunted

Actually, the author agrees with you....

How do you explain the decline in violence?
I don't think there is a single answer. One cause is government, that is, third-party dispute resolution: courts and police with a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Everywhere you look for comparisons of life under anarchy and life under government, life under government is less violent. The evidence includes transitions such as the European homicide decline since the Middle Ages, which coincided with the expansion and consolidation of kingdoms; the transition from tribal anarchy to the first states. Watching the movie in reverse, in today's failed states violence goes through the roof.

8 Interesting Times  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 5:26:28pm

re: #7 Rightwingconspirator

Yes, I saw that, which is why I find the original article's headline rather imprecise (it should say, "rates of human violence lower than ever" or some such. I doubt they quoted the author directly, but gave it their own spin - simplified exaggeration sells).

In any case, I think the ultimate takeaway from Pinker's work is that the past is really, really horrid and anything that could plunge us back into those dark times must be squashed at all costs.

9 Romantic Heretic  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 6:44:49pm

What? They weren't the Good Old Days™?

I'm crushed. /

10 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:10:32pm

re: #5 SpaceJesus

I think certain people get just as big of a charge out of hurting others as they do from having gold. You disagree?

11 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:22:19pm

re: #5 SpaceJesus

What do you call this episode--

The new Tangut emperor quickly surrendered to the Mongols, and the rest of the Tanguts officially surrendered soon after. Not happy with their betrayal and resistance, Genghis Khan ordered the entire imperial family to be executed, effectively ending the Tangut lineage.

Some accounts say that Genghis Khan was castrated by a Tangut princess using a hidden knife, who wanted revenge against his treatment of the Tanguts and stop him from raping her.[26][27][28] After his castration, Genghis Khan died, and the Tangut princess committed suicide by drowning in the Yellow River according to the legend.[29][30] In some mythical legends, it is claimed that Genghis fell into a trance after being castrated and is waiting to be sent back to the Mongol people.[31][32]

12 SpaceJesus  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:33:19pm

re: #11 Bob Levin

Which part? the killing of the family, or the castration?

13 SpaceJesus  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:34:43pm

re: #10 Bob Levin

G. Khan would not have been able to unite the tribes of Mongolia and wage a war against everything under the sun if he had not been driven by the desire for power and wealth personally, and had not promised those same things to those who followed him.

14 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:44:33pm

re: #13 SpaceJesus

I didn't say he wasn't greedy or power hungry. I said that cruelty is a thing in itself, not a by-product of one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

15 Bob Levin  Tue, Oct 25, 2011 11:47:04pm

re: #12 SpaceJesus

You mean the killing of the family and the raping, right? Those are the acts that are cruel for the sake of being cruel.

16 Obdicut  Wed, Oct 26, 2011 2:04:44am

re: #13 SpaceJesus

Actually, he continued to live a very, very simple lifestyle up until he died.

I think you'd like the book Ghenghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

17 Obdicut  Wed, Oct 26, 2011 2:06:23am

re: #15 Bob Levin

And on, he didn't execute nobles to be cruel, he executed them to destroy the ruling class. He either co-opted or destroyed the nobility where he conquered.

Did he do a lot of terrible mass murder and shit like that? Certainly. Is that at all different from those he was conquering? Nope.

18 boxhead  Wed, Oct 26, 2011 2:17:18am

re: #6 publicityStunted

re: #7 Rightwingconspirator

I agree... The human trait that creates the really violent folks in our history has not been removed. For the most part it has been replaced with folks no better. The difference is that the new empire builders use the rest of us as consumers instead of fodder.

At least that is what I read at a OWS website... :)

19 SpaceJesus  Wed, Oct 26, 2011 1:03:06pm

re: #16 Obdicut

Actually, he continued to live a very, very simple lifestyle up until he died.

I think you'd like the book Ghenghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

Yes, I'm well aware of the new modern approach to treating G. Khan in a more positive light. Criticism abounds of Mr. Weatherford's work, and the man isn't even an historian.

This page has been archived.
Comments are closed.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Norah Jones - to Live "To Live" is taken from Norah's newest album 'Pick Me Up Off The Floor,' out now and available to stream/download here: Connect with See Norah live: Music video by Norah Jones performing To Live. © 2020 ...
3 days, 17 hours ago
Views: 315 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Future Islands - for Sure (Official Video) 'For Sure' by Future Islands, out now on all platforms: A Film by Samuel Jerome MasonFinishing by John HarrisonRendered with GarageFarmSpecial Thanks to Anna, Jemima, Mike, Willy, Saad, Eric, Arsen Perish the painI was impoverishedThose ties that windAnd ...
3 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 324 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Get on My Wave I wrote and produced “Get On My Wave” with Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas the day we met last summer. I’ve struggled with releasing the song during the pandemic because it felt too happy; detached from the tumult of our ...
3 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 316 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
J. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy - UN DIA (ONE DAY) Stream "UN DIA (ONE DAY)" on your favorite streaming platform: Subscribe to my YouTube channel here: Connect with J Balvin on socials: LYRICS Dua Lipa:You know sometimes I think about us Now and thenBut I never ...
3 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 314 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Travis - a Ghost (Acoustic Isolation Video) The official Acoustic Isolation Video for A Ghost by Travis. The new album 10 Songs is out 9 October, pre-order now: Listen to A Ghost: Production Company: Gezellig Studio  Video Director: Fran Healy Cinematographers: Clay Kryst, Sam ...
5 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 421 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Amy Macdonald - a Piece of My Heart (Brand New Song) I’ve written a little song about this mad situation... 💥🎸 Lyrics by Amy Macdonald: Nobody ever could see just what was coming, nobody thought that it was true, And nobody knew that we would miss each other, quite as ...
1 week ago
Views: 577 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Modern English - I Melt With You (From Quarantine) Modern English - I Melt With YouSubscribe to Modern English on YouTube: Shop Modern English merchandise: Listen to the single "I Melt With You"Apple Music: open.spotify.comAmazon: LYRICSMoving forward using all my breathMaking love to you ...
1 week ago
Views: 546 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
The Killers - My Own Soul’s WarningMusic video by The Killers performing My Own Soul’s Warning. © 2020 Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 584 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook
Gregory Porter - Concorde Gregory Porter - ConcordeConcorde Available Now: PRE-ORDER GREGORY’S NEW ALBUM Subscribe to Gregory Porter’s channel here: Follow Gregory Porter on :Facebook : gregoryporter.lnk.toTwitter : Instagram : Gregory Porter’s official music videos: gregoryporter.lnk.toAll Gregory Porter’s ...
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 547 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday The official music video for Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2. Iconic performance of the live anthem Sunday Bloody Sunday filmed at Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado during the War tour. Subscribe to the U2 channel: Watch more U2 ...
1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 612 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook