Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972


Krasikov V.I.

Article is worked out by supporting of a financial

assistance of the Russian Foundation for Basical

Research, project 07-06-00067-а

Many people in the post Cold War world thought some time that a previous violent history had finished and we should merely decide how democracy can be forested where a democratic tradition is only embryonic. The September of 2001 gave us an evidence to suggest that we had illusions about a possible finish of a violent history. It only seemed that great misfortunes of XX century like the World Wars and totalitarianism can force people to abandon the policy of violence.

Indeed, it starts a new real renaissance of political violence as norm of settlement. It is very dangerous because people anew get into the way of common violence. As it is well known the World Wars were always preceded by local conflicts and common using of violence. It makes actual to consider a problem of violence as immanent aspect of Life and human being.

This problem is a clearly multidisciplinary status. It is explained that violence is total phenomenon of Life being and all sciences which study vitality and human being consider a subject of violence in their specific way according to their objects. Not surprisingly, there are many diverse approaches that often contradict with each other. At the same time available conceptions provide a possibility of philosophical multidisciplinary agreement and a building of general system model of violence. Let´s consider the main multidisciplinary positions in respect of violence.

Interesting and important ideas were suggested by biologists. Some neurophysiologists (McLean, Delgado) state that violence is bound up with peculiarities of a brain evolution. There was a unique acceleration in a development of cerebral hemispheres while there were not practically any changes in an old biological part of the brain like medulla and cerebellum. Such situation is a cause of a permanent conflict between a power of a new appeared intellect and primordial invariable instincts. This conflict is the fundamental root of violence. Neurophysiologist A. Rain from Los-Angeles established facts of relationships between a brain activity in frontal parts and an inclination to violence. His brain tomography study of 41 prisoners who were killer showed that those people have a depressed activity of frontal parts because grey matter in these parts of their brain is less 11 % than other people. It is well also known that frontal parts of the brain function as centers of sociability and abstract thinking. Such neurophysiologic information raises a query about a necessity for a medical system of diagnosis of people inclined to violence. There is important especially for politicians who can some time come into power and use political violence. I think that a main lack of neurophysiologic explanation of violence is methodological individualism and inability to consider relationships between peculiarities of the brain and a group behavior.

Psychogeneticists (Brunner H.G., Valzally L., Kulikov A.V., Osipova D.V., Popova N.K., Egorova M.S., and Shustikova M.V.) strive to define a degree of a genetic determination of aggressive behavior in human and animals. It was proved that a conception of "one gene of aggressiveness" is unreal (Brunner) because many genes and complete genetic interactions provoke aggressiveness. Psychogeneticists establish that individual differences of aggressiveness in population are caused up to 50% by genetic peculiarities and everything else is explained by an influence of surrounding factors. While psychogenetic studies demonstrate that exclusive surrounding factors can provoke a serious transformation of inborn mechanisms.

It is known that the genetic regulation of aggressive behavior is controlled by the monoamine systems of the brain. Situation of long-term confrontations and stresses lead to transfigurations of a functional regulation of monoamine genes. Repeated experiences of aggression and wins such so constant negative experiences of defeats bring a changing of natural genetic regulation´s balance. It is getting worse an inhibition of reflexes and makes more active nerve-centers of enjoyment such so long-term negative experience can form a strategy of subordination. Pathological phenomena of a regulation of aggressive behavior originate from normal primordial mechanisms by means of an accumulation of a certain neuron-chemical changing in the brain.

As appears from the above, an influence of gene polymorphism on an inclination to aggression depends on monoamine genes transcription activity from the experience of aggression. So it can be said that psychogenetic researches give a necessary empirical material for the advancement of seminal non-speculative conceptions explaining a correlation between inclined and experiential (personal or group) parts of aggressiveness. It will enable us to define ways of possible social influence over "inner" violence for purpose of its minimizing more correctly. Biologists (Valzelly L., Eibl-Eibesfeldt I., Moyer K.E.) and ethologists (Wilson E.O., Lamsden C. J., Lorenz K., Dawkins R., Ruse M., Trivers R.L.) who analyzed a biological bases of human behavior obtained very interesting results. Reflection on their works carries inference that violence is one of fundamental factors of evolution and it is not considered as only negative power. On the one hand, violence is a necessary sequence of some conservative characteristics of primates as sexual behavior, strong social instinct and territorial imperative. There are systems of aggressive domination especially over female and other weak fellow-tribesmen. There is also a strong inclination to indoctrination as a prerequisite of self-closing group mind and behavior. From this it follows tribalism, xenophobia and double moral standards. On the other hand, violence as a readiness to come up against serious problems and difficulties is such an important value of evolution as a readiness to cooperate with fellow-tribesmen. K. Lorenz, for instance, posits that violence optimizes distribution of individuals on species´ territory and consumption of available resources. Violence also optimizes natural selection by means of rejection of defective individuals. Wilson claims that there are more important indirect forms of violence in human life. There are deception and hypocrisy which are specific necessary means of organizing of human complete daily routine. A level of deception and hypocrisy is a historical compromises, reflected proportions and complication of any human community. A direct aggressiveness and primordial forms of physical domination were reduced. They were substituted for social complete skills of managing of sexuality and aggressiveness.

Finally, some sociobiologists (Alexander, Keith, and Bigelow) state that such noble and generous traits like altruism, mutual assistance, patriotism and courage are a genetic sequel of frequent wars in human history. Are they right? Where is it a dividing line between genetics and ethics? Psychological approaches are quite numerous but they have two general indications. Firstly, they derive violence from inner physiologic processes that determine social behavior. Secondly, their analysis rests on an idea that violence and aggressiveness are not self-dependent phenomena but reactions to external unfavorable circumstances. Psychologists usually have a tendency to use notions "violence" and "aggression" like identical. Freud noticed that violence is a rudiment of animal past of human beings and it is an expression of any psychological structures.

Behaviorists (Dollard J. and others) consider aggression as a consequence of frustration. Social psychologists Feshbach S. also interprets aggression as a response to frustration. It is an automatic bent. There is an expressive, hostile and instrumental aggression. Another interesting variant of frustration´s approach is a conception of deprivation (Gurr. T). A readiness for violence come into existence as a result of deprivation´s feelings. It should be noted that deprivation is considered as not only dispossession, imprisonment and privations but there is general reaction against some gap in the correlation between somebody´s expectations, pretensions and real possibilities. There is, for example, status´s stress. All the same sociologists work out the most adequate understanding of social violence. It is taken for granted because they professionally study just a level of reality where social violence appears. By my opinion, the most interesting sociological conceptions that suggest their interpretations of causes of social violence were developed by Smelser N., Parsons T., and Huntington S. Smelser demonstrated that opposed to the existing social order political movements origin from any fundamental non-coordination of macro-social structures. Such non-coordination is a result of changing of status´ correlation between main social groups. As Lenin said 100 years ago, the upper strata can´t rule in the old way and lower classes want not exist in the old manner.

Parsons was firmly convinced that the prime cause of social violence is a conflict between diametrical opposed values. It starts when a break between dominant social-cultural values and main social structures had been. In comparison with "pure sociologists" Huntington suggests more global multidisciplinary approach. He combines sociology, history of civilization, culturology, economics and political science. So it appears a global context of consideration where the problem of violence also becomes global. Huntington confirms that a modernization provokes a global violence as a result an appeared gap between westernization´s development of particular economies and changing of their political institutions. The global violence is generated in countries where a radical change of modernization came about. It should be specially noted that not the poor but the middle classes in developing countries are often a source of instability and violence. These middle classes of transitional societies aspire to consumption and possibilities like the middle classes of rich countries. A social mobilization and an intensification of political participating of these classes which are not yet regulated by available political structures are more important factor of instability than an uneven economic development. It sounds quite paradoxically, if we remember Aristotle´s classical statement about middle classes as a basis of stability in society.

Civilization´s approach gives us a union of multidisciplinary mosaic and a universal system of theoretical coordinates. It allows us to see a united world picture and general factors of development but while it is possibility a menace of new mythologizing.

Some historians (Tilly Ch., Anderson B., Giddens A.,) who study a history of wars have a tendency to consider violence and war as a necessary natural phenomenon like evolution or ecological changing. Their studies could be helpful for our research´s purposes. They state that a change of historical types of wars generally corresponded to social evolution. Such co-evolution of society and its war´s system was characterized by gradual democratization and technologizing. There were five qualitative stages of such development.

Firstly, there was a primitive democracy of a face to face tribal skirmish. Secondly, there were armed conflicts of skilful fighting men in ancient world. Thirdly, mercenaries of XVII-XVIII centuries joined battle against each other in European wars of "armchair strategists". Fourthly, mass armies based on compulsory military service appeared after bourgeois revolutions and war assumed a special patriotic character. Finally, an acceleration of a military-technical progress in XX century brought into existence total wars. There are wars of mutual mass extermination where distant modes of destruction prevail and emotional factors of war become atavism.

Strategic theory (Aron R., Kan G.) accounts for conflict as an object that is forced by internal and external factors determining escalation of conflict. This approach can be named "philosophy of war" because here it is considered rational modes of war´s management and ways of achieving of win. They suggest that a theory of games can rationally explain a mechanism of conflict development. Actually, such approach is quite innovative sound because it attempts to expose general logical structures of conflicts irrespective of its differences. For example, some scientists (Сингер Дж., Смол М., Ричардсон Л.) derived a model of arms race from the date of trade circulation between countries and allocations for Europe countries defenses in 1815 - 1899 years. This model corroborated inevitability of the First World War but such approach was used to an analysis of the data of 1900-1945 years did not corroborate inevitability of the Two World War. Thus, situations of conflict interactions are often difficult to understand because it is not clear which initial variable quantities are adequate for building of such models. An aspect of relationships between violence and history received specific attention in the Marxist tradition. Marx claimed that every social formation is a system of relationships of strengths and ideas between groups or classes. Phenomena of violence and domination are determined by relationships of economic exploitation. Violence plays a great role in history as its "midwife" and social revolutions are locomotives of historical development. As it is well known, Kaytsky K. explained an origin of state and classes through the instrumentally of violence and conquest.

Post-Marxist schools tend to interpret violence soon as ideological or sociological phenomena. Ideological confrontations are chiefly responsible for violence, said Mannheim. Ideologies are collective practices of thinking that have their specific mental and ontological bases. Firstly, there is a peculiar way of thinking. Secondly, there is any hierarchical system of values where some of them are considered as basic values and stand out against a background of others. Thirdly, ideologies are distinguished by obsession of such "basic values" but loyal supporters of ideologies are not conscious of it. "Sociology of domination" by P. Bourdie argues that high strata and a state don´t impose their ideologies on people. Domination of ruling classes is supplemented by common consent of lower classes. There is "a symbolic domination" or an accepted social violence. Violence becomes natural and common or legitimate. Society is filled with symbolic violence and it is an immanent part of a social habitué. There is often no necessity to impose on people. They have been indoctrinated from childhood to believe only what the government tells them.

So, there are two extreme approaches to understanding of violence. Each of them has its advantages and failures. In the first broad approach violence is interpreted as suppression in its various forms. It may be both a direct physical suppression and an indirect economical, political, psychological suppression. Suppression is any limiting of conditions of personal development when causes of suppression depend on people or social institutions. So violence here is synonymous with moral evil that consist in any breach of some standards of communal life. Such approach is worth of attention because it accentuates an immanent moral aspect of violence. But on the other hand, such identification of violence with moral evil may lead to loss of a specific conceptual content of violence. Such broad approach proclaims impossibility of being of any moral justifying violence.

In the other narrow sense of the word, violence is physical or economical damage when people do harm each other. There are physical damages, murders, robberies, etc. The specific of the term of violence here is kept but it leaves out account its moral motivation. There is an unpremeditated damage, for example, in sport or, on the contrary, in the situations when people intentionally cause harm each other.

We suggest that violence could consider in respect of concepts "freedom" and "power". Power as inter-individual relations may be defined as taking a decision from someone without having consent to do so, when one will becomes stronger at the expense of another. Accordingly, violence is one of the methods providing domination of man by man. Domination may have, of course, various reasons. Firstly, there is a real superiority of will condition. For instant, it is all forms of paternalistic power. Secondly, there is a preliminary mutual agreement like authority of the state on legal grounds. Thirdly, there is violence or a power of conqueror, occupier and tyrant.

So violence is not general compulsion and damage but it is a usurpation of smb´s free will an encroachment on smb´s liberty. There is important that one will suppress another will by means of physical compulsion or treat of its using.

Now let us consider a genesis of violence in life of animals and a primordial condition of humans. It is worth of note that nature likes to follow the path of least resistance and don´t like aimless hostility. There is beyond good and evil and violence has mainly a functional meaning here. Nature has seemingly found a balance between violence and tolerance.

It may state that it was some chief periods of violence´s limiting in human history. It can be said that there was such two periods. The first epoch of violence´s limiting was a restriction of enmity between human hordes. Unbounded animosity was limited by establishing of a principle of equivalence: "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". An idea of equal retribution was the first form of a realization of justice. Justice understanding as equal punishment in blood feud is general rule in a life of ancient people. Such principle was a reasonable limit of violence and the first form of moral relationship because it led to a mutual recognition and respect between enemies. People hated their enemies but they simultaneously respected them as individuals who have equal power and can stand up for themselves. Hence it appeared such a notable phenomenon like a war according rules, when all military actions were strictly regulated. Such ancient regulated violence looks more justified than following using of moral argued violence when enemy is considered as bearer of evil and inferior creature. Moral argumentation in conflicts often leads to intensification of violence. The second qualitative leap in limiting of violence was a genesis of state. A state monopolized violence and established the specific institutions of violence. State also strived to use indirect forms of violence instead of direct. State is the different phase of social evolution when safeguarding of social security becomes a special function within general division of labor. Answer the purpose only special groups; state has the right to use violence within limits of laws. There are army and police. Using of violence becomes more reasonable and equal in rights. State also introduced another important novelty. It can forestall forthcoming violence by acting on social conditions engendering violence. In this way state substitutes direct using of violence for threat of violence. People have to behavior themselves according social rules apprehending punishment. Most of scientists who are engaged in studying of violence consider threat of violence like type of violence.

We think that state should be reckoned as only one of possible stages of human development. State´s violence objectively may lead to serious moral deformations and, what is more, above mentioned features of state organization of social life can be interpreted as a factor that really strengthens common violence. Monopoly of violence leads to its surplus. A state violence is anonymous that is a consequence of establishing of the proper institution of violence. As a result, it deadens people´s feeling of violence. Indirect character of the state violence that is manifested itself in manipulating public opinion and in secret exploitation leads to broadening of a sphere of real using of violence.

However, the state violence is a form of limiting of violence that may constitute prerequisites for possible overcoming of its odious displays. In connection with problem of overcoming we intend to discuss a theme of non-violence.

They say that violence is justified if it is a response to violence or a prevention of forthcoming violence. They say that humbleness and cowardice are worse than resistance to violence. At the same time, there is the third possible response to violence by with the exception of violence.

Non-violence is active opposition against violence. It is an attempt at overcoming of unjust situation by non-violence means. Non-violence is different from violence as a realizing of positions of good and evil among people. People simultaneously could be good and evil. Human soul is a field of fighting between its immanent good and evil sides. Even the most virtues people bear some inspired marks of evil and the most of vicious persons have some particles of good in their soul. To consider man as evil is to calumniate about him. At the same time, to account human as good is much to praise for him. Human moral nature is ambivalent however any man may be open to good and collaboration. There is necessity to remember the human moral ambivalence and to organize behavior according to appropriate principles of non-violence.

Firstly, there are a refusal to monopoly of truth, willingness to change and an opening in dialog and compromises. Secondly, everyone should be in readiness for critical attitude towards his behavior. There is often a cause of hostility is hidden in our souls. Thirdly, there is an ability to see a situation in perspective of opponent with purpose to understand him and to find adequate resolution of conflict so he could keep self-respect. Fourthly, it must fight against evil but it should sympathize with persons who are caught in a net of evil. Fifthly, it needs to be open-hearted and to be not cunning in respect of opponent. Thus, non-violence is not submissiveness. There is soon a post-forcible stage in a historical development of fighting for social justice.

However, it should remember that non-violence demonstrated its effectiveness only in the East (India) where there is a suitable mentality. There is not an actual practice and philosophy of non-violence in the West yet. Situations of totalitarianism also raise many queries about perspectives of possible application of non-violence.

The article is admitted to the International Scientific Conference «Current problems of science and education», Moscow, 2007, May 14-16; came to the editorial office on 20.04.07