The Steven in the blog title is Steven Pinker a professor of Psychology at Harvard. The ‘sorry’ deals with the connection between yesterday’s blog and Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature.
A number of researchers into the issue of historic violence discovered a dramatic decline in homicides in countries where data could be found, since the 1600s. And even more dramatic in a few countries in the past 150 years.
- Lifespan began increasing in the 1850’s due to better sewer treatment communicated globally by modern commerce.
- Another is the improvements in treatment for previously fatal wounds with more hygienic surgery, again due to the spread of medical hygiene by modern commerce.
- Those improvements in trauma surgery and survival have continued into the past 50 years as trauma technology has spread in modern commercial nations.
You can go to wikipedia to find the main explanations that Steven Pinker gives for the decline in homicides in his Better Angels book.
Pinker’s litany of explanations are pure Lefty ideology. More government, more trade, feminization, urbanization and the spread of reason.
A little confusion in that list. Of course governments have been the source of homicide on the colossal level. That’s what warfare is about and the work of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and a few others is hard to overlook. The rest can not be defended with anything but Lefty ideology. There is no useful data much less usable definitions of something like 'reason'.
What can be understood as the reason for a significant decline in non-war related homicide is yesterday’s blog. The workplace in modern commercial societies is the safest place to be in terms of homicide per hour of the day. We are 20 times safer each hour at work than anywhere else.
“At work’ is a synonym for the modern commercial environment in my blog title where people cooperate because they are respected for merit. In a meritocracy we ignore tribal and family links and give priority to merit which automatically means the workplace has a diversity of people who MUST cooperate to make the business function.
When I mention the 20 times safer to people they immediately think of the workplace of the post office where we have had a few well publicized massive slaughters. That folks is the government.
The ‘work place’ is mostly commercial. But the government in all its forms does employ about 14% of all workers. Government jobs are probably as safe as commercial workplaces because the same civil service requirements exist to punish absence of diversity. And other norms of commercial work environments are also transmitted to government jobs.
Summary: Professor Pinker and the rest of those who have noticed the dramatic historic reduction in homicide over long periods of time, should look at the workplace environment. Look at modern commerce as the reason. Modern commerce is the single best explanation for the decline in homicide with one twentieth the homicide rate per hour in the workplace compared to all other activities.
Got it? Modern commerce, the most under appreciated of all man's creations, is the most civilizing of all human endeavors.