Sunday, 11 December 2011

of apes and men

Scientific American has an excellent article on group violence and socio-economic stress, by Eric Johnson:

The portrait of a powerful leader was pulled from the wall and sent dangling from a balcony as angry voices below cursed him and the other “fascists” believed responsible for their condition. One man, a lathe operator who had gone on strike, ran onto the balcony holding up two plates loaded with cheese and sausage. “Look and see what they eat,” he shouted to the crowd below, “yet we cannot get such food!”
The Novocherkassk riot on June 2, 1962, was Soviet Russia’s largest public uprising to date. More than two thousand took to the streets in response to the Communist Party’s decision to increase food prices by 30 percent at the same time that wages were being reduced. Workers walked out on the job, students left their classrooms, and men and women of all ages joined the chorus of protest. The crowd marched peacefully through lines of soldiers backed by armored vehicles that had been hastily assembled and went to voice their grievances directly with a communist government that claimed to be on the side of the worker.

There are clever observations from biology as well... a great read.

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