The American Bear


In some work with Rose McDermott, I argue that governments manage challengers by using violence against radical claims-makers (e.g., those seeking displacement of power-holders) and accommodating or co-opting those with reformist objectives. Over time, this would lead to citizens engaging in less challenging challenges and, as a result, less government violent activity. With state victory, it makes sense that most other forms of violence would be diminished. The hierarchy is clear—the alpha entity has emerged, and the domesticated population is left with iPods, iPhones, iTVs and iLives to keep themselves occupied. We are beaten, homogenized and apathetic, not civilized. Angels and Anarchists: A Conflict Scholar’s Response to Steven Pinker’s New Book