Thursday, January 26, 2012


Gerald Lloyd Beeson in my POS 201 Spring 2012 class, describes the research of Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. Here is an excerpt from Gerald's essay. The prompt asked students to consider whether humans are by nature predominantly aggressive.

" Grossman, in his book “On Killing”, documents various research in military history that shows that men do not want to kill and that it was only by modified training received after World War 2 and the Vietnam War that they managed to increase military killing rates. Grossman cites the battle of Gettysburg, in which 90 percent of the 27,574 rifles found on the field of battle were found loaded and not fired, which means that the soldiers dropped them but did not fire them."

According to Grossman, video games replicate the army's 'train to kill' conditioning techniques, and is responsible for the rising rate of murder among the young.

Gerald Beeson adds ".... Alexia Eastwood points out that “EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE" from studies of psychology actually suggests that “OUR INCLINATION TO SHARE AND COOPERATE ARE HARDWIRED INTO OUR GENETIC CODE” (Eastwood, 1). Eastwood refutes the modern day assumption of economic modeling which is based on Homo Economicus. This theory is all based on the presumption that actions of all men are, essentially, self-serving (Eastwood, Man 1). Eastwood points out that the “ NOTIONS OF POVERTY AND WEALTH” are “SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS” and are not “UNIVERSAL”. She indicates that other societies demonstrate or represent wealth by redistribution or gift giving (Eastwood, 2)...

As you can see, there is clearly evidence that refutes the ideology that man is essentially a ego-maniacal, self-centered, violent and nu-controllable personage that needs to be monitored by a complex political structure. Society is the way that it is because of social constructions and the political systems."

Works Cited:

Eastwood, Alexia. “Revisiting Economic Man.” Share the World’s Resources. (2010 April 16): Web. 22 Jan 2012.

Grossman, Lt. Col. Dave. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. New York. E-rights/E-reads, 2009. Kindle edition.

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