intro’d to James here:
human nature talk (2011) with Robert Sapolsky, Gabor Mate, James Gilligan, Richard Wilkinson
5 min – james: study in new zealand.. 1000 individuals from birth to 20s.. found.. could id a genetic mutation.. abnormal gene .. which did have some relation to the predisposition to commit kind of violence.. but only if the individual had also been subjected to severe child abuse.. in other words.. a child with this abnormal gene would be no more likely to be violent than anyone else.. and in fact.. actually had a lower rate of violence.. than people with normal genes.. as long as they weren’t abused as children..
7 min – james: one reason the bio explanation is potentially dangerous.. not just misleading.. it could really do harm.. because if you believe that.. you could very easily say.. well there’s nothing we can do to change the predisposition people have to becoming violent.. all we can do if somebody becomes violent is punish them.. lock them up.. or execute them.. but we don’t need to worry about changing the social environment/preconditions that may lead people to become violent because.. that’s irrelevant
23 min – james: i have spent the last 40 yrs working with the most violent people our society produces.. murderers/rapists// and so on.. in an attempt to understand what causes this violence.. i discovered that the most violent of the criminals in our prisons.. had themselves been victims of a degree of child abuse that was beyond the scale of what i ever thought of ever applying the term to.. i had no idea of the depth of the deprevity with which children in our society are all too often treated.. the most violent people i saw were themselves survivors of their own attempted murder.. often at the hands of their parents or other people in their social environment.. or were the survivors of family members who’d been killed
27 min – james: violence is not universal.. it’s not symmetrically distributed throughout the human race… there is a huge variation in the amount of violence in different societies.. there are some societies that have virtually no violence.. others that destroy themselves.. some antibaptist religious groups.. that are complete/strict pacifists..like amish/mennonites/hoterites.. in some of these.. there are no recorded cases of homicide.. during major wars.. like ww2.. they would refuse to go to war.. they would go to prison.. in the kibbutz in israel.. the level of violence is so low that the criminal courts there will often send violent offenders to live on the kibbutz.. to learn how to live a non violent life
on violence (2010)
main social/econ/political causes on violence.. are those that divide population into superior and inferior.. more highly unequal.. higher rates of violence.. size of gap between rich and poor
us murder rates 5-10x higher than any other developed country on earth..
so achieving greater equality is essential..
let’s try .. a nother way
James Gilligan is an American psychiatrist and author, husband of Carol Gilligan and best known for his series of books entitled Violence, where he draws on 25 years of work in the American prison system to describe the motivation and causes behind violent behavior.
During his career, Gilligan has served as director for the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane, director of mental health for the Massachusetts prison system and as President of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy. He now lectures at the Department of Psychiatry, New York University. Professor Gilligan is an Adjunct Professor at NYU Law and Collegiate Professor at NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences.He has been on the faculty at NYU since 2002.
Previously, Dr. Gilligan was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where he worked from 1966 to 2000. In 1977 he became the Director of the Harvard Institute of Law and Psychiatry.
Dr. Gilligan was brought in as the Medical Director of the Massachusetts prison mental hospital in Bridgewater, Massachusetts because of the high suicide and murder rates within their prisons. When he left ten years later the rates of both had dropped to nearly zero.