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Several Individual Pages Updated 2006 Sept, 13 Dec 2012, 09 Sept 2013 and 2 Mar 2016.

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    Arising in antiquity, before mammals, before the atmosphere became what it is, genes were mutating in makeup and/or organization leaving their creations to survive or not as selection would have it for their particular niche. The advent of civilization and its exponential development came so fast, [in geologic time], that genes preferred for peaceful living have yet to be selected. They may never be if humanity persists along its present path. Yet there is Hope, lots of it. Nature itself provides it. And there are avenues for action, provided we can read the Tea Leaves.

Updated 15 Nov 2018

This site is a work in progress. Because the mosaic of information from so many different disciplines fits together so neatly, one can only conclude that the mosaic is basically correct in form--consilience in other words. For example, Natural History (physics, chemistry, biology), evolution, anthropology, human history, sociology, psychology, political science, and our common sense, all converge upon a theme that indicts our aggressive instincts and obedience to Authority, legitimate or not--as when wielded by the psychopath--as a root cause of violence. Our altruism, parenting, and herding instincts provide possible solutions, but they get covered up by societies inured to violence, if not overtly taught that violence as the only solution to violence. Ironic? To say the least. Non sequitur? That too.

Questions now on the table:
"Where will that narcissist in the White House take us?
How can we as a people realign ourselves for an uncertain future?"

The hall of fame for peace research might include:

Richard Dawkins
Theodor Adorno
Stanley Milgram
Jerry M Burger
Gene Sharp
Phillip Zimbardo
Bob Altemeyer
John Dean
Jessica Stern
Martha Stout
Robert Hare
Justin Frank
Andrew Bacevich
Malcom Gladwell
Edward O Wilson
Lee Alan Dugatkin

Undoubtedly there are others who have contributed in like manner and amount. See: Links to scores of issues that could benefit from further study and / or verification.

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Index Start Back Home
Updated 09 Sept 2013

However the events in the previous page work out, there is only a finite fraction of geotime left. On a 24-hour clock in reference to the age of our solar system, it is:

  • Late afternoon for the projected existence of earth's biosphere as we know it,
  • Evening for the 24-hour day itself (each day will lengthen very slowly until it gradually matches the lunar month, and becomes locked in).

The system was authorized by Mr. Bush explicitly in his signing statements. Authoritarian personalities in the line officers took it from there. Few questioned either the morality or legality of the abuse. In his book, The Lucifer Effect, Zimbardo gets very specific.

Rocks in the Road Ahead include:
Updated 6 Sept 12

  • Charismatic sociopaths: unrestrained, unidentified.
  • Traditions based on dogma led or co-opted by sociopaths.
  • Societies whose populations exceed what natural resources can sustain.
  • Individuals in the mirror who fear discovering the unknown more than they do certain death by mushroom cloud.
Updated 09 Sept 2013

“We Have Much to Fear From Our Own Ignorance.
We have even more to fear from what
we ‘know’ that isn't so.”

Anon: on repetition of history

“Do we want a paint-by-number life,
or are we working on an original?

Kris Rosenberg: on self actualization

Link To: Dialogue | Dialogue II

Start Index Back Next
Updated 6 Sept 12; 09 Sept 2013

As Individuals

We Can:

  • Learn to read the Tea Leaves when politicians speak.
    • Do they do as they personally say and say as they do?
    • Do we hear logic or platitudes, however nice to hear, but without a shred of how they expect to accomplish their goal(s) in a world ever more complex and changing?
    • Do they answer direct questions or do they divert into their own agendas?
    • If they don't know the answer, do they promise to get it and do, or do they bluff or bluster?
    • Should we not believe off-hand remarks—they reveal the real, unguarded person?
  • Research the characters of politicians running for office.
  • Set examples of moderation.
  • Be life-long learners, for peace will be elusive for as long as a sociopath can rule. We must be vigilant!

Start Thinking About It; Become Active.

  • Make ourselves heard
    • Use Dialogue in the manner of Socrates. Join peace groups & post on social media. Remain anonymous only if necessary.
    • Join one or more blogs dealing with politics and what ails the world.
  • Participate in politics on neighborhood level.
  • Participate in student exchange programs.
  • Learn another language or two.


  • Keep things in historical perspectives;
  • Establish peace movements;
  • Continue research on means for achieving peace in dialogue;
  • Learn to recognize and effectively deal with the socio-psychopathic personalities; for starters we can all learn and watch for the danger signals this personality exhibits from early age--and then seek help for them or ours as the case may be.
  • Reach across boundaries in dialogue;
  • Separate mythos from logos (church from state);
  • Integrate societies in all ways.

Solutions — Individuals

  • Balance our External / Internal loci of Control, beginning about age three.
  • Know ourselves; Authoritarianism; Sociopathology
  • Understand the Lucifer Effect
  • Understand Faith & Science differences
  • Recognize & avoid humiliating or alienating conditions
  • Communicate in dialogue
  • Support politicians who have demonstrated that they are not corruptible; read the Tea Leaves.
Create Movements

Recognize History—Avoid Repeating It.
Update: 6 Sept 12

  • Problem: Violent Sociopaths hijack and corrupt systems, businesses, organizations, nations, religions.
  • Solutions: Dialogue, the highest form of communication:
    • Explores ideas with mutual understanding [and empathy],
    • Connects with integrity as each draws the other out to find meaning,
    • Voices opinions toward finding mutually-acceptable solutions, or absolute solutions in the case science or technology,
    • Addresses conflict resolution effectively.

Paraphrasing Zimbardo

Updated 09 Sept 2013

Systemic (Bad-Barrel) situations that:
Corrupt the morals of otherwise decent people who happen to be susceptible to "Blind Obedience."

[We would add]: Authoritarian Bad Apples:
Otherwise known as Sociopaths who hijack organizations for their own advantage.

Continuing Zimbardo:

We must be:

  • Attentive to our independence and individuality as we respect our social group.
  • Conscious of reality; wise to relabeling words;
  • Watchful for ramifications of our own and collective actions;
  • Aware that giving up freedom for security means yielding to dictatorship; where there is no such thing as security, even for in group!
This is not all...

Paraphrasing Zimbardo

We must be:

  • Able to admit our mistakes and learn from them
  • Aware that even smart people can do very dumb things
  • Responsible, for our own actions and those of our group
  • The best we can be
  • Respectful of legitimate authority; resistant to unjust authority

Present Policies Have Had Their Chance
For Ten Millennia!
Updated 06 Sept 12; 09 Sept 2013

  • Let us try less-dogmatic procedures known to work.
  • Let us try:
    • Putting idealism ahead of short-term gain.
    • Putting diplomacy ahead of guns.
    • Parenting for civilized behavior first.
    • Balancing the Internal and External Loci of control in each succeeding generation.
    • Putting science and factual-realty ahead of mere dogmas and ineffective traditions.

The Current Situation is Most Serious

Under present policies and reactions to terror, it’s only a matter of time until a suicidal extremist goes nuclear, and not necessarily on God's command.

  • “Tooth for a tooth,” has not brought peace over six millennia.
  • Neither has any political, religious, or secular movement succeeded at bringing peace to the borders.
  • On the contrary, many have declared or waged war, and still do, in the name of God or in other cases with slogans that demonize others.


Common Themes in Violence & War.
Updated 6 Sept 12

  • Sociopathic, psychopathic, or narcissistic leaders exploit Authoritarian tendencies in the genes of most of us to establish despotic Systems that motivate, create, and condone violence through humiliation and alienation.
  • Organized violence, terror, war, and genocide arise when:

Nature handles overpopulation by famine, pestilence and war
Updated 6 Sept 12

This is merely another way in which humanity has not risen above the animal world.

  • Myths arose in prehistory to ease the mind.
  • Once useful, some dogmas are now threatening: “Go forth and multiply” is one of them.
  • Dogma proscribing active birth control aggravates conflicts over resources.
  • The allegory of the wine barrel is an apt metaphor for human destiny.
    • Microbes consume all the sugar only to die in their own effluent.

Updated 09 Sept 2013

Scientific study of four pairs of Indian cities, each pair balanced ethnically and population-wise, showed:

Integration in all sectors of society is an effective way to reduce ethnic conflict. A great deal of the current unrest on earth is driven by ethnic and/or religious differences.

Consilience-motivated research reveals that instincts are genetic expressions toward violence--aggression, dominance and obedience on the one hand and, parenting, altruism, and herding (cooperative) instincts on the other made Homo fit for survival in jungles and savannas. In this way a dichotomy in nature was born. It is still with us, but a dichotomy in instincts is not well suited as a foundation for peace for all human kind on earth.

Peace is possible on international scale
Updated 6 Sept 12

  • After WWII Japan democratized, Europe rebuilt
  • New democracies & European Union formed
  • Marshall Plan led to stabilizing forces: UN and NATO, now include former enemies. New democracies have been relatively peaceful.

Some Cultures are Peaceful: Why?

  • World Capitals: Tokyo, has a murder rate only 5% of that in Washington DC.
  • Nations: Violent crime in Norway or Portugal is 15-20 times less than that in America.
  • Cities: Honolulu or El Paso are 15-20 times safer than Baltimore, Detroit or Washington DC. (FBI statistics.)

Given these facts, how did nurture create such differences?

  • Some societies evolved, learned more and applied more of what they learned than others mired in dogma.
  • Some safe cities naturally developed homogeneous populations.
  • Other safe cities have worked to achieve significant levels of integration in governance with consequent less conflict.
  • All three? This is what we presently think.

Tools Built In By Nature For Peace
Updated 6 Sept 12

  • Mothering and altruistic instincts developed early in natural history—evident in dinosaur fossils.
  • Reinforced by cooperating herding genes, they offset blind and obedient genes for fierce and dominant behaviors.
  • Altruism is a common trait among species in our genera. Individuals help next of kin, friends, even strangers.
  • Herding and cooperation are common life-preserving behaviors throughout the animal kingdom.
  • With intelligence, parenting, altruism, and herding instincts, nature provided a tool kit for opposing violence. These instincts made civilization possible in the first place, even if violent. That tool kit today is more popularly known, when thoughtfully applied, as Nurture. Basically all we have to do is follow our own good instincts as we defend against the not-so-good ones.

From: Jungle and Savannah To: Higher Levels of Cognition

From: Gene Group Survival To: Authoritarian Traits; Sociopathology
From: Survival Techniques To: Violence And Cooperative Defense

From: Aggression and Dominance To: Fierceness
From: Obedience in Cooperation With Above To: Hierarchical Submission
From: Herding Instinct To: Conventionalism, Cooperation
From: Cooperating for Survival To: Altruism
From: Random, Instinctive Mating To: Parenting

Origin: It is All In Our Genetic Makeup

Genes for Intelligence: Intelligence in the genome of Homo sapiens evolved in the jungle and savanna, and, aided by certain emotional genes, became dominant in the biosphere.
Updated 6 Sept 12

Succeeding in the survival of the fittest were genes for:

  • Dominance: (Fierceness & Aggression: Fighting Other Species & Homo; Personal & Group Survival.)
  • Hierarchy: ( Enables Turf war; Homo vs. Homo; Personal and Group Survival.)
  • Cooperation and Conventionalism: (Herding instinct Within genus Enables Survival by sheer numbers.)
  • Altruism and Nurturing: (Extends Parenting Umbrella; Improves Individual & Group Survival Thereby.)
  • Parenting: (Enables All Others, for Better or Worse.) See Freud And Peace and Five Pillars for codification and discussion.

Peace-relevant insight from this experiment.

Updated 09 Sept 2013

A mere “egg shell” separates our peaceful and violent behaviors. This feature erupts when certain conditions are ripe. Violence is the usual result whether domestic or international terrorism, war and genocide. Terrorism within one's own society is its ultimate expression.

Abu Ghraib System: Phillip Zimbardo

  • Zimbardo was an insider to Abu Ghraib, after the fact.
    • He saw: A corrupt “American system".
    • He concluded: “The Problem Is Not About Bad Apples In A Barrel, It Is About Bad Barrels.” (Created, of course, by a few high-level Bad Apples!)

Social Conditions Existing At Abu-Ghraib

    • Explaining away discrepancies between private morality and public actions on a "rational basis"
    • Humans have strong instincts for obedience to the powerful.

Social Conditions Leading to Trouble in
Abu-Ghraib, Rwandan genocide

    • Excluding others from the moral order.
    • Feeling little personal responsibility in anonymous situations where external social restraints are weak.
    • Fear of retribution by the "in-group."

The Stanford Prison Experiment, SPE

Phillip Zimbardo, Professor, Stanford University--Social Psychologist:
Extended Adorno’s and Milgram’s work

  • Zimbardo’s SPE experiment predicted later events:
    • Abu Ghraib and similar detention centers
    • The several modern genocides
  • The SPE became a “SYSTEM,” a miniature system that foretold Abu Ghraib—all too realistically!

“The Lucifer Effect” (Phillip Zimbardo)

Came as another national surprise. Updated 09 Sept 2013

  • North American college students in a prison experiment:
    • Were corrupted in 24 hours, feeling and playing the roles of abusive tyrant or crushed prisoner
    • The first “prisoner” broke in 36 hours.
  • This is the Lucifer Effect.
    • A product of the SYSTEM--and predictor of Abu Ghraib!

Hidden Behavior

Updated 09 Sept 2013

The trap: Sociopaths like to do their dirty work in the dark. This is akin to snares set by the Far-North trappers. We don't see it--too late, we feel it. Opaque governance is perhaps an ultimate manifestation. Talk about America! But we are not alone, far form it.

  • From previous page: What if, in more private environments, our hot shot:
    • irritates, scares or antagonizes others;
    • never takes responsibility;
    • is manipulative, demanding and
    • always puts his/her self-interest first with no concern whatever for others—or the consequences?
  • This composite is sociopathic.

Recognizing the Sociopath

  • Imagine meeting a hot-shot, funny and engaging with a stage presence that has no bounds—the life of the party.
  • What more could anyone ask?
  • We would likely vote for this person; who would not? S/he is most likable, and memorable. S/he even might have made us feel good about ourselves, we might even love them.

Martha Stout’s Frank Assessment
Updated 6 Sept 12; 09 Sept 2013
21 Oct 2014

"Short of a sociopathic leader who diverts the course of an entire nation, leading it into genocide or unnecessary war, the psychopathic killer is surely the most terrifying example of a psyche without a conscience..."

Stout Continued: What We Need to Know
Updated 6 Sept 12

  • Some 4% of all of us are sociopathic according to Martha Stout. Multiples more of us have hang-ups.
    • Sociopaths with connections, money, ambition, and charisma can co-opt nations as Napoleon, Hitler, and a later “unitary president” have shown.
  • Sociopaths are often charismatic, beguiling, smart, and attractive.
    • Some are molesters, rapists or serial killers. All are manipulators in going after what they want. A high fraction of our prison population is sociopathic.
    • Obedience from others feed their needs for control and winning. They can feel sorry for themselves, but empathy? None. Some even use their very sorriness to manipulate others.

Martha Stout, Psychotherapist

Author of: “The Sociopath Next Door”

If there is a singular personality type that consistently gives rise to violence, it is the sociopath--aka psychopath. Narcissists are similar, but are typically out of touch to significant degrees. Such people are not psychotic; their psyches are distorted. They are amoral, robots without feelings for others or for the consequences of their own actions. Their main goal is to win. Martha Stout shows their features in sharp relief in her book: "The Sociopath Next Door."

Things We Can Do As Individuals / Groups

How can we preventing extremism from corrupting governance at all levels from school boards to national office?
Neocon Manifesto: [Continued]

Updated 6 Sept 12

  • Deter attack from whatever source;
  • Strengthen alliances;
  • Preclude others from interfering in areas of American Interests. [interests, even if soil, read that as Imperial Economic-Interests]
  • Shape the future through cooperative relationships.
  • Maximize value of ad hoc [military] coalitions.
  • While the US cannot police the world, it must never depend solely on international mechanisms. [In other words: pre-emptive war is OK. But look where the Neocon philosophy led us in Iraq, in full view of the unlearned lesson of Vietnam!]

John Dean – Public Servant

Updated 09 Sept 2013

  • In his “Conservatives Without Conscience,” Dean is talking about the Neoconservatives or Neocons.
  • They are Authoritarian to the core.
  • Without conscience defines the Sociopath.

John Dean – Public Servant

In addressing the trend in Republican politics since Nixon, Dean writes:

"Much of what I have to report is bad news. But there is some good news, because while authoritarians have little self-awareness, a few of them, when they learn the nature of their behavior, seek to change their ways. Thus by reporting the bad and the ugly, it may do some good. At least that is my hope."
Neocon Manifesto: Continued

Updated 09 Sept 2013

  • Promote democratic consolidation among the republics of the former USSR.
  • In Middle East, foster stability; safeguard US access to airways, seaways, and oil.