The New Anarchy

March 06, 2023

By political violence, I mean acts of violence intended to achieve political goals, whether driven by ideological vision or by delusions and hatred. By nearly every measure, political violence is seen as more acceptable today than it was five years ago. Unchecked, it promises an era of slow-motion anarchy. I learned how cultures have managed to endure sustained political violence, and how they ultimately emerged with democracy still intact. Norbert Elias’s warnings notwithstanding, dealing seriously with society’s underlying pathologies is part of the answer to political violence in the long term.