Senior Seminar


Thebook by Steven Pinker titled, “TheBetter Angels of our Nature Why Violence Has Declined “depictsa global scenario where the world has experienced two major globalconflicts World War I and II which change the course of the entireworld because of mass murders, terrorism, rape, global violence andthe lack of justice to prevail. This book details how the globalperception has changed from violence to peace and tranquility throughvarious facts asserted by Steven. This paper will discuss the factsand reasons why violence has declined according to the author, Stevenwhile giving my own opinions on these assertions.

StevenPinker claims that violence in the society has declined over the past50,000 years due to the following facts the pacification process,civilization, the humanitarian revolution, the long peace, the newpeace and the rights revolution. The pacification process is termedas the shift from traditional hunting and gathering communities togoverned states based on economic activities like agriculture. Thisshift from societal communities to state-run governments led to thereduction in violence and crimes such as homicides and other forms ofwarfare which changed the course of people’s way of life.Civilization saw the emergence of democratic nations andadministrations which championed for freedom and sovereignty of eachcountry. Moreover, it facilitated the rise of global economy from theend of the Middle Ages extending into the 20thcentury. This shift from violence to economic growth led to the creation andestablishment of peaceful societies. The humanitarian revolutiondefined as the emergence of science and the technological values ofthe 17thand 18thcenturies resulted in the decline of religious conflicts, slaverypractices, capital and corporal injustices, animal cruelty andsenseless murders. Basically, this revolution led to the formation ofpeaceful and harmonies nations that cherished the sanctity of humanlife. The Long Peace this was the period after World War II wherecountries that considered themselves superpowers (Japan, Germany,United States and the United Kingdom) promoted the essence oftranquility and global peace. The New Peace this was the periodafter the cold war which finally ended the stalemate between theUnited States and the Soviet Union. This peace led to the terminationof civil and inter-state warfare, terrorism and genocide across theworld. The rights revolution introduced the essence of human rightsand liberty while outlawing uncouth legislations of racialdiscrimination, violence against children, animals and women as wellas human slavery. All these facts presented by Steven are sufficientbecause they are the foundations of the current global system thatmonitors peace talks and the global economy.

Itis important to note that Pinker state that violence has declined dueto the following reasons namely feminization, commerce, literacy,cosmopolitanism and the formation of governments. According to Pinkerall these reasons helped establish democratic countries which areruled and governed by elected leaders except for states that operateon a monarchy system. These reasons asserted by the author arelogical and well supported because aspects of commerce andcosmopolitanism changed the attention of the entire world as nationsfocused on building their respective national economies so as toimprove the living standards of their people. Furthermore, literacyand the formation of governments and law enforcers police broughtabout global peace because first of all education is the best tool infighting crime and violence since people will be aware of the outcomeof warfare. The reasons given by Pinker are accurate which means thatthe implications will be long lasting because they are thefoundations of vital aspects of government-run countries.

Inconclusion, the book is well written and the author asserts all hisconcerns, issues and the reasons clearly on why violence has declinedin the 21stcentury compared to the previous centuries. It is a book worthreading as it contains facts and statistics that vividly describe whythe world is at peace after decades of warfare in the 17thto 19thcenturies.


Pinker,Steven.&nbspTheBetter Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.London: Penguin Books, 2011. Print.