Overcrowding and Commercial Competition are Causes of Human Aggression?

Konrad Lorenz in his influential book On Aggression (1st published 1963, Vienna) argued that it was selective competition within species, including humankind, that was a basic cause of aggressive behaviour. In modern man, he thought, it was the hectic life in overcrowded cities and the irrational extension of the industrial revolution that resulted in stupid and unadaptive tensions and conflict. He said:

” The rushed existence into which industrialized, commercialized man has precipitated himself is actually a good example of an inexpedient development caused entirely by competition between members of the same species. Human beings of today are attacked by so called managerial diseases, high blood pressure, renal atrophy, gastric ulcers and torturing neuroses; they succumb to barbarism because they have no more time for cultural interests. And all this is unnecessary, for they could easily agree to take things more quietly; theoretically they could, but in practice it is just as impossible for them as it is for the argus pheasant to grow shorter wing feathers” (1967 translation, p. 33).

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