Man and society are born out of both: violence and gentle cooperation." That is how Psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim defines a paradoxical but inescapable fact touching the whole history of "the children of Cain." How the two forces are balanced in an individual helps determine his behavior, even his sanity. How they are balanced in society helps determine its political organization, the degree and condition of its civilization. In the U.S. today, it seems to many that violence is in the ascendant over cooperation, disruption over order, and anger over reason.

The greatest single...

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