Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Origins of Violence, by Susan Underwood

Your correspondent Tracy Cannon asks where violence comes from. It comes from a lack of self-discipline.

Women are murdered because they have had the audacity to end a relationship, people are attacked in the street for looking sideways at someone. It all stems from attackers acting out their anger without a vestige of restraint in their behaviour.

We were taught self-discipline as children when we were given a smack on the back of the leg for throwing a tantrum because we could not get our own way. We were taught that life is not fair, things do not always go your own way and that, as a child, you must learn to get over it. Violence comes from this lack of self-discipline and restraint, not the smack.

Susan Underwood, Orewa
Thanks Susan. Violence began in 2007 with the passage of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill. That's that sorted then - to think I thought it was a complicated phenomenon. Be sure to keep reading the Herald Readers' Forum to catch Susan's thoughts on solving the economic crisis and perfecting cold fusion.


  1. To be fair, I think she's actually saying that crime started when people stopped disciplining their children, which happened long before Section 59 was repealed/amended/whatever they ended up doing to it I stopped paying attention.

    This would basically mean there was no violence before the 1960's - and I think we can all agree that the historical record backs her up on this.

    Personally I think violence is natural, pleasurable and evolutionarily beneficial and the only problem is that it's become so taboo we've lost all sense of honour in violence. So instead of pistols at dawn or rapine & pillaging of our enemies we have teenagers beating up old people and guys kicking their girlfriends in the spine. But that's just my opinion.

  2. Who used to get a smack on the back of the leg? My smacks were all ass baby.

  3. In Susan's day you didn't just go around saying "ass", that kind of language is a sign of ill-discipline and criminality. They used euphemisms instead, like "leg" for "ass". Also "hori" for "those criminal brown people" & "her cousin in Sydney" for "illegal back-alley abortionist"