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A Pit of Socially Acceptable Violence - Essay Example

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The author of the paper aims to describe Sigmund Freud's theory of social violence through the story of Paul Tough. "Into the Pit" as Paul describes his fascination with a mosh pit, a fascination that Sigmund Freud would believe to be mankind's natural instinct for violence…
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A Pit of Socially Acceptable Violence
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Download file to see previous pages Freud says, "Men are not gentle, friendly creatures wishing for love." According to Freud's classification, the concert goers in the audience were not out to experience "Community" and to be "Spiritually joined to the 50,000 others by their sides" as Tough first describes them to be. Instead, Freud would classify them as humans who are oblivious to the natural instincts they possess for violence and the enjoyment of it. He believes that man's natural instinct for violence can be triggered in situations where they can take advantage of others without blame. In the case of the mosh pit, the pushing and shoving of a few quick turns the entire crowd violent and they fight against one another to keep their place and remain standing. While Tough seems to think that the reason for the mosh pit is to bond with others and to feel connected to each other through a collecting frenzy of pushing and shoving, Freud believed that this is just the kind of situation that makes it acceptable for people to inflict violence on one another.
It is easy to see when comparing the description of the concert goers in "Into the Pit" that Freud's idea of violence being a natural instinct is in fact true. Freud's belief that "A powerful measure of desire for aggression has to be reckoned as part of their instinctual endowment," is proven when Tough says, "I'm starting to think that things are out of control, that whatever sense of civility this crowd might have had has evaporated." Tough seems puzzled at the change in the crowd and wonders how hurting one another results in a feeling of community that most concertgoers agree is the main reason for a mosh pit. In most cases a sense of community would not be felt as a result of someone pushing another until they fell on the floor, wondering if they will be trampled to death. Tough seems to question why all of a sudden such aggressive violence is acceptable and even praised.
"Into the Pit" perfectly defines Freud's belief that "Aggressive cruelty usually lies in wait for some provocation." Tough describes the violence in the pit as behavior that is not only accepted but praised by the crowd because they seem to all be partaking it whether they have chosen to or not. The pushing and shoving cause the entire crowd to sway back and forth, as people unintentionally knock one another over. In any other circumstance, people would not throw themselves violently into a crowd of people without expecting or intending to hurt them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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