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Delusions of peace

Steven Pinker argues that we are becoming less violent. Nonsense, says John Gray

By John Gray   October 2011

Storming of the Bastille by Francois Leonard. Many of the French revolutionaries favoured violence as an “engine of social transformation”

“Today we take it for granted that war happens in smaller, poorer and more backward countries,” Steven Pinker writes in his new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: the Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes. The celebrated Harvard professor of psychology is discussing what he calls “the Long Peace”: the period since the end of the second world war in which “the great powers, and developed states in general, have stopped waging war on one another.” As…

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