The Better Angels of Our Nature: Interview with Steven Pinker

According to Harvard’s Steven Pinker, violence has been on the decline over the past century. This is encouraging news, especially given the atrocities of Islamic extremist groups like ISIS and the mass casualty shootings that are all too prevalent in America. Be it birthed from death cults or the minds of the deranged, 21st century terror is an anomaly; the general trend is downward. Pinker’s book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, makes the case. Below, an interview with the optimistic intellectual.

Consider the exchange at 59:00, where he discusses the anarchy resulting after police in Montreal went on strike. We can compare this situation to what happened in Iraq after the Coalition Forces invasion, or Syria after the Arab Spring, and make note: violence emerges directly — and rather immediately — from a power vacuum.

— Marcus