Alienation in Modern Society: Man as a Social Animal

By | August 4, 2012

As with these wolves, the normal pattern of human existence is in group. The hermit or social outcast as the lone wolf is an anomaly.

In continuing the series on alienation in modern society that I started a week ago with the discussion of the mass murders that took place last month in Aurora, Colorado, I would like to look at alienation itself. Primitive man was a social animal, who traveled in packs rather than alone. His intelligence combined with the absence of remarkable speed and strength made hunting in groups much more effective. To reinforce this physical need man developed a psychological drive to “belong” to the group. The profound sense of alienation common to all of the perpetrators of these mass murders involves their sense of rejection by what they see as an uncaring and impersonal society. As result these alienated individuals rarely kill people that they know, preferring to strike out against the nameless and faceless masses by whom they feel betrayed.

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