On Agression (parte 2) | Konrad LORENZ

| domingo, 1 de novembro de 2009
ix One . Prologue in the Sea
3 Two . Coral Fish in the Laboratory
t2 Three . What Agsession Is Good For
23 Four . The Spontaneity of Aggression
49 Five . Habit, Ritual, and Magic
57 Six . The Great Parliament of Instincts
85 Seven . Behavioral Analogies to Mordity
109 vii Contents
Eight ' AnonYrnitY of the Flock
139 Nine . Social Organization without Love
150 Ten Rats
r57 Eleven The Bond
165 Twelve . on the virtue of Humility
2?O Thirteen Ecce flomo!
236 Fourteen Avowal of OPtimism

Behavioral Analogies to Morality
veins to the victor. Even if the turning away of the weapon is
primarily the sole effective constituent of this particular expression
movement, there is a certain measure of truth io my
former opinion.
It would indeed be suicidal if an animal presented to an op
ponent still at the height of aggressivenesas very vulnerable
part of its body, acting on the supposition that the simultaneous
switchingoff of fight-eliciting stimuli would suffice to prevent
attack. We all know too well how slowly the balance
changes from the predominance of one drive to that of another,
and we can safely assert that a simple removal of fighteliciting
stimuli would eftect only a very gradual ebbing of the
aggressive mood. When a sudden presentation of the submissive
attitude inhibits the threatened attack, we can safely
assume that an active inhibition was elicited by a specific
stimulus situation.
This is certainly the case in the dog, in which I have repeatedly
seen that when the loser of a fight suddenly adopted the
submissive attitude, and presented his unprotected neck, the
winner performed the movement of shaking to death, in the
air, close to the neck of the morally vanquished dog, but with
closed mouth, that is, without biting. In Gulls, there is a similar
behavior in the Kittiwake, and in corvide birds in the
Jackdaw. Among the gulls whose behavior is well known to us
through Tinbergen and his school, the Kittiwake holds a special
place since, owing to an ecological peculiarity-the practice
of nesting on narrow ledges of steep rock-the young have
necessarilyto stayi n the nest until fledging.T hus the nestlings
require better protection against possible attacks from strange
gulls than do the nestlings of ground-breeding species which
can run away if necessaryC. orrespondinglyt he appeasement
attitude of the Kittiwake is not only more highly developed
but it is enhancedb y a specialc olor pattern in the young bird.
Iu all gulls, a turning away of the beak from the opponent acts
On Aggression
as an appeasemengte sturc,b ut while in the Hening Gull and
the LesserB lack-backedG ull, and in other large gulls of the
genus Larus, this is not particularly noticeable and not suggestive
of a speciarl itual, in the Black-headedG ull it is an exact,
elaboratec eremonyin which one partner turns the baseo f the
skull toqnardth e other. OccasionaUyif, neither of them harbors
aggressivein tentions,t hey do this simultaneouslyt,w isting
their headsth rougha n angleo f 180". This "headf lagging"
is optically stressedb y the fact that the black-brownm aska nd
the dark red beak disappear suddenly while the snow-white
neck featherst ake their place.W hile in the Black-headedG ull
the disappearancoef the aggression-slisitincgh aracterso f the
btack mask and the red beak are still the effective components
of the ceremony,in the young Kittiwake the presentationo f
the neck is particularly accentuatedb y the color pattern: on a
white backgroundt here appearsa characteristicd ark narking
which obviouslye fiects a speciali ntribition of aggressivbee -
A parallel to this evolution of an aggression-inhibitinsgi gnal
in sea gulls is found in Corvidao, the family to which
ravens,c rows,e tc.,b elong.A ll big black and gray speciestu rn
the headm arkedlya way as an aPPeasemegnet stureI.n many
of theseb irds, the profferedn aper egioni s emphasizebdy light
coloring. In the Jackdaw, whose social life in the colony is a
very close one, and which evidently requires a specially efiective
appeasingg esture,t his headr egioni s not only seto ff from
the resto f the gray-blackf eathersb y a silky paleg ray coloring,
but it has much longer feathers; these, like the ornamental
plumes of several herons, lack the hooks on the barbules, so
that they stand out like a shining crown when they are presented,
m aximallyn rfred, to the beak of the aggressorW. hen
this occurst he aggressonr evera ttacks,e veni f on the vergeo f
doing so, when the weakerb ird assumesth e submissivea ttitude.
In most cases,t he still angry aggressore actsw ith the
Bebavioral Analogies to Morality
behavior of social grooming, preening and cleaning the back
of the submissiveb ird's hea4 in quite a friendly manner+
really moving form of making peace! \ i
There is anotherf orm of submissiveg esturew hich derives)\
from infantile behavior patterns, and there are still othea f f
whicha risef rom the solicitingb ehavioro f the female.I n their/l
presenftu nction, the gesturesh avea sthing to do with infantility
or with females exualityb, ut they mean,i n tennso f human
languagen, othing more than '?lease do not hurt me!" It
is probable that in these particular animal species, before
these expressionm ovementsa chievedg enerals ocial siguificance,
special inhibitions prevented attack of the young or of
females. It may also be assumed that in these species tbc
bigger social group evolved from the pair and the family.
In our dogs,i n the Wolf, and in other memberso f the saurc
family, submissive or appeasing movements have evolved
from juvenilee xpressionm ovementsp ersistingin to adulthood.
This is not surprisingt o anyonew ho knowsh ow strong the inhibition
against attacking pups is in any normal dog. R.
Schenkehl as shownt hat a great many gestureso f active submission,
t hat is of being submissivea nd, at the sa^meti me,
friendly to a "respected"b ut not feared,h igher-rankinga nimal,
arise directly from the relation of the young animal to its
mother: natzzlingp, awing,l icking the cornerso f the mouth,
movements which we all know well in friendly dogs, are
derived, according to Schenkel, from movement patterns of
sucking and begging for food. Just as two polite people may
mutuallye xpresds eferenceth, ought herei s in realitya definite
ranking order relationshipb etweent hem, so two friendly dogs
alternatelyp erform infantile submissiveg eshrresp, articularly
when greetinge ach other after a period of separation.T his
mutual politenessg oess o far that, in his observationso n freeliving
wolves on Mount McKinley, Murie was often unable to
discover, from the expression movements of greeting, the
On Aggressioo
ranking order relation of two adult male wolves. In the National
Park on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, S. L. Allen and
L. D. Mech observeda n unexpectedfu nction of the geeting
ceremonyI.n winter, the pack of about twenty wolvesl ives on
moose and, according to observations,o n weakenedo nes
only. The wolves bring to bay every moose they can find, but
they do not immediatelya ttemptt o savageif and relinquish
the attacki f the victim puts up a strongd efenseI.f , however,
they find a moose that is debilitated by worms or illness or, as
so ofteni n old 8nim41rb, y dentalf istulae,t hey at oncek now
that it is a siritable prey. Then all the members of the pack
suddenlyg athert ogethera nd indulgei n a ceremonyo f general
nuzzling and tail wdgglng, movement patterns that we see in
our dogsw henw e let them out of their kennelsfo r exercise.
This nose-to-nosceo nferences ignifiesw ithout any doubt the
decisionth at the hunt is aboutt o begin.H erew e arer eminded
of Masai warriors who, in a ceremonial dance, work themselvesin
to the necessarsyt ateo f couragefo r a lion hunt.
Expressionm ovementso f social submissiveneses,v olved
from the femalei nvitation to mate,a re found in monkeysp, trticularly
baboonsT. he ritual presentatioonf the hindquarters,
which for purposeso f visual emphasisa re often incredibly
colorful, has in its present fonn almost nothing to do with sexual
motivation. It means that the individual performing the
ritual acknowledgetsh e higher rank of the one to whomi t is
I directed. Even quite young baboons perform this ceremony
l'w ithout havins been tausht. When KatharinaH einroth'sfe -
mffid with fuumir beingss inces hortly
after birth, wasl et into an unfamiliarr oom, shep erformedth e
ceremony of "presenting her behind" to every chair that ap
parently evokedh er fear. A maleb aboont reatst he femaleso f
his speciess omewhabt rutally and dictatorially;a ccordingto
observationsb y Washburna nd de Vore he is not so brutal in
the wild statea s in confinementb, ut nevertheleshsi s behavior
Behavioral Analogies to Morality
is not gentle in comparison with the ceremonial politeness of
male dogs, bullfinches, or greylags. So it is understandable
that, in these monkeys, the two interpretations, "I am your
woman" and "f am your slave," are more or less synonymous.
The origin of this remarkableg esturee xpressesit self not only
in the movement form but also in the way in which it is interpreted
by the addressee. In the Berlin Zno, I once watched
two strong old male Hamadryas Baboons assaulting each
other in real earnest for a minute. A moment later, one of
them fled, hotly pursued by the other, who finally chased him
into a corner. Unable to escape, the loser took refuge in the
submissive gesture, whereupon the winner turned away and
walked oft, stift-legged, in an attitude of self-display. Upon
this, the loser ran after him and presented his hindquarters so
penistently that the stronger one eventually "acknowledged"
his submissivenesbsy mounting him with a bored expression
and performing a few perfunctory copulatory movements.
Only then was the submissiveo ne apparentlys atisfiedt hat his
rebellion had been forgiven.
Of all the variousa ppeasemencte remoniesw, ith their many
different roots, the most important for our theme are those
appeasingo r greetingr ites which have arisen from fedirected
aggressionm overnenS.T hey difter from all the already described
appeasemenct eremoniesin that they do not put aggression
under inhibition but divert it from certain members
of the species and canalize it in the direction of others. This
new orientation of aggressiveb ehavior is one of the most ingenious
inventions of evolution, but it is even more than that:
whereverr edirectedr ituals of appeasemenat re observed,t he
ceremony is bound to the individuality of the participating
partners.T he aggressiono f a particular individual is diverted
from a second, equally particular individual, while its discharge
against all other, anonymous members of the species is
not inhibited. Thus discrimination between friend and strant37
- !
ger arises, and for the fl'rst time in the world personal bonds
fenrAn ;innifiialS Cbme into being;lfiT is argued that animals
are not persons, I must reply by saying that personality
begins where, of two individuals, each one plap in the life of
the other a part that cannot easily be played by *y other
member of the species. In other words, personality begins
where personal bonds are formed for the first time.
As far as their origin and their original function are concerned,
personal bonds belong to the aggression-inhibiting,
appeasing behavior mechanisms, and therefore their place in
this book should really have been in the present chapter on
behavioral analogies to morality; but they form such an indispensable
foundation for the building up of human society and
are thus so important for our theme that they must be dealt
with in a separate chapter. However, three other chapters
must precede this, for only when we have learned of other
possible tggigEfll which personal tlgg4fttip and love play
go pe4lcanw EmeaTUre-m-enifsignffiAonTCfnAa sbco ndsin
db numan social structure. So I shall go on to describe the
anonymous flock, the loveless society of Night Herons, and
finally the society of rats, which inspires respect as well as
repugnance, before I turn to the natural history of the strongest
and most beautiful bond on earth.
Chapter Eight
Anonymity of the Flock
f am now goiog to take three forms of socie$ as a primitive
dark background with which to compare the society founded
on personal friendship and love. The first of the three societies
is the aggregation of anonymous members. It is the cornmonest
and doubtless the most primitive form of animal association,
and it is already found in many invertebrates such as
Cephalopodsf,o r exampleC uttlefish and Squids,a s well as in
many insects. This, however, does not mean that it does not
occur in higher animals; under certain horrible conditions
eWIUUALggt"nr eglresst"o anonvmoush erd formation
By "flock" or "herd" we do not mean that chance gathering'
of like individuals such as occurs when many flies or vultures,
crowd around a carcass, or when many winkles or sea\
anemones settle on a pafiicularly favorable place in the tidal \
zone. The concept of the flock is determined by the fact that \
individuals of a ipecies rEiEFb-each other by attraction and I
are held together by behavior patterns which one or more in- |
dividuals elicit in the others. Thus it is typical of flock forma- f
tion when many individuals travel in close formation in the i
same direction.
The questions confronting the behavior physiologist, who is
Oo Aggression
ulong to understand flock formation, do not only concern the
mechanismsc ausingt he individual to seekt he comPanyo f its
own kind, but they also, more particularly, concern the high
selectivityo f theser eactions.I t calls for explanationw hen a
herd animal wants at all costs to be near a lot of other members
of its own speciesa, nd only in dire necessityw ill content
itself with animalso f other speciesa s substitutesT.h is herding
together may be innate, as for example in many ducks which
react selectively to the signal of wing coloring in their own
speciesb y flying after it, or it may dependo n individual learniog.
We shall not be able to give a satisfactorya nswert o the
many "Whys" regarding the herding together of anonymous
crowds before we have solved the problem, "What fgl!"-in
other words, before we have answered Darwin's question concerning
survival value. In trying to do this, we meet with a
paradox: it was easy to find a convincing answer to the aPparently
senselessq uestion, "What is the good of aggression?"
and we learned in Chapter Three of its species-preserving
functions, but it is extremely difficult to say wherein lies the
survival value of the aggregation of the huge anonymous
herds which we find in fish, birds, and many mammals. We are
too accustomedto seeings uchc ommunities,a nd sincew e ourselves
are social beings we can appreciate that a herring, a
starling, or a bison cannot feel happy by itself. And so it does
not occur to us to ask, "What is it for?" However, the justification
for this question will immediately be apparent if we consider
the obvious disadvantageos f big herds,f or instance,t he
difficulty of finding enough food for so many animals, the impossibility
of concealment,t he increasedp redispositiont o disease,
and many otherfactors.
One would imagine that one herring swimming alone
through the sea,o ne starling setting forth independentlyo n its
wanderings, or one lemming searching alone, in times of
Anonymity of the Flock
famine,f or fertile fields,w ould haveb etterc hanceso f survival
than would the dense crowds in which these animals herd
together,a nd whichp rovoket heir own exterminationb y huntersa
ndf ishennenW. e know that thed rivef orcingt he animals
togetheris a tremendouslsyt rongo ne,a nd that the attraction
e.xercisebdy the herd over the individual or over smaller
groups of individuals increasesw ith the size of the herd,
probably in geometrical proportion. Thus in many animals,
for example bramblings, a deadly vicious circle may arise.
Under1 [e influenceo f fortuitouse xternacl onditions,s ucha s
a particularly good beechnut harvest in a certain area, the
flocking together of these birds may far exceed its usual extent,
the avalanchelikes wellingo f numbersm ay exceedt he
ecologically supportable limit, and the birds may starve in
massesIn. the wintero f 1951I had the opportunityo f studying
an enormousfl ock of theseb irdso n the SwissT hunersee.
Everyd ay therew erem anyc o{pseus ndert heir roostingt rees.
Post-morteme xaminationsre vealedth at the birds had died of
I think we can conclude,f rom the provend isadvantageosf
life in big herds,t hat therem ustb e advantagews hich not only
compensatefo r but also so far outweigh the disadvantages
that a selection pressure has arisen causing the evolution,
among so many animals, of a complicated behavior mechanism
of herding together.
If herd animals are in the smallest degree capable of defensea
gainspt redatorsa, s are jackdawss, mallu ngulatesa, nd
smallm onkeysi,t is understandablteh at theres houldb e.safegl
in-uunbers. The repulsion of a predator, or the succor of an
assaultedm embero f the herd, needn ot even be particularly
effectivei n order to gain species-preservinvagl ue. The social
defensere actiono f jackdawsm ayn ot resulti n savingt heir fellow
from a hawk, but if it is just annoying enough to make
him lunl jackdaws a little less eagerly than magpies and thus
On Aggression
to make him prefer magpies as Prey, this is enough to give social
defense a very strong survival value. The same applies to
the alarrr call with which a roebuck Pursues predators, or to
the malicious screeching to the accompaniment of which
many small apes, from the safety of the treetops, go leaping
after a tiger or a leopard. From such beginnings and by comprehensible
transitions, the heavily armed defense otgaruzations
of bull buffaloes, baboon males, and similar heroes have
evolved, from whose defensive Power even the most terrible
predators shrink.
But what advantage does close herding together b.iog to the
completely defenselesss,u ch as herringsa nd other small shoal
fishes, small birds in enonnous flocks, and many others? I can
think of only one explanation and I ofter it tentatively because,
even to me, it seems scarcely believable that a single,
small, but widespread weakness in predators could have
wrought such far-reaching consequenceisn the behavior of
their prey: this weakness lies in the fact that many, perhaps
i' f "U,
predators which Pursue a single Prey are incapable of con-
I i centrating on one target iL, at the same time, many others are
\ \ crossing their field of vision. Just try yourself, to catch a single
specimen from out of a ca1e full of birds. Even if you do
not want a particular individual but intend to empty the whole
cage, you will be astonished to find how hard you have to concentrate
on a specific bird in order to catch one at all. You
will also notice how incredibly difficult it is to concentrate on
a certain bird and not allow yourself to be diverted by an apoarently
easiert arget. The bird that seemse asiert o catch is almost
never caught, because you have not been following its
movements in the immediately preceding seconds and there'
fore cannot anticipate its next movements. Moreover, it is
astonishing how often we reach in the line of the resultant of
two equally tempting attractive forces.
Maoy predators apparently do the same thing when ofiered
Anonymity of the Flock
a number of targets at the same time. It has been experimentally
de.monstrated that, paradoxically, @_93!gL fgrygr
water fleas when are offered too at once. Autoiadar-
guided missiles behave in the same way when
aiming at airplanes: they fly through the resultant between
two targets if these are close together and positioned symmetrically
on both sides of the projectile's trajectory. The
predatory fish, Iike the radar-guided missile, lacks ttre ability
to blind itself voluntarily to one objective in order to concentrate
on the other. Probably herrings swim in close shoal formation
for the same reason as jet fighters fly in close formation
across the sky-a strategy not without danger even for
expert airmen.
Far-fetched though this explanation of a widespread phenomenon
may seem, strong arguments speak for its correctness.
As far as I know, there is not a single gregarious animal
species whose individuals do not press together when alarmed,
that is, whenever there is a suspicion that a predator is close at
hand. The smallesta nd most defenselessa nirnals do this the
most noticeably, and in many fish species only the small,
youngones do it, while the adults do not. When in d4nger, some
species of fish crowd together to fonn a body so that they look
Iike one big fish, and, since many of the large, rather stupid
predators such as the Barracuda meticulously avoid large prey
for fear of choking, these tactics may be a special protection.
A further, strong argument for the correctness of my
assumption lies in the fact that evidently not a single one of
the large predators ever attacks in the midst of a dense herd of
its prey. Not only do the big predatory animals, such as lions
and tigers, hesitate, in the face of the defensive powers of their
prelr before leaping onto an African buffalo in the herd, but
even smaller hunters of defenselessg ame try, almost without
exception, to separate a single animal from the herd before
they attack it. Peregrine and Hobby Falcon have a special
On Aggrec.sion
movement pattern serving this end alone. W. Beebe observed
correspondingb ehaviori n fish in the sea He sawa big amber
jack following a shoal of little porcupine fish, waiting patiently
until one of the small fish separatedit self from the group to
snapu p somes till smallerp rey. Each time this happenedt"h e
smallf ishmetig endin thes tomachoft heb igone.
Wandering flocks of starlings make use of the bad marts"
manship of the predator to qpoil his appetite for catching
starlings.I f a flock of theseb irds comess tithin sight of a flyng
sparrow hawk or hobby, they press so close together that one
can hardly imagine that they can still use their wings. In thig
formation they fly not away from the p'redatobr ut after hirn,
finally encirclingh im, just as an amoebafl owsa round I particle
of nourishment, enclosing it in a little vacuole. Some ob
sen'ersh ave assertedth at by this maneuyerth e air is sucked
from under the wings of the lnedator, him from flying,
still more from attacking.T his, of coursei,s nonsenseb,u t
an experienceo f this kind is certainly unpleasanet noughf or
the predator to act as a deterrenf and this fact lends survival
value to the whole behavior mechanism.
Somes ociologistsa re of the opinion that the fa-tly is the
most primitive form of sociala ggregationa" nd that the different
forms of communitiesin the higher animalsh ave arisen
from it phylogeneticallyT. his theory may be tme of several
sociali nsects,s ucha s bees,a nts,a nd termites,o trd possiblyo f
some mammals too, including the primates to which man belongs,
but it cannot be applied generally. The most primitive
form of a "society" in the broadests enseo f the terrr is the
anonymous flock, of which the shoal of ocean fishes is the
most typical exampleI.n side the shoal,t herei s no structureo f
any kind, there is no leader and there are no le4 but just a
huge collection of like elements. Of course these influenct
each other mutually, and there are certain very simple formg
of "communication" between the individuals of the shoal
Anonymity of thc Flock
When one of them sensesd anger and flees,i t infects with its
mood all the others which have perceived its fear. How far the
panic in a big shoals preads,a nd whetheri t is able to make the
whole shoal turn and flee, is purely a quantitative question,
the answer to which depends on how many individuals become
frightened and flee and how intensively they do so.
Stimulus situations which attract the fish can be responded
to by a whole shoal, even when only one individual has received
the stimuli. The resolute swimming of this individual in
one direction draws the other fish with it, and here again it is a
question of quantity whether or not the whole shoal is pulled
The purely quantitative and, in a sense, democratic action
of this processc alled "social induction" by sociologistsm eans
that a school of fish is the less resolute the more individuals it
contains and the stronger its herd instinct is. A fish which begins,
for any reason, to swim in a certain direction cannot
avoid leaving the school and thus finding itself in an isolated
position. Here it falls under the influence of all those stimuli
calculated to draw it back into the school. The more fish there
are swimming in the same direction, as a result of some
exogenous stimulus, the more likely they are to draw the
school with them; the bigger the school and its consequent
counterattraction, the less far its members will swim before
they return to the school, drawn as by a magnet. A big school
of small and closelyh erdedf ish thus presentsa lamentablep icture
of indecision. Again and again a small current of enterprising
single fish pushes its way forward like the pseudopodium
of an amoeba.T he longer such pseudopodsb ecome,t he
thinner they grow, and the stronger becomes their longitudinal
tension. Generally the whole advance ends in precipitate flight
back to the heart of the school. Watching these indecisive ac- \
tions, one almost begins to lose faith in democracy and to see I
the advantage of authoritarian p,olitics. I
l/ i t
On Aggression
However, it can be shown by a very simple experinent how
little justified this standpoint is. Erich von Holst removed,
from a conrmon minnow, the forebrain, which, in this species,
is the site of all shoaling reactions. The pithed minnow sees,
eats, and swims like a normal fish, its only aberrant behavior
property being that it does not mind if it leaves the shoal unaccompanied
by other fishes. It lacks the hesitancy of the
norrnal fish, which, even when it very much wants to swim in a
certain direction, turns around after its first movements to
look at its shoalmatesa nd lets itself be influenceda ccordingt o
whether any others follow it or not. This did not matter to the
brainless fish: if it saw food, or had any other reason for doing
so, it swam resolutely in a certain direction and-the whole
shoal followed it. By virtue of its deficiency, the brainless animal
had become the dictator!
The important eftect of intra-specifica ggression,d ispersing
and spacingo ut the animals of a speciesi,s essentiallyo pposed
to that of herd attraction. Strong aggression and very close
herding exclude one another, but lesse xtreme expressionso f
the two behavior mechanisms are not incompatible. In many
species which form large flocks, the individuals never come
nearer to each other than a certain minimum distance; there is
always a constant space between every two animals. 8!g.F_89,
sitting like a string of pearls at exactly regular intervals along
a telegraph wire, are a good example of this spacing. The distance
between the individuals correspondse xactly to the distance
at which two starlings can reach each other with their
beaks. Immediately after landing, they sit irregularly distributed,
but soon those that are too close together begin to
peck at each other and continue to do so until the "Pt"-
scribed" individual distance, as Hediger appropriately called
it, is established. We may conceive the sPace' whose radius is
represented by the individual distance, as a very small, mov&
ble territory, since the behavior mechanisms ensuring its maint6
Anonymity of the Flock
tenance are fundamentally the same as those which effect the
demarcation of territory. There are also genuine territories,
for examplein the colony-nesting annetsa, risingi n the same
way ast hep erchingd istributiono f starlings:t he ti"I ,:P,9ty
of i gannefpui. is just big enough to prwent two neighboring
birds, in the center of their territories-that is, when they are
sitting on their nests-from reaching each other with the tips
of theirb eaksif they stretcho ut theirn ecksa sf ar as theyc an.
It is only for the sake of completenestsh at I have mentioned
here that gregariousnesasn d intra-specifica ggression
are not entirelyi ncompatibleI.n generaltny picalh erda nimals
Iack any aggiessivein stinct and with it any individual distance.
H eminglikea nd caqplikef ish huddle togetherw hen disturbed,
b ut alsow henr esting,a lmostt o the point of physical
contact; many fish which are territorial and highly aggressive
during the reproductives easonlo se all aggressiveb ehavior
when they come together in swarms outside the breeding season.
T hiJ appliest o manyc ichlids,t o sticklebacksa,n d some
others.T he nonaggressivpes ychophysiologicsatal teo f schooling
can usuallyb e deducedfr om the specialc olor patternso f
the nsh.N umerousb ird speciehsa vet he habit of retiring,o utsidet
heb reedings easoni,n to the anonymityo f the flock. This
is the case with storks, herons, swallows, and a number of
songbirdsin which there is no bond holding the partnerst og-
etherd uringt he autumna ndw inter.
Only in a few bird speciesf,o r examples wans'w ild geese'
and crlnes, do mates or parents and children keep together in
the big migrating flocks. The large numbers of birds and the
close fbrmition of most big flocks must make it very hard for
individual partnersn ot to loset ouch. But most speciesw hich
form large herds, flocls, or schools seem to set no store by
suchi ndividualc ontactsT. heir form of societyi s of necessity
completelya nonymouse, veryi ndividual is just asc ontentw ith
anyb ne fblow membero f the speciesa s with any other, and
On Aggression
the bonds of personal friendship which seem so indispensable
to us simply do not occur in these species.
The ties which hold such an anonymous flock together are
very difterent indeed from those *f,i.tr lend strength and security
to our own society. Nevertheless,o ne could imagine
that personal friendship and love might well have developed in
the lap of the peaceful anonymous society, a thought that suggestsi
tself the more readily since the anon)rrnousc rowd undoubtedly
evolved phylogenetically long before the personal
bond. To obviate misunderstandingf, must here anticipatet he
theme of a later chapter, "The Bond." Anonymous flock formation
and personal friendship exclude each other to a large
extent because personal friendship is always coupled with
Sfied o{9!}now-of-asingle" anims_r[y hlch is"q apaersonatliieudship-
ard+,hich lactq ?g_ggssignT.h is
tion is particularly impressivein animalsw hich are
only during the reproductive season and which
lack aggressiona nd form anonymousf locks. When
creatures form any personal ties, these are dissolved with
loss of aggressionF. or this reason, in storks, chaffinches,
cichlids, and others, the mates do not remain together when
the big anonymousf locksa ssemblefo r migration.
To our human mind, personalf riendship representso ne of
the most cherished values, and any social organization not
built upon its basis inspires us with a chilling sense of the inhuman.
This will become clearer in the next two chapters.
However, even the simple and seemingly innocuous mechanisms
of anonymous flocking can turn into something not only
inhuman but tmly terrible. In human society, these mechanisms
remain more or less hidden, being superseded by
nonanon)rnous, wellorganized relationships between individuals,
but there is one contingency in which they erupt with the
uncontrollable power of a volcano and gain complete mastery
over man, causing behavior that can no longer be called
Anonymity of the Flock
human. This horrible recrudescence of the ancient mechanisms
of flocking behavior occurs in ryss paqc. I was once an
unwilling witne;s of the sudden emer!ffi-nd rapidly snowballing
effect of this process of dehumanization, and if I was
not drawn into its vortex it was only because, thanks to my
knowledge of flocking behavior, I had seen the approaching
danger sooner than others and had had time to guard against
my own reactions. To me there is small pride in the memory;
on the contrary, no one can put much trust in his own selfmastery
who has ever seen men more courageous than himself,
men fundamentally disciplined and self-controlled, rushing
blindly along, closely huddled, all in the same direction,
with eyes protruding, chests heaving, and trampling underfoot
everything that comes in their way, exactly like stampeding
ungulates, and no more accessible to reason than they.
Chapter Nine
Social Orgafization
without Love
I have contrasted the simple flock organization of the anonymous
individuals with the social order built on personal relationshipsi
n order to emphasizet hat theset wo mechanismso f
social behavior do, to a large extent, exclude one another; but
this does not in any way imply that there are no other types of
social organization. In animals, there are other relationships
between certain individuals which bind them for long periods,
even for life, without the involvement of personal ties. Just as
in human societyt here are businessp artnersw ho work happily
together but would never think of meeting outside office
hours, so there are in many animal speciesi ndividual ties
arising only through a common interest of the partners in a
shared "enterprise." The anthropomorphizing animal lover
will not be pleased to hear that in many birds, including some
that live in lifelong "matrimon!," male and female have no
interest in each other's company unless they have a common
function to fulfill at the nest or in the service of the brood. An
extreme case of such a bond in which the partners are bound
neither by mutual recognition nor by love is seen in the tie
called by Heinroth "local mating." Males and females of the
South European Green Lizard, for example, defend their terri-
Social Organization without Love
tories against members of the same sex only. The male takes
no action against an encroaching female (indeed he cannot
becauseh e is preventedf rom attacking a femaleb y the inhibition
describedo n page 123). The female cannot attack even a
young male inferior to herself in strength, because 4a immslss
innate respect for the insignia of maleness prevents her from
doing so. Thus male and female lizard would demarcate their
territories as independently of each other as animals of two
entirely different species which keep no intra-specific distance
from each other, were it not for the fact that they both show
similar "taste" in choosing a dwelling. But neither in our large
and well-planned enclosure, forty yards square, nor in nature,
is therea n unlimited amounto f tempting accommodationin the
form of hollows between stones, holes in the earth, and other
such places. So it is inevitable that sometimes a maie and a female,
having no individual distance, move into the same
dwetling. And since fsTe drysllings are seldom equally useful
and attractive, it is not suqprisingt hat in our enclosurea certain
particularly favorable hollow, facing south, was soon
occupied by the strongest male and the strongest female in our
lnard colony. Thougl they do not have a particular prefer-)
ence for each other, animals living in such close contact copu- i
late more frequently with each other than with a chance Part-l
ner met on the territorial border. If one of the "local mates"j
was removed experimentally, it soon "got around" that a
particularly desirable male, or female, territory was vacant-
Then severe territorial fights took place between the interested
parties, with the usual result that by ngxt dfl the nextitrongest
male or female had taken possessiono f the dwelling
place and of the sexual partner too.
It is astonishing that our white storks should behave almost
exactly like the lizards, a fact quite at variance with the gruesome
story told wherever white storks nest and sPortsmen
meet. From time to time, some daily PaPer reports how the
On Aggression
storks, before leaving for Africa, hold a tribunal where all
crimes of individual storks are tried, and females guilty of
adultery are condemned to death and executed mercilessly. In
reality, a stork is not very fond of his wife, and it is very
doubtful whether he would even recognize her away from the
nest. A stork couple is certainly not held together by that
magic elastic band which, in geese, ravens, or jackdaws, ovidently
pulls harder as the mates get farther away from each
other. The male stork and his wife almost never fly together at
a fixed distancel ike the mateso f the speciesm entioneda bove
and many others, and they even migrate at different times. In
the spring, the male stork returns to the nesting place much
earlier than his wife or, to be more precise, the female who
shares the same nest. While he was director of the Rossitten
bird observatory, Professor Ernst Schtiz made the following
enlightening observations of the storks nesting on his roof.
One year, the male came back early, and after he had been
home for some time and was standing on his nest, a strange
female appeared. He greeted her with chattering, and she at
once made herself at home on the nest, greeting him in the
same way. He admitted her without hesitation and teated her
in every detail exactly as a male stork treats his long-awaited
wife on her return. Professor Schtz told me he could have
sworn that the newcomer was the old female, if the leg bands
-+r rather, the lack of them-had not taught him !e161, e1
perhaps I should say worse.
i The two were busily occupied repairing and relining the
I nest when suddenly the old wife arrived. The two females
i started an embittered territorial fight which the male watched
i quite disinterestedly and without attempting to defend his old
I wife against the new one, or vice versa. Finally the new wife
lflew oft, beaten by the "legitimate" one, and after the change
of partners, the male continued with his nesting business exactly
where he had been interrupted by the fight of the rivals.
Social Organization without love
He showed no sign of having noticed the change of wives that ]
had twice taken place. Wnat a renarkable contrast to the 'l
nyth of the stork tribunal. If zuch a bird caught his wife in
flagranti, with the neighbor on the next roof, he probably
would not evenr ecognizeh er ash is ownt
Night herons behave very similarly to storks, but there are
severaol ther qpecieso f heronsi n which, as Otto Koenig has
shown, the mates certainly recognize each other individually
and associateu P to a certaine xtente vena wayf rom the nest.I
know mght heronsw ell, becausefo r manyy earsI had an artificially
settledc o-Ibiiyo f tame, free-flyingb irds of this species
in my gardena ndI wast hus ablet o observeth eir pairing, nest
building, brooding, and baby rearing, in minute detail. When
two mates met on neutral ground, that is at a certain distance
from their corlmon nest territory, whether they were fishing in
the pond or coming to be fed in a field about a hundred yards
awayf rom their nestingt ree, they showeda bsoluteJyn o signs
of recognizinge acho ther.T h"y chasede acho ther just as furiously
from a good fishing place, and fought iust as angrily
ovei the food I gave them, as any other two utterly unrelated
birds. The mates never flew together, and the formation of
largero r smallers warmsw, hen they flew down to the Danube
at dusk to fish, bore the charactero f anonymousfl ocks.
Equully anonymous is the organization of the nesting
colony. It is entirely different from that of the jackdaw colony,
whichc onsistso f an exclusivec ircleo f old friends.I n spring'
eyeryn ight heroni n reproductivem ood wantst o havei ts nest
near, but not too near, that of another bird. One has the im'
pressionth at somes quabblingw ith a hostilen eighbori s essential
to the bird in order to get it into a ProPer nesting mood.
fust as in the case of the nest territory of the Gannet' or the
sitting place of a starlinS, the minimum diameter of a nest
territory of a night heron is determintd by the span of neck
and beak of two neighbors, and the centers of two nests can
On Aggression
never be nearer than twice the span of a bird's neck and beak.
Among the long-necked herons this is a considerable distance.
I cannot say for certain whether the neighbors recognize
each other, but I had the impression that a night heron never
got used to the approach of another one that had to pass by
very closely on the way to its own nest. One would expect that
after innumerable repetitions of this procedure, the silly bird
would eventually realrze that the passer-by, whose nervous
look and flattened feathers expresseda nything but thirst for
conquest, only wanted to squeeze past. But the night heron
never understands that his neighbor is himself a territory
owner and therefore not dangerous, &d he cannot differentiate
between the neighbor and a stranger who is a potential
usu{per of territory. Even the nonanthropomoqphizing observer
cannot help being irritated by the ever recurring
clamor and spiteful beak duels that take place, day and
night, in a night heron colony. One would think that this unnecessary
waste of energy could easily be obviated, for night
herons are fundamentallya ble to recogrnzefe llow memberso f
their species. The young of a brood know each other even as
tiny nestlings and attack any strange night heron baby, even
one of the same age, if it is introduced into the nest. The fledglings
keep together for a long time, seek protection from each
other, and, standingb ack to back, defend themselvesa gainst
attack. It is thus the more astonishing that nesting night
herons never treat the owners of bordering tenitories "as
though they knew" that these were settled householders with
no intention of robbing a neighbor of his territory.
Why, one asks, has the night heron rever "hit on the idea"
of making use of his proved ability to recognize his fellows for
the puqpose of selective habituation to his territorial neighbors,
thus saving himself an incredible amount of energy and
annoyance? The question is difficult to answer, and probably
it is asked wrongly. In nature we find not only that which is
Social Organization without Love
expedient,b ut also everythingw hich is not so inexpedienta s
to endangetrh e existenceo f the species.
Surpriiingl!, there is a fish which is capable of doing what
the night heronc annotd o: it can accustomit self to its settled
and harmlessn eighbora nd so avoidt he elicitation of unnecessary
ag$ession. This fish is a member of a grouP well tnown
torbreiting fish records: the cichlids. In the North African
oasis,G afsah,t herel ives a little MouthbreedingC ichlid about
whose social behavior we have learned through the close field
observationso f Rosl Kirchshofer.T he males build a closely
knit colonyo f nestso, r rather,s pawningh ollows,i n whicht he
females lay their eggs. As soon asi they are all fertilized, the
female takes then in her mouth and transports them to other
places, hatching them in shallow water, thickly grown with
plants, where eventually the young are reared. Every male
lnssesseso nly a relatively tiny territorY, and this i1 almost
iompletely filled by the spawning hollow which the fish constructs
by fanning with his tail and diggiog with his mrcuth-
Every male tries io entice every passing female into his hollow,
by certainr itualized courtshipm ovementsa nd by g"di"g
the female to his own nest. The males spend a very large part
of the year performing these tactics, in fact it is possible that
they are in the spawning place all the year round. There is no
reasont o supposeth at they often changet heir territory' every
fish has plenty of time to get to know his neighbor, and it has
long been known that cichlids are capable of this. Dr. Kirchshofir
performed the laborious task of catching all the males
of a nesting colony and marking them individually. Every fish
knew the owners of neighboring territories very exactly and
toleratedt hemp eacefullya t closesqt uarters,w hile he immediately
attackede very strangerw hich approachedh is spawning
hollow even from farther away.
This peacefulnesos f the male mouthbreederso f Gafsah,
dependingo n individual recognitiono f their fellows,i s not yet
On Aggression
that bond of friendship which we shall describe in the next
chapter but one. In these fish, there is not yet that attraction
betrveenp ersonallya cquaintedin dividualsw hich keepst hem
pennanentlyto gether-and this is the objectivelyd emonstrable
signo f friendshipB. ut in a field of forcesi,n which mutual
repulsioni s everp resente, veryl esseningo f the activer epulsive
force between two particular objects has consequences
which are, in effect,e quivalent o attraction.f n still another
respect,t he nonaggressiopna ct of neighboringm outhbreeder
malesr esembletsr ue friendship:t he lesseninogf repulsiona, s
well as the attractiono f being friends,d ependso n the degree
of acquaintanceshiopf the individualsc oncernedS. elective
habituation to all stimuli emanating from individually known
memberso f the speciesis probably the prerequisitef or the
origrn of every personabl ond, and it is probablyi ts precursor
in the phylogenetice volutiono f socialb ehavior.
Generally, other conditions being equal, mere acquaintanceshipw
ith a fellow membero f the speciese xertsa remarkably
strong inhibitory effecto n aggressivbee havior.I n human
beings,t his phenomenonca n regularlyb e observedin railway
carriages,in cidentallya n excellentp lacei n which to study the
function of aggressionin the spacingo ut of territories.A ll the
rude behavior patterns serving for the repulsion of seat competitors
and intruders, such as covering empty places with
coatso r bags,p uttingu p one'sf eet,o r pretendingto be asleep,
are brought into action against the unknown individual only.
As soon as the newcomer turns out to be even the merest
acquaintance, they disappear and are replaced by rather
shamefacepdo liteness.
Chapter Ten
There is a type of social organizationc haracterizedb y a form
of aggressionth at we have not yet encountered:t he collective
aggression of one community against another. I will try to
show how the misfunctioning of this social form of intraspecifica
ggressionc onstitutes" evil" in the real senseo f the
word, and how the kind of social order now to be discussed
represents a model in which we can see some of the dangers
threateningo urselves.
In their behavior toward members of their own community,
the animals here to be described are models of social virtue;
but they change into horrible brutes as soon as they encounter
memberso f any other societyo f their own speciesC. ommunities
of this type possessto o many individual animals for these
to know each other personally, and in most cases membership
of a certain society is identifiable by a definite smell, common
to all members.
In the huge communities of social insects it has long been
known that their societies, often comprising millions, are basically
families consistingo f the descendantso f a single female
or pair which founded the colony. It is also well known that
among bees, termites, and ants the members of such a large
On Aggressioa
clan recognizee ach other by a characteristich ive, nest, or
anthill smell, and that murder occuni if a member of a strange
colony inadvertently enters the nest. Massacrese nsue if a
human experimenterin humanly tries to mix two colonies.f t
has, f think, been known only since 1950 that there are large
families of rodents which behave similar$. F. Steiniger and J.
Eibl-Eibesfeldt made this important discovery at about the
sarnet ime but independentloyf eacho ther, Steinigeri n the
BrownR at andE ibl-Eibesfeldint theH ouseM ouse.
Eibl, who at that time was with Otto Koenig at the Wilhelminenberg
Biological Station, worked on the sound principle
of living in as close contact as possible with his experimental
animals;t he housem ice,w hichl ived freei n his hut, werer egularly
fed by him, and he moved about quietly and carefully
so that they were soon tame enough for him to male observations
at closeq uarters.O ne day he openeda largec ontaineri n
which he had bred a number of big, wild-colored laboratory
mice, not too different from the wild form. As soon as these
mice dared to leave the cage and nrn about in the room, they
were attacked furiously by the resident wild mice, and only
after hard fighting did they manage to regain the safety of
their prison, which they defended succesfully against invasion
by the wild mice.
Steiniger put brown rats from different localities into a
large enclosure which provided them with completely natural
living conditions.A t first the individual animalss eemeda fraid
of eacho ther; they were not in an aggressivme ood, but they
bit each other if they met by chance, particularly if two were
driven toward eacho ther along one sideo f the enclosure,s o
that they collided at speed. However, they became really aggressiveo
nly when they begant o settlea nd take possessioonf
territories. At the same time, pair formation started between
unacquainted rats from different localities. If several pairs
were formed at the same time the ensuing fights might last a
long time, but if one pair was formed before the others had
started, the tyranny of the united forces of the two partners
increasedt he pressureo n the unfortunatec o-tenantso f the
enclosure so much that any further pair formation was prevented.
The unpaired rats sank noticeably in rank and were
constantlyp ursuedb y the two mates.E ven in the lO2-squareyard
enclosuret,w o or threew eekss ufficedf or sucha pair to
kill all the otherr esidentst,e n to ffteen stronga dult rats.
The male and female of the victorious pair were equally
cruel to their subordinatesb, ut it was plain that he preferred
biting males and she females. The subjugated qts scarlell
defendedth emselvesm, aded esperatea ttemptst o flee, and in
their desperationto ok a direction which rarely brings safety
to rats, namely upwards. Steiniger repeatedly saw weary'
woundedr ats sitting exposeda nd in broad daylighth igh up in
bushes and trees, evidently outside occupied tenitory. The
wounds were usually on the end of the back and on the tail'
wheret he pursuerh ad seizedth em.D eathw ass eldomc aused
by suddend, eepw oundso r losso f blood but moref requently
by sepsisp,a rticularlyi n thec aseo f bitesw hichp enetratedth e
peritoneumB. ut usuallyt he animalsd ied of exhaustiona nd
nervouso verstimulationle adingt o disturbanceo f the adrenal
A particularlye ffectivea ad gunningm ethodo f killing fellow
members of the species was observed by Steiniger in )
female rats, which becamev eritable murder specialistsH. e
writes, "They slink up stealthily, suddenly sPring at their
victim, which is perhaps eating innocently at the feeding place,
and bite it in the side of the neck, frequently injuring the
carotid artery. The fight usuallyl astso nly a few secondst,h e
mortally wounded animal bleeds internally, and on Post:
mortem profuse hemorrhagesa re found subcutaneouslay nd
in thebody cavities."
Having witnessed the bloody tragedies which enabled the
On Aggression
surviving couple finally to rule the whole enclosure, one would
hardly expect to see the development of the society which is
soon built up by the victorious murderers. The tolerance, the
tendernessw hich characteizest he relation of mammal mothers
to their children, extendsi n the caseo f the rats not only to
the fathers but to all grandparentsu, ncles,a unts,c ousins,a nd
so on. The mothers put their children into the same nest, and
it is improbable that each mother tends only her own offspring.
There are no serious fights within the large family even
when this comprises dozens of animals. In the wolf pack,
whose members are otherwise so considerate of each other,
the highest-ranking animals eat first from the common prey.
But in the rat pack there is no ranking order, the pack attacks
its prey in a body, and the strongesta nimalsp lay the chief part
in overcoming it. But in eating it, according to Steiniger, "The
smaller animals are the most forward, the larger ones goodhumoredly
allow the smaller ones to take pieces of food avtay
from them. In reproduction, too, the more lively half and
three-quarter grown animals usually take precedence of the
adults. All rights are open to them, and even the strongest
adult puts nothing in their way."
Within the pack there is no real fighting, at the most there is
slight friction, bo*iog with the fore-paws or kicking with the
hind paws, but never biting; and within the pack there is no
individual distancg on the contrary, rats are contact animals
in the sense of Hediger, and they like touching each other. The
ceremony of friendly contact is the so-called "creeping under,"
which is performed particularly by young animals while
larger animafu show their sympathy for smaller ones by creep
ing over them. It is interesting that overdemonstrativenessin
this respect is the most frequent cause of harmless quarrels
within the big family. When an older animal which happens to
be eating is importuned too much by a younger one, it repels it
by boxing and kicking.
Within the pack there is a quick news system functioning by
mood transmission, and, what is most important, there is a
conservation and traditional passing on of acquired experience.
If the rats find a hitherto unknown food, according to
Steiniger the first rat to find it usually decides whether or not
the family should eat it. "If a few animals of the pack pass the
food without eating any, no other pack member will eat any
either. If the first rats do not eat poisoned bait, they sprinkle it
with their urine or feces. Even when, owing to local condi'
tions, it is extremely uncomfortable to deposit feces on top of
the poison, neverthelesist is often done." But the most aston'
ishing fact is that knowledge of the danger of a certain bait is
transmitted from generation to generation and the knowledge
long outlives those individuals which first made the experi'
ence. The difficulty of effectively combating the most successful
biological opponent to man, the Brown Rat, lies chiefly in
the fact that the rat operates basically with the same methods
as thoseo f man, by traditional transmissiono f experiencea nd
its disseminationw ithin the closec ommunity.
Serious fights between members of the same big family rtElrvuD uErrtg wlwwu urvrsvv^s v^ r'rv
occuri n ones ituationo nly, which in manyr esPectiss signifi' \
canta nd interestings: uchhghtst akep lacew hena strangera t i
is present and has aroused intra-specific, inter-family aggres'
sion. What rats do when a member of a strange rat clan enters
their territory or is put in there by a human experimenter is
one of the most horrible and repulsive things which can be observed
in animals. The strange rat may run around for minutes
on end without having any idea of the terrible fate awaiting
it; and the resident rats may continue for an equally long
time with their ordinary affairs titl finally the stranger comes
close enough to one of them for it to get wind of the intruder.
The information is transmitted like an electric shock through
the resident rat, and at once the whole colony is alarmed by a
process of mood transmission which is communicated in the
On Aggression
Brown Rat by expressionm ovementsb ut in the HouseR at by
a shaqp, shrill, satanic cry which is taken up by all members of
the tribe within earshot.
With their eyes bulging from their sockets, their hair standing
on end, the rats set out on the rat hunt. They are so angry
that if two of them meet they bite each other. "So they fight for
three to five seconds," reports Steiniger, "then with necks outstretched
they sniff each other thoroughly and afterwards part
peacefully. On the day of persecution of the strange rat all the
memberso f the clan are irritable and suspicious."E vidently
the members of a rat clan do not know each other personally,
as jackdaws,g eesea, nd monkeysd o, but they recognizee ach
other by the clan smell,l ike beesa nd other insectsA. member
of the clan canb e brandeda s a hateds tranger,o r vicev ersa,i f
its smell has been influenced one way or the other. Eibl removed
a rat from a colony and put it in another terrarium
specially prepared for the purpose. On its return to the clan
enclosure a few days later, it was treated as a stranger, but if
the rat was put, together with some soil, nest, etc., from this
clan enclosure, into a clean, empty battery jar so that it took
with it a dowry of objects impregnated with a clan smell, it
would be recognized afterwards, even after an absence of
Heart-breaking was the tate of a house rat which Eibl had
treated in the first way, and which in *y presence he put back
into the clan enclosure. This animal had obviously not forgotten
the smell of the clan, but it did not know that its own smell
was changed. So it felt perfectly safe and at home, and the
cruel bites of its former friends camea s a completes uqpriseto
it. Even after several nasty wounds, it did not react with fear
and desperate flight attempts, as really strange rats do at the
first meeting with an aggressivem ember of the residentc lan.
To softheartedr eadersI give the assurancet,o biologistsI admit
hesitatingly, that in this case we did not await the bitter
end but put the experimental animal into a protective cage
which we then placed in the clan enclosure for repatriation.
Without such sentimental interference, the fate of the
strange rat would be sealed. The best thing that can happen to
it is, as S. A. Barnett has observed in individual cases, that it
should die of shock. Otherwise it is slowly torn to pieces by its
fellows. Only rarely does one see an animal in such desperation
and panic, so conscious of the inevitability of a terrible
death, as a rat which is about to be slain by rats. It ceasesto
defend itself. One cannot help comparing this behavior with
what happens when a rat faces a large predator that has driven
it into a corner whence there is no more escape than from the
rats of a strange clan. In the face of death, it meets the eating
enemy with attack, the best method of defense, and springs at
it with the shrill warcry of its species.
What is the purpose of group hate between rat clans? What
species-preservinfgu nction has causedi ts evolution? The disturbing
thought for the human race is that this good old Darwinian
train of thought can only be applied where the causes
which induce selection derive from the extra-specific environment.
Only then does selection bring about adaptation. But
wherever competition between members of a species eftects
sexual selection, there is, as we already know, grave danger
that members of a species may in demented competition drive
each other into the most stupid blind alley of evolution. On
page 4l we have read of the wings of the Argus pheasant and
the working pace of Western civilized man as examples of
such errors of evolution. It is thus quite possible that the group
hate betwe€n rat clans is really a diabolical invention which
serves no pu{pose. On the other hand it is not impossible that
as yet unknown external selection factors are still at work; we
can, however, maintain with certainty that those indispensable
species-preservinfgu nctions of intra-specifica ggressionw, hich
have been discussed in Chapter Four, are not served by clan
'' Y On Aggression
.,: |
;t {)'i r'' ,' t" ':t' ' rt '
fights. These serve neither sPatial distribution nor the selection
of strong family defenders-for among rats these are seldom
the fathers of the descendants-nor any of the functions
enumeratedin ChapterT hree.
It can readily be seen that the constant warfare between
large neighboring families of rats must orert a huge selection
pressure in the direction of an ever increasing ability to fight,
and that a rat clan which cannot keep up in this respect must
soon fall victim to extermination. Probably natural selection
has put a premium on the most highly populated families,
since the members of a clan evidently assist each other in
fights against strangers, and thus a smaller clan is at a disadvantage
in fights against a larger one. On the small North Sea
island of Norderoog, Steiniger found that the ground was
divided between a small number of rat clans separated by a
strip of about fifty yards of no rat's land where fights were
constantly taking place. The front is relatively larger for a
small clan than for a big one, and the small one is therefore at
a disadvantage.
Chapter Eleven
The Bond
In the three different qrpqs of social order described in the
foregoing chapters, relations between individual beings are
completely impenonal. It is characteristic of the supraindividual
community that one individual can be exchanged
for almost any other. We have seen the first trace of personal
relationships in the territory-owning males of the Gafsah
mouthbreedersw, hich form nonaggressionp acts with their
neighbors and are aggessive only toward strange intruders.
However,t his is only a passiveto leranceo f the known neighbor.
Neither of the individuals yet has for the other an attraction
that couldc auseh im to follow if the partners houlds wim
away, or, should the partner stay in one place, to stay there
too for his sake, or still less to search for him actively should
he disappear. These behavior patterns of an objectively demonstrable
mutual attachment constitute the personal tie
whichi s the subjecot f thisc hapterF. rom nowo n, I will call it
the bond, and the society which it holds together, theggu&-
The groupi s thusc haracterizebdy the fact that, like the anon-
Jrmousc rowd, it is held togetherb y reactionse licited by one
member in another, but in contrast to the impersonal social
On Aggression
order, the attachmentr eactionsa re inseparablyli nls6 *i*
the individualities of group members.
As in the mutual-tolerancpea ct of Gafsahm outhbreeders,
it is a prerequisiteo f group formation that individual animals
shouldb e capableo f reactings electivelyto the individuality of
eveqyo ther member;b ut thosem outhbreederws hich reacti n a
different way to the neighbor and to the stranger do so in one
place only, in their own nest hollow, and a number of additional
circumstancesa re involved in this processo f special
habituation.I t is open to questionw hethert he fish would treat
the neighbor in the same way if they both suddenly found
themselveins an unfamiliarp lace;b ut true groupf ormationi s
characterizedb y its independencoef place.T he part which
every member plays in the life of every other one remains the
samei n an anazing nunber of difierent environmentasl ituations,
that is to say, personal recognition of the partner in all
possiblec onditionso f life is the essentiaflo r everyg oup formation.
Recoguition of the partner must always be learned
When we considert he serieso f life patternsi n the ascending
scale,f rom the simplert o the higher,w e encountegr roup
fonnation in the above sensefo r the first time amongh igher
teleosteansn, amely among Spiny Rayed Fish, particulady
Cichlids, in the closely related fish of the perch family, the
DemoisellesA, ngelfish,a nd ButterflyF ish. lVe havem et with
these three families of tropical marine fish in the first two
chaptersa, nd it is significant hat they possesas particular$
'1 l argem easureo f intra-specifiacg gression.
In discussing"a nonSmousfl ock" formation, I haves tressed
that this most widespread and most primitive form of social
order did aot arise from the family, the unit of parents and
children,a si t did in the caseo f the quarrelsomrea t clansa nd
in the packso f other mammalsI.n a rather differents enset,h e
phylogeneticp rototypeo f the personabl ond and of group forr66
The Bond
mation is the affachmenbt etweent wo partnersw hich together
tend their young. From such a tie a family can easily arise, but
the bond with which we are herec oncernedis of a much more
specialk ind. We will now describeh ow this bond comesa bout
in Cichlids.
In observingw, ith a thoroughk nowledgeo f all the expresmovementst,
h e processesw hich in Cichlids efiect the
seming together of partners of opposite sex, it is a nerveracking
experience to see the prospective mates in a state of
real fury with each other. Again and again they are close to
starting a vicious fight, again and again the ominous flare-up
of the aggressive drive is only just inhibited and murder sidestepped
by a hair. Our apprehension is by no mea$i founded
on a false interpretation of the particular exPression movements
observedi n our fish: every fish breederk nows that it is
risky to put male and female of a Cichlid species together in a
tank, and that there is considerable danger of casualty if pait
formation is not constant$ supervised.
Under natural conditions, habituation is largely responsible
for preventing hostilities betweeu the prospective mates. We
can best imitate natural conditions by putting several young,
still peaceable fishes in a large aquarium and letting them
grow up together. Pair formation then takes place in the following
way: on reaching sexual maturity a certain fish, usually
a male, takes possessiono f a territory and drives out all the
others. Later, when a female is willing to pair, she approaches
the territory owner cautiously and, if she acknowledges the
superior rank of the male, responds to his attacks which, at
first, are quite serio3rslym eant, in the way describedo n page
104, with the so-called" coSmesbs ehavior," consisting,a s we
altrady know, of behavior elements arising partly from mating
and partly from escape drives. If, despite the clearly
aggression-inhibitingin tention of theseg estures,t he male attacks,
the female may leave his territory for a short time, but
On Aggression
sooner or later she returns. This is repeated over a varying
period until eacho f the two animalsi s so accustomedto the
presenceo f the other that the aggression-elicitinsgt imuli inevitably
proceedingfr om the femalel oset heir effecl
As in many similar processeosf specifich abituation,h ere,
too, all fortuitously occurring accessoryfa ctors becomep art
of the entire situation to which the animal finally becomes
accustomedI.f any of thesef actorsi s missing,t he wholee fiect
of the habituation will be upset. This applies in particular to
the beginnings tageso f peacefulc ohabitation,w hen the partner
must alwaysa ppearo n the accustomedro ute, from the
accustomeds ide;t he lighting must alwaysb e the same,a nd so
on, otherwisee achf ish considersth e other as a fight-releasing
stranger.T ransferenceto anothera quariumc an at this stage
completely upset pair formation. The closer the acquaintanceship,
the moret he picttre of the partnerb ecomesin dependent
of its background, a process well known to the Gestalt psychologist
as also to the investigatorso f conditionedr eflexes.
Finally, the bond with the partnerb ecomes o independenot f
accidental conditions that pairs can be transferred even transported
far away, without rupture of their bond. At most, pair
formation "regressesu' nder thesec ircumstancesth, at is, ceremonieso
f courtshipa nd appeasemenmt ay recur, which in
long-matedp artnersh ad long ago disappearedh, aving ceded
to force of habit.
If pait formation runs an undisturbed course, the male's
sexual behavior gradually comes to the fore. There may already
be traceso f theseb ehaviorp atternsin his first seriously
intended attackso n the female,b ut now they increasein intensity
and frequency without, however, causing the disappearanceo
f the expressionm ovementsim plying aggessive
mood. In the female, however, the original escape-readiness
and "submissivenessd"e creasev ery quickly. Movementse xpressiveo
f fear or escapem ood disappeairn the femalem ore
The Bond
and morew ith the consolidationo f pair formation,i n fact they
sometimeds isappeasr o quickly that, during my early observa'
tions of Cichlids,I overlookedth ema ltogethera nd for years
erroneously believed that no ranking order existed between
the partners of this family. We have already heard (page 103)
what part ranking order plays in the mutual recognition of the
sexes, and it persists latentl), even when the female has completely
stoppedm aking submissiveg esturest o her mate. Only
on the rare occasions when an old pair quanels does she do it
At first nervouslys ubmissivet,h e femaleg adually losesh er
fear of the male, and with it every inhibition against showing
aggressiveb ehavior, so that one day her initial shynesl i9 gone
and she stands, fearless and truculent, in the middle of the territory
of her mate, her fins outspread in an attitude of selfdisplay,
and wearinga dressw hich, in somes peciesi,s scarcely
disiinguistrable from that of the male. As may be expected, the
male gets furious, for the stimulus situation presented by the
femalJ lacks nothing of the key stimuli which, from experimental
stimulus analysis, we know to be strongly fight-releasittg.
So he also assumes an attitude of broadside display'
diicharges some tail beats, then rushes at his mate, and for
fractionl of a second it looks as if he will ram her-and then
the thing happens which prompted me to write this book: the
male does not waste time replying to the threatening of the female;
he is far too excited for that, he actually launches a furious
attack which, howeYer, is not directed at his mate but,
passingh er by narrowly, finds its goal in another membero l
his species. Under natural conditions this is regularly the territorial
This iJ a chssical example of the Process which we call,
with Tinbergen, a redirected activity.It is charactenznd by,the
fact that anictivity is releasedb y one object but discharged.l
another,because the nrst one, while presenting stimuli specifi'
On Aggression
cally eliciting the response, simultaneously emits others which
inhibit its discharge. A human example is furnished by the
man who is very angry with someone and hits the table instead
of the other man's jaw because inhibition prevents him from
doing so, although his pent-uP anger, like the Pressure qrithin
a volcano, demands outlet. Most of the known cases of redirected
activity concern aggressive behavior elicited by an
object which simultaneously evokes fear. In this special case,
which he called "bicycling," B. Grzimek first recognized and
described the principle of redirection. The "bicyclist" in this
case is the man who bows to his superior and treads on his inferior.
The mechanism effecting this behavior is particularly
clear when an animal approachesit s opponentf rom somed istance,
then, on drawing near, notices how terrifying the latter
really is, and now, since it cannot check the already started attack,
vents its anger on some innocent bystander or even on
some inanimate substitute object.
There are, of course, innumerable further forms of redirected
movements, and various combinations of opposing
drives can produce them. The special case of the Cichlid male
is very significant for our theme because analogous Processes
play a decisive role in the family and social life of a great
many higher animals and man. The problem of how to prevent
inter-marital fighting is solved in a truly remarkable way
not only by not inhibiting the aggression elicited in each partner
by the presence of the other, but by putting it to use in
fighting the hostile neighbor. This solution has evidently been
found independentlyin severalu nrelatedg rouPso f vertebrates.
The averting of the undesirable aggression elicited by the
partner and its canalizing in the desired direction of the terriiorial
neighbor is, in the dramatic case of the cichlid male, no
momentary decision which the animal can make or not make
at the critical moment. It has long been ritualized and has be'
come a part of the fixed instinct inventory of the particular
The Bond
species. Everything that we have learned, in Chapter Five,
abo',t the process of ritualization helps us to understand that
frcrn the redirected activity a new instinct movement can arise
which, like all others, must find its discharge, and hence pre'
sents a need, an independent motive for action.
In prehistoric times, probably around the Chalk Age (a
million years or so make no difierence here), a similal case of
redirected activity must have happened by chance, just as the
tobacco smoking of the Red Indian chiefs described in Chap
ter Five happened by chance, otherwise no rite could have
arisen. One of the great constructors of the change in species'
selection, always requires some fortuitously arising material to
work on, and its blind but busy colleague, mutation, provides
the material.
As with many physical characteristics and many instinctive
motor patterns, the individual development, the ontogeny, of a
ritualized ceremony follows roughly the path taken by its
phylogeny. To be exact, it repeats the ontogeny which the
same character took in the ancestral forms, as Carl Ernst von
Baer right$ recognized. However, for our PurPose the wider
definition suffices. The rites evolved from the redirected attack
resemble its unritualized prototype far more in its first appearance
than in its later form. In a newly paired cichlid male,
when the intensity of the whole reaction is not too pronounced,
it can clearly be seen that,the male would like to ram
his young mate but that at the last moment he is prevented by
other motives from doing so, and that he now prefers to vent
his anger on his neighbor. In the fully develoPed ceremony,
the "symbol" has become further removed from the qrmbolizr.
d, and its origin is veiled by the 'theatrical" effect of the
whole reaction, as also by the fact that it is obviously performed
for its own sake. Thus its function and slmbolism
become much more apparent than its origln. A more exact
analysis is necessary in order to find out how many of the
On Aggression
originally conflicting drives are still present in the individual
case. A quarter of a centur! ago, when my friend Alfred Seitz
and I first became acquainted with this rite, we soon understood
the function of the "nest-relief' and "greeting' ceremonies
of cichlids, but for a long time we did not understand
__itsp hylogenetico rigin.
f However, in the first exactly examined species, the African
{ Jewel Fish, we were immediately struck by the resemblance
i* 3boeotwne en the gestureso f threatening and of "greeting." We
learned to differentiate between them and to predict correctly
whether the particular movements would lead to fighting
or pair forrration, but to our dismay we were unable to
find out which were the salient points for our verdict. Only
when we rnade a closer analysis of the precarious transitions
between serious threatening of the mate and the appeasement
ceremony did the difierence become clear. In threatening, the
fish stops suddenly exactly beside the threatened opponent,
particularly when it is excited enough to perform not only
broadside display but also the sideways tail beat. Conversely,
tn the appeasing ceremony he not only does not stop opposite
the partner but he swims past her, emphatically exaggerating
his forward movements, at the same time directing his broadside
display and tail beat toward her. The direction in which
the fish presents its ceremony is strikingly difterent from that
in which it sets itself in motion for attack. If before the ceremony
it has been standing still in the water near the mate, it
always begins to swim forward resolutely before performing
the broadSide display and tail beat. Thus it is very clearly
"sSmrbolizedt"h at the mate is not the object of his attack but
that his goal is to be found somewhere else, further away in
the direction in which the fish is swimming.
The so-called lunctiotul clunge is a means often used by
the trro great constructors of evolution to put to new pulposes
rennants of an organization whose function has been out-
The Bond
stripped by the progress of evolution. With daring fantasy, the
constructors have, for example, made from a water-conducting
gill slit an air-containing,s ound-conductingh earing tube;
from trvo bones of the jaw joint two little auditoqy bones; from
a parietal eye an endocrine gland, the pineal body; from a rep'
tile's arm a bird's wing, and so on. However, all these amazing
metamo{phoses eemt ame in comparisonw ith the ingenious
feat of transforming, by the comparatively simple means of
redirection and ritualization, a behavior pattern which not
only in its prototype but even in its present form is partly
moiivated by aggiession,i nto a means of appeasemenat nd
further into a love ceremony which forms a strong tie between
those that participate in it. This means neither more nor less
than converting the mutually repelling eftect of aggression
into its opposite. Like the performance of any other inagnend-\\1
ent instinctivea ct, that of the ritual hasb ecomea needf or the \\\
animal, in other words an end in itself. Unlike the autonomous lii
instincto f aggressiono,u t of which it arose,i t cannotb e indis- lil
criminately'Olschargeadt any anonymousf ellow member of ii
the speciesb, ut demandsf or its object the personallyk nown.rl
partner.T husi t formsa bond betweenin dividuals. t,'
We must consider what an aPParently insoluble problem is
here solved in the simplest, most elegant and comPlete manner:
two furiously aggressivea nimals, which in their aPPear'
ance, coloring, and behavior are to each other what the red
rag (though only proverbiall)) is to the bull, must be made to
agree within the narrowest space, at the nesting place., that is
ai tne very place which each regards as the center of its territory,
wheie intra-specifica ggressionis at its peak. And this in
itsifi dimcult task is made more difficult by the additional demand
that intra-specifica ggressionm ust not be weakenedi n
either of the partners. We know from Chapter Three that even
the slightestd ecreasein aggressiont oward the neighboryg fel'
low member of the species must be paid for with loss of terri-
On Aggression
tory and, at the same time, of sources of food for the expected
progeny. Ilnder these circumstances, the species "cannot
afford," for the sake of preventing mate fights, to resort to
appeasemeqcte remoniess uch as submissiveo r infantile gesturesw
hosep rerequisiteis reductiono f aggressionR. itualized
redirection precludes not only this undesirable effect, but
moreover makes use of the key stimuli proceeding from one
mate to stimulate the other against the territorial neighbor. I
consider this behavior mechanism supremely ingenious, and
much more chivalroust han the reversea nalogousb ehavioro f
the man who, angry with his employer during the day, discharges
his pent-up irritation on his unfortunate wife in the
In the great family tree of life, a particularly successful
isolution is often found by the difterent branches,in dependently
of one another. fnsects, fishes, birds, and bats have
"invented" wings; squids, fishes, ichthyosaurs, and whales,
the toqpedo form. So it is not sulprising that fight-preventing
behaviorm echanismsb asedo n ritualizedr edirectiono f attack
occur in analogousd evelopmentsin many different4 nimals.
There is, for example,t he marvelousa ppeasemencte remony,
generallyk nown as the "dance" of cranesw, hich, when
the symbolism of its behavior patterns is fully understood,
temptsu s to translatei t into human languageA. bird rearsu p
before another one, unfolding its mighry wings, its beak pointing
toward the other bird, its eyes fixed piercingly on him, the
very image of ominous threatening; so far the appeasement
gesturer esemblesth e preparationf or attack; but the next moment
the bird turns this exhibition of his own fearfulnessa way
from his opponent by a right about turn; and now, still with
widely spread wings, he presents to his partner his defenseless
occiput, which, in the European crane and many other species,
is decorated with a little ruby-red cap. For seconds, the
"dancing" bird remains in this position, expressingin easily
The Bond
understoods ymbolismth at his threat of attack is emphatically
not directed against his partner but, on the contrary, away
from him, against the wicked world outside, inplyi"g in this
mannert he motiveo f comradelyd efenseN. ow the cranet urns
againt owardh is friend and repeatsth is demonstratioonf his
size and strength, only quickly to turn around once more and
perform emphatically a fake attack on any substitute obiect'
preferably a nearby crane which is not a friend, or even on I
Larmlessg ooseo r on a pieceo f wood or stonew hich he seizes
with his beak and throws three or four times into the air. The
wholep rocedures aysa s clearlya s humanw ordsn 'I am big
and threateningb, ut not towardy ou-toward the other, the
other, the other."
Less dramatic in its sign language but much more significant
is the appeasemencte remonyo f Anatidae,d ucks,g eese'
and swansc, alledb y OskarH einroth the-triumphc eremony.
The speciasl ignificanceo f this rite for otii ihilmd-Iiesin the
fact that it is seeni n differents tageso f developmenat nd cornplexity
in various representativeosf the above-namedb ird
Soup.From this gradation we can form a picture of how, in
the iourse of phylogeny, an anger-diverting gesture of em'
barrassmenht as developedin to a bond which showsa mys'
terious relationship to that other bond between human beinp
which seemsto us the strongesat nd mostb eautifulo n earth.
In its most primitive form, seen in the so-called rab-rab
palaver of the Mallard, threatening differs very li1tl9 from
g.rtiog. The shadeo f difierencein the orientationo f the rab
iab chitter when it is a matter of threatening on the one hand
or of Seeting on the other became clear to me only when I
had learnedt o understandth e principle of the redirecteda p
peasemencte remonyt,h rought he more exacts tudyo f cichlids
and geesei,n which speciesit is easiert o understandD. ucks
face iach other with beaks raised just above the horizontal
and uffer very quickly the bisyllabicc all note, renderedin the
On Aggression
drake as 'rab-rab,' in the duck as the more nasal "quangwang,
q uangwang.A" s we alreadyk now, it is not only-sociil
inhibiting mechanismws hich can causea deviationf rom the
threateningd irection;f ear of the object can havet he same
effect. For this reason, two threatening drakes standing opposite
each other and not quite daring to attack do not point
their bills directly at each other while pedonning, dS raised
chins, their rab-rab chatter. In the event of their really pointing
them, it may be predicted that they will come to blows
immediately, seizing each other by the breast feathers and
strikingw ith thes houldeor f thew ing.
When, however, the drake performs the rab-rab palaver
with his mate, particularly when he does so in answer to her
incitingm ovement(sp ages6 4 fr.),thet urninga wayo f hish ead
is muchm orem arked,i ts anglei ncreasingw ith the intensityo f
the whole rite. In extreme cases this may impel him, still
palavering, to turn the back of his head to the female, a gesture
correspondingfo rmally to the appeasemencet remonyo f
sea gulls; in these, however, the ceremony has undoubtedly
ariseni n the mannerd escribedo n page 134, and definitely
not from a redirecteda ctivity.T his fact shoulda ct asa warning
againstt oo readyh omologizingF! rom this headt urning of the
drake further ritualization has evolvedt he gestureo f presenting
theb acko f the head,p eculiart o manyd ucks peciesw, hich
playsa big part in courtshipin Mallards,T eals,P intails,a nd
otherD abblingD ucks,a lsoi n the Eiderduckg roup.T he partners
of a mallard pair celebrate the ceremony of rab-rab
palaverw ith greatesitn tensityw hent heyf ind eacho thera gain
after a prolongeds eparationT. he samea ppliest o the appeasing
gesturew ith broadsided isplaya nd tail beata sw e know it
in cichlid pairs.B ecauseth is ceremonys o ofteno ccursa t the
reunion of previouslys eparatedp artners,e arly observersin -
terpretedit as "greeting."
Although this inteqpretationm ay be true of certains pecialt76
The Bond
ized ceremonieso f this lind, the frequencya nd intensity of
theseg esturesa t the reunion of partnerss ignifiest hat originally
they had another meaning: the blunting of all aggressive
reactions, brought about by habituation to the partner, is
partly nullified by even a short intemrption of the habituated
itimutus situation. Highly impressivee xampleso f this Phe-
nomenonc an be seeni f we let a crowd of aggressiveo rganisms,
s ucha sc ichlids,S iamesfeig htingf ish,o r shamath rushes,
grow up amicably together, thus ensuring a high degree of
mutualh abituationp reventingth e outbreako f hostilitiesa, nd )
if we then remove an individual for a short time, evea for an
hour, and afterward return it to the others: on the slightest
provocationa ggressiveb ehaviors urgesu p like water in delayed
Other very small changesin the over-all situationc an suddenly
invalidatet he habituationI.n the summero f 1961m y
old pair of shamat hrushess till tolerateda son from their first
brood, which inhabiteda cagein the samer oom as their nesting
box till long after the time when these birds normalll
chase their Eown-up progeny out of the territory. But when I
transferredh is cagef rom the table to a bookcaset,h e parents
begant o attack him so intensivelyt hat they forgot to fly outside
and get food for the babies that they were rearing at the
time.S uchs uddend isintegratioonf the fightingi nhibitionsd ependento
n habituationi s aPParentlya dangert hat threatens
the bondso f partnerse veryt ime they are seParatede venf or a
short time; obviouslyt he stronglyp ronounceda ppeasemen\1t
ceremony, seen at every reunion, is performed for no other |\
reason than to preclude this danger. The fact that 'greeting" is []
the more excited and intense the longer the separation also f 1l
agreesw ith this supposition. t '
"Prob.bly our hiriran-hughJgr in its original form was
"t* I
an appeasemenotr gree'ffi&remony. Snifing and laughing/
in my opinion representd ifterent intensitieso f the sa,meb e''
On Aggression
havior pattern, that is, they respond with different thresholds
to the same particular quality of excitation. In our nearest relations,
the chimpanzee and the gorilla, there is unfortunately
no greeting movement corresponding in form and function to
Iaughter, but it is seen in many macaques which, as an appeasement
gesture, bare their teeth and at intervals turn their
heads to and fro, smacking their lips and laying back their
1 ears. ft is remarkable that many Orientals smile in the same
i*uy when greeting but the mosi interesting fact is that, while
smiliiag most intensely, they turn their heads a fittle sideways
iso that the eyes do not look straight at the person being po-
\litely greeted, but past him. In a purely functional consideration
of this ritual, it is unimportant how much of its form is
fued by heredity and how much by the cultural tradition of
In any case, it is tempting to intelpret the greeting smile as
an appeasing ceremony which, analogously to the triumph
ceremony of geese, has evolved by ritualization of redirected
tfo1safeningT. he friendly tooth baring of very polite Japanese
lends support to this theory. It is also supported by the fact
that in genuinely emotional, intensive greeting between two
friends, the smile suqprisingly becomes a loud laugh. On considering
one's own feelings it seems incongruous that, when
meeting a friend after a long separation, the roar of laughter
breaksf orth unexpectedlyfr om the depthso f instinctive strata
of our personality. This behavior of two reunited human
beings must inevitably remind an objective behavior investigator
of the triumph ceremony of grelag geese.
In many respects,t he e.lic-iting-situal|.gg.a5r__ ea nalogous.
, When several fairly primitive individuals, such as small boys,
{laugh together at one or several others not belonging to the
i same group, the activity, like that of other redirected appeaselment
ceremoniesc, ontainsq uite a large measureo f aggression
ldirected toward nonmembers of the group. Most jokes pro-
The Bond
voke laughter by building up a tension which is then suddenly
and unexpectedlye xploded. Somethingv ery similar may huP- i
pen in the greeting ceremonies of many animals: dogs and i
geesea, nd probablyo ther animals,b reak into intensiveg reeting f
when an unpleasantly tense conflict situation is suddenly re- n
lieved. The tlird analory lies in the fact that laughter, like
greeting,t ends-,to--q1ga3t.9b 9nd. From self-observationI can
safely assert that shared laughter not only diverts aggression
but also produces a feeling of social unity.
The simple prevention of fighting may be the original and,
in many cases, the chief function of all the rites described
above; moreover, even at the relatively low stage of development
seen in the rab-rab palaver of the mallard, rites already
have so much autonomy that they are aspired to for their own
sake. When a mallard drake, constantly uttering his longdrawn
monosy'labic call note, "raaaab, raaaab," seeks his
mate and, having found her, works himself into a fuenzy of rabrab
palaver, raising his chin and presenting the back of his
head, the observer cannot refrain from the subjective intelpretation
that he is delighted to have found her and that his diligent
seeking was largely motivated by his longrng to indulge in
the greeting ceremony. In the more highly ritualized forms of
the real triumph ceremony, such as are found in sheldrake
and particularly in geese, this impression is even stronger and
we are tempted to omit the quotation marks in the use of the
word "greeting."
In virtually all dabbling ducks, also in the Common Sheldrake,
which in respect of the rab-rab palaver is closely akin
to dabbling ducks, this rite has a second function, in the exercise
of which only the male performs the aPPeasemenct eremony
while the female incites him. A subtle motivation analysis
tells us that in this case the male, while directing his
threatening gestures toward a neighboring male of the same
speciesi,s , to a certain extent, also aggressiveto ward his own
On Aggression
female, whereas she feels no aggression towarrd him, but
genuinely does so toward the stranger. Thrs rite, a combina.
tion of redirected threatening of the male and inciting of the
female, is functionally analogous to the triumph ceremony in
which both partners threaten past each other. In the European
Widgeon and the Common Sheldrake, it has developed independently
into a particularly beautiful rite. The Chiloe
Widgeon, on the other hand, has an equally highly differentiated
ceremony, much more closely analogous to the triumph
ceremony, since both mates threaten in redirection just as do
true geesea nd most larger forms of Sheldrake.T he female of
the Chiloe Widgeon wears the male plumage with its glossy
green head and light red-brown breast, a unique case among
dabbling ducks.
In the Ruddy Sheldrake, the Egyptian Goose, and many related
species,t he femaleh as a homologousin citing movemenf
but the male reacts to it less with a ritualized threatening past
his wife than with a real, active attack on the neighbor marked
by her as hostile. Once this enemy is oveqpowered, or when
the fight has ended at least in a draw, an elaborate tri.
umph ceremonyf ollows. In many speciesf,o r example in the
Orinoco Goose, the Andean Goose, and others, this ceremony
not only produces some remarkable sound effects owing to the
difference of the male and female voices, but it is also a veql
amusing spectaclet hanks to the exaggeratedm iming of the
gestures. My film of an Andean Goose couple winning a decisive
victory over my friend Niko Tinbergen is guaranteed to
bring the house down. First the female, by a short feigned at
tack, urges her mate against the famous ethologist; and now,
gradually working himself up, the gander really attacksr
thorby getting into such a fury and beating so angrily with his
wings that it looks really convincing when he finally puts Niko
to flight. Aftenrard, Niko's legs and forearms, with which he
had warded oft the gander, were black and blue from blows
The Bond
and pinches. After the disappearance of the human enemy, a
virtually endless triumph ceremony follows which is extraordinarily
funny in the exuberance of its all too human expression.
The Egyptian Goose is more energetic than any other female
of the Sheldrake group in inciting her mate against all
members of the species within reach and, in the absence of
these,a gainstb irds of other speciesm, uch to the dismay of the
keeper who is obliged to pinion his beautiful birds and to isolate
them in pairs. The female Egyptian Goose watches all the
fights of her mate with the interest of a boxing referee, but she
never helps him, as gey'ag females and female cichlids do
their mates; in fact, if he comes off the worse, she is always
ready to go over with flying colors to the side of the winner.
Such behavior must exercise a significant effect on sexual
selection, by putting a premium on the greatest possible fighting
power and bellicosity of the male. Here again, a thought
presents itself which engaged our attention at the end of
Chapter Three. Quite probably the fighting urge of the EgyP
tian Goose,w hich often seemsin sanet o the observer,i s the result
of intra-specific selection and is of absolutely no survival
value.T his thought is disturbing becausea, s we shall seel ater,
similar considerations have to be borne in mind concerning
the phylogenetic development of the human aggressive drive.
Tha Egyptian Gooseb elongs,f urther, among the few sPe-l
cies in which the triumph cry can fail in its appeasing func- l
tion. When two pairs of Egyptians, one pair on each side of a I
transparent but impenetrable fence, tease each other and work \
themselvesu p into araye, it sometimesh appenst hat suddenly, i
as though on command, the mates of each pair face each other
and beat each other unmercifully. This behavior can also be I
induced by putting a scaPegoaot f the same sPeciesin to the
enclosure of a pair and, when the fight is in full swing, removing
it asu nostentatiouslya s possible.T hen the pair indulgesi n i
an ecstatic triumph ceremony which becomes wilder and
On Aggression
wilder, differing less and less from unritualized threatening,
till suddenly the loving partners have each other by the neck
and are ftlashing each other hard; this always ends in the victory
of the male, since he is appreciably bigger and stronger
than the female.H owever,i n the absenceo f a "bad neighbor,"
the danming of aggressionin Egyptian geesen everl eads,a s
far asI know, to mate-murdeirn the way I haved escribedit in
However, in the Egyptian Goose and in most of the Sheldrake
speciest,h e main signifisaasoef the triumphc eremony
lies in its functionsa s a lightningc onductorI.t is usedp articularly
when thunderstorms threaten, that is, when both the
inner moodo f the animalsa nd the externals ituations trongly
elicit intra-specifica ggression.A lthough the triumph ceremony,
particularly in the Common Sheldrake, consists of
highly differentiated, choreographically exaggerated motor
patterns, it is here not dissociatedf rom the original drives
underlyingt he conflict,a s is the casein the movemenpt attern
of the less highly developed "greeting" of many dabbling
ducks described on page 179. The triumph ceremony in
sheldrakese videntlys till derivesit s energiesla rgelyf rom the
primal drives from whose conflict the redirected movement
first developeda, nd it is still dependenot n the simultaneous
rousing of aggressiona nd of the factors acting againsti t. In
trese speciest,h e ceremonyis subjectt o strongs easonafllu ctuations;
it is most intensive during the reproductive season,
fades during the rest lnriod, and is naturally nonexistentin
young,s exuallyim matureb irds.
All this is entirely difierent in the Greylag and all true
geese: firstly, their triumph rite is no longer the concern of the
mated partners alone but has become a bond smhasing the
whole family and indeed whole groups of individuals. The
oeremonyh asb ecomee ntirely independenot f sexuald rives;i t
Thc Eood
is performedt hroughoutt he year, and event iny goslingst ake
part in it.
The movements equenceis longer and more comptcated
than in all the hitherto describeda ppeasingc eremoniesW. hile
in Cichlids,a Dda lsoi n many specieso f Sheldraket,h e aggression
divertedf rom the Partnerb y the greetingc eremonyle ads
to a subsequenat ttack on the hostile neighbor' in geeset his
attack precedesth e affectionateg reeting in a ritualized sequenceo
f movementsI.n other words, it is characteristico f
the triumph cry that one partner, usually the stongest member
of the group, in pairs always the gander, proceeds to
attack a real or apparent enemy, fights him, and then, after a
more or less convincing victorl, returns, greeting loudly' to his
family. From this typical case,r eproducedh ere in a diagam
by Helga Fischer, the triumph ceremony derives its _name.
The first part of the triumph ceremony, the attack performed
with head and neck Pointing obliquely forward and
upward, and accompaniedb y a loud, raucouslyt rumpeting
fanfare, is called rolling (A in Fig. 4, and in Fig. 5). The second
part, the return to the Partner, with the neck stretched
forward low along the ground, the head tilted upward, accompaniedb
y low but rather passionatec hatter, was termed
cackting by Helga Fischer. The attitude of cackling closely
resemblesth at of seriousa ttack (compare6 in Fig. 5 with 1
and2in the samefi gure and with E in Fig. 4), the only difference
being that the neck and head do not point at the object
of the gesturea, si n threateningb, ut distinctly pasti t.
Motivation analysis,p roceedinga long the lines sketchedin
Chapter Six, shows rolling to be a behavior Pattern of very
complicateda nd conflictingm otivation.T he form of the movemeni
showsa mixture of elementsi,n cluding aggressionfe, ar,
and social contact. The same is true of the accompanying'
unique production of sounds. In order to elicit "rolling," two
On Aggression
€ntirely differents etso f stimuli mustb e simultaneouslpyr es
ent: thoser epresentebdy the presenceo f a friendty ciciting
partnera s well ast hosee manatingfr om a hostiles trangerI.n
many ways,t he situationa ctivatingt he rolling attacki s comparable
to the one releasingt he critical responsew hich we
learned about on page 28. The gander, being closely tied to
the spot where his mate or his young are to be found, is preventedf
rom fleeinga s effectivelya s the proverbiallyc ornered
Fig. 5
rat. As with the rat, his all-out assaulits the moref uriousa nd
desperate, the more frightening the antagonist at whom it is
launched. This is borne out by the fact that young, newly
mated ganders who have not yet acquired social status are
more furious and persistenitn their rolling attackst han older
birds possessinagn assuredp ositioni n ther ankingo rdero f the
Unlike rolling, the second part of the triumph ceremony,
cackling,i s dependenot n a singlem otivation,a s the
thorough analysism ade by Dr. Fischerh as proved beyond
reasonabled oubt. The expressionm ovemenwt ith which the
The Bond
cacklingg ooset urns toward the partner closetyr csemblesth e
threateningg estured epictedin Fig. 4 E, and it is, indeed,o nly
distinguishablefr om it by the slight deviationc ausedb y the
rituatized redirection already mentioned. Viewed in profile,
this is quite imperceptiblea nd neitherm an nor goosec an tell
whethei a goosea pproachinga notheri n this attitude intends
to cackle with it or to launch an attack against it. tn spring,
whent he family tiess lackena nd youngg andersg o courting' it
may easilyh appent hat one brother still continuest o perform
a famity triumph rite with another, while he is already trying
to make a strange young female an offer of pairing. This consists
not in copulatory proposals but in attacks on strange
geese which he performs and then hurries back, greeting, to
the femaleo f his choice.I f his brother seesth is from one side,
he believes that the suitor wants to attack the young female,
and sincem ale memberso f a triumph-riteg rouPd efende ach
other valiantly, he rushesfu riously at his brother'sp rospective
bride and, having no tender feelings toward her for himss[,
thrashesh er in a way which would correspondto the exPres.
sion movementso f his brother if he weret hreateninga nd not
greeting.W hen the femalef leesi n terror, her suitor finds himielf
in a situation of extreme epbalrasqment. This is not
anthropomorphizinsgi,n cet he objectivep hysiologrcabla siso f
every embarrassmenist the conflict betweeno pposing im'
pulses, and the young gander is undoubtedly in just such a
situation: the urge to defend the courted female is tremen'
dously strong in a greylag gander, but equally strong is the inhibition
against attacking his brother, who is still his fellow in
the fraternal-triumphc eremonyW. e shall later seef rom some
impressivee xamplesh ow insurmountablet his inhibition is.
Comparative study of other ducks and geese leaves no
doubt that cackling has evolved, by way of ritualization of a
redirecteda ctivity, from threateningg esturesi,n a mannere xactly
analogousto the origln of the aPPeasemegnet sturesin
On Aggression
cichlids discussed on page 169. Yet in its present form the
cackling of greylag geeses eat4ins no aggressivem otivation.
Nor indeed does the triumph ceremony still function as an ap
peasement ceremony in this species. Ooly in a quickly traversed
stagei n individual developmentc an we demonstrate,i n
the greeting pattern, the primal drives underlying the reorientation
as well as its appeasing function. Otherwise tlg gntogenetic
development of the triumph ceremony is obviously not a
iecapifulation of its evolution. Even before a gosling can
stand, walk, or eat, it is perfectly able to perform the motor
pattern of stretching the neck forward, simultaneously utteriog
a falsetto cackling. The call is at first bisyllabic, exactly
like the mallard's "rab-rab" and the corresponding duckling
sound. A few hours later it becomes a polysyllabic "veeveevee"
whose rhythm exactly corresponds with the greeting chatte'r
of adult geese. The stretching forward of the neck and the
vee sounds are undoubtedly the preliminary stage from which,
in the growing goose, the expression movements of threaten-
* iog, as well as the essential second phase of the triumph
iceremony, develop. We know from comparative research that,
iin the course of phylogenetics, greeting has evolved from the
,threatening by way of redirection and ritualization. But in
individual development, the formally similar gesture at first
has the meaning of greeting. When the gosling has accomplished
the difficult and by no means undangerous task of
hatching and is lyiog there, a little wet bundle of misery with
droopingly outstretched neck, there is one reliable reaction
that can promptly be elicited from it: if one bends over it and
utters a few sounds in an approximately goosy tone of voice, it
lifts its little head, wobbly and uncertain, stretches its neck
forward, and greets. Before it is able to do anything else, the
tinywild goose greets its social surroundings!
In their meaning as an expressionm ovement,a s also in respect
of the eliciting situation, the neck stretching and whis-
The Bond
pering of the little greylag resemble the greeting and not the
threatening of the adult. ft is, however, remarkable that, in
its form, this behavior pattern is at first indistinguishable
from threulsning, since the characteristic sideways deviation
of the outstretched neck from the direction of the partner is
missing in very small goslings. It is only when they are a few
weeks old, and contour feathers of the juvenile plumage are
visible among the down, that the behavior alters. The young
birds begin to be noticeably more aggressive toward birds of
the same age belonging to other families, and, with outstretched
necls and whispering, they walk up to them and attempt
to bite them. But since, in such quarrels between the
young birds of two families, threatening and greeting gestures
are exactly the seme, misunderstandings often arise and
brother may bite brother. In this particular situation, one sees
for the first time in ontogeny the ritualized redirection of the
greeting movement: the gosling bitten by his brother or sister
does not bite back !u1 hsaks into intensive whispering and
neck stretching, directing this markedly past the other gosling
at a more obtuse angle than is the case later on in the fully
matured ceremony.T he aggression-inhibitinge ffect of these
gestures becomes particularly evident; the still aggressive
brother or sister abandons the attitude at once and indulges in
its turn in a geeting plainly directed past its object. The phase
of development in which the triumph rite reveals such a noticeably
appeasing function lasts only a few days; ritualized
redirection suddenly sets in and, except in certain rare cases, i
henceforth prevents misunderstandings. t
The function of eliminating these rather rare misunderstandings
between siblings is all that remains, in ontogeny, of
the original appeasing function of the triumph ceremony. In
its mature state, the behavior pattern, though still retaining the
external form of redirected threat, is not activated by aggression,
but by the independent motivation of the Seeting cere-
On Aggression
mony ibelf, except under abnonnal circumstances of which I
shall speakl ater. All the aggressiond etectableb, y a thorough
motivation analysis,i n the triumph rite is dischargedd uring its
first, "rolling" phase, and in the direction of the hostile stranger.
"Rolling" continues for a few seconds as the gander,
whether victorious or not, turns away from his opponent; it
ceases abruptly as he approaches his mate and, as the two
meet, passionatec ackling ensuesw ith headsh eld close together.
Fig. 5 representsth e motor patternso f this procedure.
The observerf amiliar with the respectivem eaningso f rolling
and cackling cannot help feeling that the passion of togethernessw
hich finds its voice in this cackling is heightened
by a phenomenono f contrast, by that which physiologistsc all
a "rebound effect." Aggression having been discharged at the
hostile neighbor, tenderness toward the mate and children
wells up unchecked. Converse$, the nearness of the loved
onese nhancest he intensity of aggressionto ward the intruding
1 stranger. The family which has to be defended acts in some
tr *uy like a pgySlle te-rriror!, an interesting fact to which we
.. shall return latei on. Conversely,t he presenceo f aggressioni]
eliciting outsiden considerably enhances the readiness to
{i cackle lovingly with the partner or partners in the triumph
l, ceremony.
There is one impressive special case of the triumph ceremony
in which the dual, mutually enhancingfu nction of rolling
and cackling becomes particularly apparent, although the two
parts of the ceremonya re not clearly separatedin time but, in
a manner of speaking,g o oft simultaneously.I n autumn and
winter, when many families of geese congregate in large
migratory flocks, it is not the gander alone who acts as
defender of the family, rushing out to attack and to return
victorious, but all members of the group united by a shared
triumph ceremony set forth together to drive away another
family group. Every goose is obviously torn between the con-
The Bond
flicting urges to roll in the direction of the enemy and to
cackle with the next member of the family; one can actually
see the necks swinging to and fro between the two alternative
directiorls. Finalln all the members of the family stand
roughly parallel to each other, Pointing ttrreatening necks at
the hostile goup, while simultaneouslytr ying to keep their
headsa s closet ogether,c heekb y cheek,a s postulatedb y the
rite of cackling. The result is the formation of a closed wedge'
shaped phalanx of converging necks. Viewed from the front'
thiJpreJentsa spectaclew hich, togetherw ith the nixed rolling
andi ackling accompanyinigt, intimidatest he enemyt he more
effectively, the geater the number of goup members partici.
pating in this "ceremonyo f convergingn e$s"' as I termedi t
manyyears ago. Helga Fischer calls it, bti"fly and graphicalln
the "roll-cackle."
Discriminativea ggressionto ward strangersa nd the bond
between the members of a grouP enhance each other. The
opposition of "we" and'they" can unite some t"idtry coatrast'
iig units. Confronted with prasentday Qhin2,- th-e United
Statesa nd the SovietU nion occasionallys eemt o feel as'\re."
The samep henomenonw, hich incidentally has someo f the
earmarkso i war, can be studiedin the roll-cacHec eremonyo f
gey'ag geeseI.n autumn and winter it occasionatlyh appens
Oit AoCtso f geesec, onsistingo f severalf amilies, comeb ack
from the breedingc otoniesw hich we settleds omem iles away
on neighboringla kes,w hen the numbero f birds on our Ess'.
Seeh ad becomee xcessiveF. acedw ith these utter strangers,
the otherwise mutually hostile falnilies of geese on our lake
unite in one collective phalanx of converging necks, and attempt
to drive away the intruders, who, in turn, form another
phaianx and usually stand their ground, provided they are numerouse
In all these cases the triumPh rite
subtly different from that of the primal
performs a function
appeasingc eremony
On Aggression
from which it evolved. Though the external form of redirected
threat is still all there in the stretching of the neck past the
cackling partner, the latter has long ceased to arouse any aggression
which needs to be redirected or which can be exploited
to increaset he intensityo f attacka gainstt he neighbor,
as in the case of the nest-relief ceremony of cichlids (page
172). Hence the temporal sequence of the redirected movement
and the attack against the hostile stranger is inverted: in
cichlids, the attack follows upon the redirectedm ovement,i n
geesei t precedesi t. Yet the whole ceremonyh as a similar
effect on the behavior of the individuals participating in it. It
still holds them together and enables them to stand by each
other against a hostile world. The principle of the bond
formed by having somethingi n commonw hich has to be defended
against outsiders remains the same, from cichlids
defending a common territory or brood, right up to scientists
defending a common opinion and-most dangerous of allfanaticsd
efendinga conrmoni deology.h ell-lhgsec as9sa, g-
.ges-sr_qisl -n ecessaryto enhancet he bond. What is so new, and
indeed hope-inspiring, about the triumph ceremony is that the
bond it forms is so largely independento f aggressionG. eese
, held together by a shared triumph ceremony stay together,
i irrespective of whether or not they have young or territory to
defend, are surrounded by hostile fellow members of the
species or are all on their own. They perform their beautiful
rite just as intensely on meeting again af.ter a long separation
as they would after the most glorious victory in battle.
However, the great marvel of the triumph ceremony and
one that inspires even the most objective observer with human
sympathy is the enduring and personal nature of the bond by
which it unites the individuals participating in it.
The group embraced by the triumph ceremony is remarkably
exclusive. The newly hatched bird enjoys the birthright of
The Bond
group membershipa nd is accepted" unquestioningly"e ven
when it is not a gooseb ut an experimentatlyin troduced
shangelings, ucha s a MuscovyD uck. After only a few days,
the parentsh avel earnedt o know their childrena nd the chil'
dren their parents, and from now on they are not prepared to
-p erformt het riumphr ite with anyo therg eese.
If onem akest he ratherc ruele xperimenot f transplantinga
goslingi nto a strangefa mily,i t will be found that the lateri t is
removedfr om its family the mored ifficultyt he poor baby will
havei n finding acceptancbey the strangerst'r iumph conrmu'
nity. The babyi s afraid of the strangersa,n d the moref ear it
showsth em oret heya rel ikely to attacki t.
It is an unforgettablee xperienceto hand-reara gosling
from the moment of its hatching. One cannot help feeling
movedb y its childliket rust wheni t stretchesfo rwardi ts tiny
necka ndw hispersit s little greetingto thef irst living beingt hat
approacheist, "taking it for granted"t hat this mustb e one of
its parents.
Only in one other situation does a gteylag ever offer its triumph
rite, and with it permanenlto ve and friendship,t o a
completes trangert:h at is whena youngm ales uddenlyfa lls in
love (withoutq uotationm arks!)w ith a strangey oungf emale.
Thesef irst proposalsta ke place at a time when last year's
young birds are obliged to leave their parents, who are now
getting ready for the new brood. At this moment family bonds
necessarillyo osenb ut they are neverc ompletelyb roken.
With geesem, uchm ore so thani n the duck speciesa lready
discussedth, e triumph rite is boundu p with personarl ecognition
of the partner. Ducks, too, palaver only with acquaintances,
but the bond knitted by this ceremony between the
participating individuals is not so firm, nor is the grouP
membershispo difficultt o acquirea si n geeseI.f an individual
goose has recently flown into a colony, or has been introt9l
On Aggession
duced into a goup by the owner, it may literally take years
beforei t is accepteidn to oneo f theg ooseg roupsb oundb y the
triumph rite.
The stranger may more easily acquire a partner by suddenly
falling in love, and deviouslya chievem embershipo f a
larger triumph-rite group by founding a family. Apart from
the speciacl asesin whicha gooseh asf alleni n love andf ound
its love reciprocatedo, r has beenb orn into the family group,
&e triumph ceremonyis the more intensivea nd the bond uniting
the partners the firmer, the longer the animals have known
each other. All other things being equal, one can say that the
strength of the triumph-rite bond is proportional to the duration
of the friendship of the partners, or one might even say
that a triumph rite alwa;n developsw henc ompanionshipb etweent
wo or moreg eeseh asl astedo vera prolongedp eriodo f
In the early spring, when the older goose pairs are concernedw
ith breeding,a nd the many youngo ne-a nd two-year.
old geesew ith love, numerousu npairedg eeseo f differenta ges
are alwaysl eft over as erotically unemployedw allflowen, and
these then join together in groups of varying sizes. We call
theseg roupst he nonbreederstnh ough the expressionis not an
accurate one since the many young but firmly paired couples
haven ot yet begunt o breede ither.I n suchn onbreedingg roups,
frm triumph-rite bonds can develop which have nothing whatever
to do with sexuatty. AIso if two lonely g€ese are dependento
n each other's companya nonbreedinga ssociation
between a male and a female may (rccur. This actually hap
pened at our station, when an old widowed goose returned
from our branch settlement on the Ammersee and joined a
recenfly widowed gander in SeewiesenI . believedt hat pair
formation was imminent, but Helga Fischer thought from the
beginningt hat it was only a typical nonbreedingtr iumph rite
such as sometimesu nitesa n adult male with an adult female.
The Eond
Contrary to PoPular oPinim, there are tnte friendshipt be- \
tween male and female which have nothing to do with love, I
though naturally love may qpring from them. If wild-goose f
breeden want to pair two birds which fail to respond to each i
other, they often transfer them together to another zoo or
water-fowlc ollectionw here,a s newcomerst,h ey are so un-l
popular that they are dependenot n eacho ther for company.:
ln this way, one can force the formationo f a nonbreedingtr i'1
umph ceremony, in the hope that pair formatim will ensue.
However, all too often I have found that such forced ties soon'
dissolvew hent he pair returnst o its old environment.
The relation betr*'eenth e triumph rite and sexuality, the \
tnre copulatory drive, is not easy to understand and in any
casei t is only a looseo ne,f or everythingp urely sexualp laysa l
very subordinater ole in the life of the wild goose.T he bond 1
that holds a goose pair together for life is the triumph ceremony
and not the sexual relation between mates. The pres'
ence of a strong triumph-rite bond between two individuals
"paves the way," that is furthers to a certain extent the development
of sexual relations. \Yhen two geese<_ stand, considering the ear$ history of the Utes: a tribe constantly at war with neighboring Indians and, later on, with the white man, must avoid at all costs fights between its own members. Anyone killing a member of the tribe is compelled by strict tradition to commit suicide. This commandment was obeyed even by a Ute policernan who had shot a member of his tribe in self-defense while trying to arrest him. The offender, while under the influence of drink, had stabbed his father in the femoral arter!, causing him to bleed to death. When the policeman was ordered by his sergeanto arrest the man for manslaughter-it was obviously not murder-he Protested, saying that the man would want to die since he was bound by tradition to commit suicide and would do so by resisting arrest and forcing the policeman to shoot him. He, the policeman, would then have to commit suicide himself. The more than short-sighted sergeant stuck to his order, and the tragedy took place exactly as predicted. This and other of Margolin's records read like Greek tragedies: an inexorable fate forces crime upon people and then compels them to expiate voluntarily their involuntarily acquired guilt. It is objectively convincing, indeed it is proof of the correctness of Margolin's interpretation of the behavior of Ute Indians, that these people are particularly susceptible to accidents. I t has been proved that accident-pronenesms ay result from represseda ggressiona, nd in theseU tes the rate of motor accidents exceeds that of any other car-driving human group. Anybody who has ever driven a fast car when really angry knows-in so far as he is capableo f self-observationin this condition-what strong inclination there is to self-destructive behavior in a situation like this. Here even the expression "death wish" seems apt. It is self-evident that intra-specific selection is still working today in an undesirable direction. There is a high positive selection premium on the instinctive foundations conducive to 245 On Aggression such traits as the amassingo f property, self-asseftione, tc., and there is an almost equally high negative premium on simple goodnessC. ommercialc ompetition today might threaten to fix hereditarily in us hypertrophies of these traits, as horrible as the intra-specific aggressione volved by competition between ,foarfaring tribes of Stone Age man. It is fortunate that the aclcumulation of riches and power does not necessarily lead to llarge families-rather the opposite--or else the future of ht ankind would look even darker than it does. Aggtcrive behavior and killing inhibitions represent only one special case among many in which phylogenetically adapted behavior mechanisms are thrown out of balance by the rapid change wrought in human ecology and sociology by cultural development. In order to explain the function of responsible moralif in re-establishing a tolerable equilibrit'm between man's instincts and the requirements of a culturally evolved social order, a few words must first be said about social instincts in general. It is a widely held opinion, shared by some contempory philosophers, that all human behavior patterns which serve the welfare of the community, as opposed to that of the individual, are dictated by specifically human rational thought. Not only is this opinion erroneous, but the-rcSl is true. If it were not for a rich endowment of social man could never have risen above the animal world. All specifically human faculties, the power of speech, cultural tradition, moral responsibility, could have evolved only in a being which, before the very dawn of conceplual thinking, lived in well-organized communities. Our prehuman ancestor was indubitably as true a friend to his friend as a chimpanze,e or even a dog, as tender and solicitous to the young of his community and as self-sacrificing in its defense, aeons before he developed conceptual thought and became aware of the consequenceso f his actions. Accordingt o ImmanuelK ant's leashingso n morality, it is Ecce Homol hplnan,le,a$sJLVeruletL-alone which supplies the categorical imperative lthoqJhlt': as an answer to responsible selfquestioning concerning any possiblec onsequenceso f a certain action. However, it is doubdul whether "reason" is the correct translation of Kant's use of the word "Vernunlt," which also implies the connotation of common sense and of understanding and appreciation of another "reasonable" being. For Kant it is self-evident that one reasonable b"iog cannot possibly want to hurt another. This unconscious acceptance of what he considered evident, in other words conrmon sense, represents the chink in the great philosopher's shining Eurnor of pure rationality, through which emotion, which always means an instinctive urge, creeps into his considerations and makes them more acceptable to the biologically minded than they would otherwise be. It is hard to believe that a man will refrain from a certain action which natural inclination urges him to perfornr only becauseh e has realizedt hat it involves a logical contradiction. To assume this, one would have to be an even more unworldly German professor and an even more ardent admirer of reason than Immanuel Kant was. Supposingth at a beinge ntirelyi ndifferentt o values,u nable to seea nythingw orth preservingin humanity, in human culture, and in life itself, were examining the principle of its action in pressingth e button releasingt he hydrogenb omb and Oo Aggression destroying all life on our planet, even a full realization of the consequencews ould, in such a monster, elicit no imperative forbidding the deed, but only a reaction tantamount to saying, "So what?" We need not even suppose this hypothetical creature to be actively evil and to share the view of Goethe's Mephistophelesth at everything createdi s worthy of annihilation; mere absence of any emotional appreciation of values could make it react in the way described. Always and everywhereit is the unreasoninge, motional ap preciation of values that adds a plus or a minus sign to the answero f Kant's categoricals elf-questioninga nd makesi t an im- 1if perative or a veto.-By itself, reason can-only devise means to Ill achieve otherwise determined ends; it cannot set up goals or \\(give us orders. Left to itself, reason is like a computer into " which no relevant information conducive to an important answer has been fed; logically valid though all its operations may be, it is a wonderful system of wheels within wheels, without a motor to make them go round. The motive power that makes them do so stemsf rom instinctive behaviorm echanismsm uch older than reasona nd not directly accessibleto rational selfobservation. They are the source of love and friendship, of all warmth of feeling, of appreciation of beauty, of the urge to artistic creativenesso, f insatiablec uriosity strivingf or scientific enlightenment. These deepest strata of the human personality are, in their dynamics, not essentially difterent from the instincts of animals, but on their basis human culture has erected all the enornous superstructure of social norms and rites whose function is so closely analogous to that of phylogenetic ritualization. Both phylogenetically and culturally evolved nonns of behavior represent motives and are felt to be values by aoy normal human being. Both are woven into an immensely complicated system of universal interaction to ana- Iyze which is all the more difficult as most of its processetsa ke place in the subconscious and are by no means directly accesEcae Homot sible to selfobservationY. et it is imperativef or ult to understandt he dynauricso f this systemb, ecausein sight into the na-\ ture of values offers the only hope for our eyer creating the I new values and ideals which our pre$ent situation needs so I badly. I Even the first compensatorfyu nction of moral responsibility, preventingt he Australopithecinesfr om destroyingt hemselves with their fint pebble tools, could not have been achievedw ithout an instinctivea ppreciationo f life and death. Some of the most intelligent and most social birds and mammals react in a highly dramatic way to tbe sudden death of a membero f their spociesG. reylag geesew ill stand with outsp'readw ingso yer a dln"g friend hittiog defensivelna s Heinroth saw after having shot a goose in the presence of ie family. I observed the same behavior on the occasion of an Egrptian goosek illing a gireylagg oslingb y hitting it on the head with its wing; the gosling staggeredto ward its parents and collapsed, dloog of cerebral hemorrhage. Though the panentsc ould not have seent he deadlyb low, they reactedi n the describedw ay. In the Munich zoo somey earsa go an essentially friendly bull elephant while playng with his keeper unintentionallyin jued him severelys, everinga n artery in the man'st high. The elephanti mmediatelys eemedto realizet hat somethingd angerouhs ad befallenh is friend and with the best intentions did the worst rhing he could do: he stood protectively over the fallen ma& thus preventing medical aid from reachingh im. ProfessorB ernhard Grzimek told me that an adult male chimpanzpea, fter having bitten him rather badly, seemedv ery concerneda, fter his rageh ad abated,a bout what he had done and tried to press together, with his fngers, the lips of GnimeHs worst wounds.I t is highly characteristico f that dauntless cientist hat he permittd the apet o do so. It is safet o assumeth at the first Cain, after having stricken a fellow member of his horde with a pebble tool, was dr"ply On Aggression concerneda bout the consequenceosf his action. He may have struck with very little malice, just as a two-year-old child may hit another with a heavy and hard object without foreseeing the effect. He may have been most painfully sulprised when his friend failed to get up again; he may even have tried to help him get upr as the bull elephant is reported to have done. In any case we are safe in assuming that the first killer fully realized the enorrrity of his deed. There was no need for the information being slowly passed around that the horde loses dangerously in fighting potential if it slaughters too many of its members for the pot. Whatever the consequencems ay have been that prevented the first killers from repeating their deed, realization of these consequencesa nd, therewith, a primitive form of responsibility must have been at work. Apart from maintaining the equilibrium between the ability and the inhibition to kill, responsible morality does not seem to have been too severely taxed in the earliest communities of true men. It is no daring speculation to assume that the first human beings which really rePresented our own sPecies,t hose of Cro-Magnon, had roughly the same instincts and natural inclinations as we have ourselves. Nor is it illegitimate to assume that the structure of their societies and their tribal warfare was roughly the same as can still be found in certain tribes of Papuans in central New Guinea. Every one of their tiny settlements is perrnanently at war with the neighboring villages; their relationship is described by Margaret Mead as one of mild reciprocal head-hunting' "mild" meaning that there are no organized raids for the purlnse of removing the treasured heads of neighboring warriors, but only the occasional taking of the heads of women and childrenencountered in the woods. Now let us suPPoseth at our assumption is correct and that the men of such a paleolithic tribe did indeed have the same natural inclinations, the same endowment with social instincts 250 Ecce Homol asw e haveo urselvesl;e t us imaginea life, lived dangerouslyin the exclusivec ompanyo f a dozeno r so closef riendsa nd their wives and children. There would be some friction, some jealousy about girls, or rank order, but on the whole I think that this kind of rivalry would come second to the continuous necessity for mutual defense against hostile neighboring tribes. The men would have fought side by side from earliest memory; they would have saved each other's lives many times; all would have ample opportunity to discharge intra-specific aggression against their enemies, none would feel the urge to injure a member of his own community. fn short, the sociological situation must have been, in a great many respects, comparable to that of the soldiers of a small fighting unit on a particularly dangerousa nd independenta ssignmentW. e know to what heightso f heroism and utter self-abnegationa verage, unromantic modern men have risen under these circumstances. I ncidentally, it is quite typical of man that his most \ noble and admirable qualities are brought to the fore in situa- | tions involving the killing of other men, just as noble as they / are. However cruel and savage such a community may be to' another, within its bonds natural inclination alone is very nearly sufficient to make men obey the Ten eommaud.mentsperhaps with the exception of the third. One does not steal another man's rations or weapons, and it seems rather despicable to covet the wife of a man who has saved one's life a number of times. One would certainly not kill him, and one would, from natural inclination, honor not only father and mother,, but the aged and experienced in general, just as deer and, baboons do, according to the observations of Fraser Darling,, Washburn, ild De Vore. The imagination of man's heart is not really evil from his\ youth up, as we read in Genesis. Man can behave very d"- ll cently indeed in tight spots, provided they are of a kind that 'r occurred often enough in the paleolithic period to produce il On Aggression phylogeneticallya dapteds ocial normst o deal with the situation. Loving your neighbor as yourself or risking your life in trying to save his is a matter of course if he is your best friend andh ass avedy orrs a numbero f t'mes;y ou do it withoute ven thinking. The situation is entirely difterent if the man for whosel ife you are expectedto risk your own or for whomy ou are supposedto makeo ther sacrificesi,s an anonSmousc oDtemporary on whom you have never set eyes. In this case it is not love for the fellow humanb eing that activatess elfdenying behavior-if indeed it is activated-but the love for some culturally evolved traditional nonn of social behavior. Love of somethingo r otheri s, in very many casest,h e motivationb ehind the power of the categorical imperative-an assertion which, I rhink, Kant would deny. Our Cro-Magnon warrior had plenty of hostile neighbors against whom to discharge his aggressive drive, and he had just the right number of reliable friends to love. His moral responsibility was not overtaxed by ao exercise of function which prevented him from striking, in sudden anger, at his companions with his shaqpenedh and-ax. The increase in number of individuals belonging to the same community is in ieelf sufficient to upset the balance between the personal bonds and the aggressive drive. It is definitely detrimental to the bond of friendship if a person has too many friends. It is proverbial that one can have only a few really close friends. To have a large number of "acquaintances,' many of whom may be faithful allies with a legitimate claim to be regarded as real friends, overtaxes a man's capacity for personal love and dilutes the intensity of his emotional attachment. The close crowding of many individuals in a small space brings about a fatigue of all social reactions. Every inhabitant of a modern city is familiar with the surfeit of social relationships and responsibilities and knows the disturbing feeling of not being as pleased as he ought to be at the visit of a friend, even if he is Ecce Homol genuinely fond of him and has not seen him for a long time. A tendency to bad temPer is experienced when the telePhone rings after dinner. That crowding increases the propensity to aggressiveb ehavior has long been known and demonstrated experimentally by sociological research. On the other hand, there is, in the modern community, no legitimate outlet for aggressiveb ehavior. To keep the peacei s the first of civic duties, and the hostile neighboring tribe, once the target at which to discharge phylogenetically programmed aggressionh, as now withdrawn to an ideal distarice,h idden behind a curtain, if possible of iron. Among the many phylo- ) genetically adapted nonns of human social behavior, there is / hardly one that does not need to be controlled and kept on a f leash by responsible morality. This indeed is the deep truth I contained in all sennons preaching asceticism. Most of the I vices and mortal sins condemned today correspond to inclinations that werep urely adaptiveo r at leasth armlessin primitive man. Paleolithic people hardly ever had enough to eat and if, for once, they had trapped a mammoth, it was biologically correct and moral for every member of the horde to gorge to his utmost capacity; not a vice. When, for once, they were fully fed, primitive human beings rested from their strenuous life and were as absolutely lazy as possible, but there was n". Their life was so hard that there was no danger of F4tttf sensuality degenerating into debauch. A man soiel1i needed to Aeep his few possessionsw,e aponsa nd tools, and a few nuts for tomorrow's meal; there was no danger of his hoarding instinct turning into,avarice. Alcohol was not invented, and there are no indicationst hat man had discoveredt he reinforcing properties of alkaloids, the only real vices known of present-day primitive tribes. In short, man's endowment with phylogenetically adapted patterns of behavior met the requirements well enough to make the task of responsible morality very easy inOn Aggression deed. Its only commandment at the time was: Thou shalt not strike thy neighbor with a hand-ax even if he angers thee. Clearly, the task of compensation devolving on responsible morality increasesa t the samer ate as the ecologicala nd socio- Iogical conditions created by culture deviate from those to which human instinctive behavior is phylogenetically adapted. Not only does this deviation continue to increase, but it does so with an accelerationt hat is truly frightening. The fate of humanity hangs on the question whether or not responsiblem orality will be able to cope with its rapidly Srowingburden.-! ygjh el!-n9[-li*gh:kfrthisburdenbyoverestimating . *1he strength of morality, still less by attributing omnipotence t" it.W;iesetener thunces of supporting moial responsibitity in its ever-increasingta sk if we humbly rcahzea nd acknowledge that it is "only" a compensatory mechanism of very limited strength and that, as I have already explained, it derives what power it has from the same kind of motivational sources as those which it has been created to control. I have already said that the dynamics of instinctive drives, of phyletically and culturally ritualized behavior patterns, together with the controlling force of responsiblem orality, form a very complicated systemic whole which is not easy to analyze. However, the recognition of the mutual functional interdependenceo f its parts, even at the present incomplete stage of our knowledge, helPs us to understand a number of phenomena which otherwise would remain completely unintelligible. We all suffer to some exten't from the necessity to control our natural inclinations by the exercise of moral responsibility. Some of us, lavishly endowed with social inclinations, suffer hardly at all; other less lucky ones need all the strength of their sense of moral responsibility to keep from getting into trouble with the strict requirements of modern society. According to a useful old psychiatric definition, a psyg4o-Pathis a man who either suffers himself from the demands of bociety 254 Ecce Homol or else makess ociety sufter. Thus in one seruiew e are all psychopathsfo, r eacho f us suffersf rom the necessityo f selfimposed control for the good of the community. The abovementioned definition, however, was meant to apply particularly to those people who do not just suffer in secret, but overtly break down under the stressim posedu Pon them, becoming either neurotic or delinquent. Even according to this much narroweri nteqpretationo f our definition, the "normal" humanb eingd iffersf rom the psychopatht,h e good man from the criminal, much less sharply than the healthy differs from the pathologicalT. his differenceis analogousto that between a manw ith a compensatevda lvulard eficiencyo f the hearta nd one with a decompensatehde artd iseaseI.n the first case,a n increaseo f the work perforrred by the heart musclesis sufficient to compensatfeo r the mechanicadl efecto f the valve, so that the over-allp umPingp erformanceo f the heart is adapted to the requirementso f the body, at least for the time being. When the muscle fioully breaks down under the prolonged strain,t he heartb ecomes"d ecompensatedT."h is analogya lso goest o showt hat the compensatorfyu nction usesu P energy. This explanation of the essential function of responsible morality resolvesa contradig_{.sllg$ qq!'s doctrineo f morality which was noticed earlier by Friedrich Schiller. He whom Herder called 'the most inspired of all Kantians" opposed Kant's devaluation of all natural inclinations and satirized it in the wonderful Xenie: "Gerne dien' ich dern Freund, doch leider tu' ich's aus Neigung, darum wurmt es mich oft, dass ich nicht tugendhalt fiin"-*llike serving my friend but alas, I do it from inclination, atrd thus it often vexes me that I am not virtuous." However, not only do we serve our friend by inclination but we judge his acts of friendship according to whether it was warm, natural inclination that prompted him to perform them. If we were utterly lostal Kantians, we would have to do the 2s5 II I It\ On Aggression opposite and value most the man who instinctively dislikes us but who by responsible self-questioning is forced, much against his inclinations, to treat us kindly; however, in actual fact we can feel at most a tepid form of respect for such a benefactor, but we have a wann affection for the man who treats us Els a friend because he *feels that way,' without thinking that he is doing something worthy of gratitude. When my unforgettable teacher, Ferdinand Hochstetter, at the age of seventy-one gave his valedictory address at Vienna University, the then Chancellor thanked him warmly for his long and inspired work. Hochstetter'sa nswerP ut in a nutshell the whole paradox of value and nonvalue of natural inclination. This is what he said: "You are thanking me for somethiog for which I deserve no gratitude. Thank my parents, my ancestors who transmitted to me these and no other inclinations. And if you ask me what I have done throughout my life in the fields of research and teaching then I must honestly say: I have always done the thing which, at the moment, I considered the greatest fun!" What a strange contradiction! This great scientist who, as f know for a fact, had never read Kant, here shared the philosopher's standpoint in denying all value to natural inclination while, at the same time, the inestimable value of his work, accomplished 'Just for fun," reduces the Kantian theory of values and morality ad absurdum even more effectively than Friedrich Schiller's succinct stanza. Yet it is easy to resolve this seeming contradiction, if we keep in mind that moral responsibility functions, as a comPensatory mechanism,in a systemo f which natural inclination, by no means necessarily devoid of value, forms another indispensable part. If we are assessing the behavior of a certain person-of ourselves, for example-we will naturally rate any particular action the higher the less it is motivated by natural inclination. Eccc Homol On the other hand, if we arc assessinpge oplea s friends, we will naturally prefer the one whose friendship does not stem from rational considera,tions-howevemr oral thesem ay be -iut from the wann feelingso f naturali nclination.I t is no paradox but plain common sense that we use two difierent standardsfo r judging the deedso f a man and the man himself. The man who behaves socially from natual inclination normallym akesf ew demandso n the controllingm echanismo f his own moral responsibilityT. hus, in timeso f stress,h e has huge reserveso f moral strengtht o draw uPon.B ut the man who,e veni n everydayli fe, hasc onstantlyt o exerta ll his moral strength in order to curb his natural inclination into a semblanceo f norsral socialb ehavior,i s very likely to break down completelyi n caseo f additional strqss.O ur parable of the compensatehde artd isordera ppliesq uite exactlyh ere,p articularly regardingit s energeticaal spects. The stressu nderw hich morally responsibleb ehaviorb reaks down can be of varying kinds. It is not so much the sudden, one-time great temptation that makes human morality break down but the efiect of any prolonged situation that exerts an increasingd rain on the compensatoryP ower of morality,r Hunger, anxie$r, the necessity to make difficult decisions,' overwork,h opelessnesasn d the like all havet he effecto f sap i pingmoralenergya nd,i n thel ong run, makingi t breakd own. \ Anyonew ho hash adt he opportunityt o observem enu nder this f kind of strain,f or examplein war or in prisoner-of-wacr amps,/ knows how unpredictablya nd suddenlym oral decompensa/ - tion sets in. Men in whose strength one trusted uncondition- F ally suddenly break down, and others of whom one would neverh avee xpectedit Provet o be sourceso f inexhaustiblee nergy, keepiog up the morale of others by their example. Aoyonew ho hase xperiencedsu cht hingsk nowst hat the fervor of goodi ntention and its powero f endurancea re two indePendOn Aggression ent variables. Once you have realized this, you cease to feel superior to the man who breaks down a little sooner than you do yourself.E ven the best and noblestr eachesa point where his resistanceis at an end "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" As already mentioned, norrns of social behavior developed by cultural ritualization play at least as important a Part in the context of human society as instinctive motivation and the control exerted by responsible morality. Even at the earliest dawn of culture, when the invention of tools was just beginning to upset the equilibrium of phylogenetically evolved patterns of social behavior, man's newborn responsibility must have found a strong aid in cultural ritualization. Evidence of cultural rites reachesb ack almosta s far as that of the use of tools and of fire. Of course we can expect prehistorical evidence of culturally ritualized behavior only when ritualization has reached comparatively high levels of differentiation, as in burial ceremonies or in the arts of pain'ting and sculpture. These make their first appearance simultaneously with our own species, and the marvelous proficiency of the first known painteis and sculptorss uggeststh at even by 9:{ |tu"' artbad Quite a long history behind it. Considering all this, it is quite possible that a cultural tradition of behavioral nonns originated as early as the use of tools or even eiulier. The beg-- niogt of both have been found in the chimpanzee. . Through the processesd escribedi n Chapter File' customs and taboos may acquire the power to motivate behavior in a way comparabie to that of autonomous instincts. Not only nignty developed rites or ceremonies but also simpler and less conspicuousn orms of socialb ehavior may attain, ufr"l a number of generations, the character of sacred customs which are Ioved and considered as values whose infringement is severely frowned upon by public opinion. As also has already been hinted in Chapter Five, sacred custom owes its motivating force to phylogeuetically evolved behavior Patterns of which two 258 Ecce Homo! are of particular importance. One is response of militant en' thusiasm by which any grouP defends its own social nornns and rites against another grouP not possessingth em; the other is the group's cruel taunting of any of its members who fail to conform with the accepted "good form" of behavior. Without the phylogenetically programmed love for traditional custom, hurnan society would lack the supporting apparatus to which its owes its indispensable structure. Yet, like any phylogenetically programmed behavior mechanism, the one under discussion can miscarry. School classes or companies of soldiers, both of which can be regarded as models of primitive grouP structure, can be very cruel indeed in their ganging up against an outsider.T he+ufe-lLinstinc,tivere sPoasetg a phyglcallya b normal individuai, forinstance the jeering at a fat boy, is, as far as overt behavior is concerned, absolutely identical with discrimination against a person who differs from the group in cul,tgrally devqlgped social norms-for instance, a child who speaks a difterent dialect. The ganging up on an individual divergrng from the social nonns characteristic of a grouP and the grouy's enthusiastic readiness to defend these social nonns and rites are both good illustrationso f thew ay in whichc ul1ry!1$gtermilen conditiogg{-* gyfus situationsre leasea ctiviiiesw ffch-e i€-Iuddd regtrw ilt iinctle. theji iiialso eicellente xampleosf typical compounbde haviopr atternws hoseP rimarys urvivavl alue is as obvious as the danger of their misfiring under the conditions of the modern social order. I shall have to come back to the different ways in which the function of militant enthusiasm can miscarry and to possible means of prilenfng:mrtventuality. Before enlarging on this subject, however, a few words must be said about the fiUg!i-o4s_glg,o-cf4n g{ms and rites in general.F irst of all I must recall to the readerosm emory the somewhats uqprisingfa ct mentionedi n Chapter Five: We have On Aggression no immediateknowledge of the function and/or survival value of the majority of our own established customs, notwithstanding our emotional conviction that they do indeed constitute high values. This paradoxical state of affairs is explained by the simple fact that q.q$g_pqaqr e not man-madei n tbe same qense as human inventions are, from the pebble tool up to the jet plane. There may be exceptional cases in which causal insight gained by a great lawgiver detennines a social nonn. Moses is said to have recognized the pig as a host of the Trichina, but if he did, he preferred to rely on the devout religious observance of his people rather than on their intellect when he asserted that Jehovah himself had declared the porker an unclean animal. In general, however, it is quite certain that it hardly ever was insight into a valuable function that gave rise to traditional norrns and rites, but the age-old process of natural se- //' lection. Historians will have to face the fact that natural selec- {{ tion determined the evolution of cultures in the same manner \\ as it did that of species. In both cases, the great constructor has produced results which may not be the best of all conceivable solutions but which at least prove their viability by their very existence. To the biologist who knows the ways in which selection works and who is also aware of its limitations it is in no way sulprising to find, in its constructions, some details which are unnecessary or even detrimental to survival. The human mind, endowed with the power of deduction, can quite often find solutions to problems which natural selection fails to resolve. Selection may produce incomplete adaptation even when it uses the material furnished by mutation and when it has at its disposal huge *ime periods. It is much more tikely to do so when it has to deterurine, in an incomparably shorter time, which of the randomly arising customs of a culture make it best fitted to survival. Small wonder indeed if, among the social norms and Ecce Homot rites of any culture, we find a considerablen umberw hich are unnecessaroyr evenc learly inexpedienta nd which selection neverthelessh as failed to eliminate. Many superstitions, comparableto my little geylag's detour toward the window, can become institutionalized and be carried on for genera' tions.A lso, intra-specifisce lectiono ften playsa s dangerouas role in the developmenot f cultural ritualization as in phylo' genesisT. he processo f so-calleds -tatus-seekipfgo.r, instance, producest he bizar::e..pxcrescencine ss ocial Dplns and rites whicha res o typicalo f intra-specifics election. Howevere, veni f somes ocialn ormso r rites are quiteo bviouslym aladaptivetb, isdoetn 9l!_igplyth at theym ayb e,e liqinated without further considerationT. he social organization of any culture is a complicateds ystemo f universali nteraction betweena greatm anyd ivergenttr aditionaln onnso f behavior, and it can never be predicted without a very thorough analysis what repercussiontsh e cuttingo ut of eveno ne singleP art may havef or the functioningo f the whole.F or instancei,t is easily intelligible to anybody that the custom of head-hunting, widelys preada mongt ropicalt ribes,h asa somewhaut npleasant sidet o it, and that thb peopless till adheringt o it would be bettero ft, in manyw ays,w ithouti t. The studieso f the ethnologist and psychoanalysDt erek Freeman, however, have shownt hat head-huntingis so intricately interwovenw ith the whole social system of some Bornean tribes that its abolition tendst o disintegrateth eir whole culture, evens eriouslyj eop ardizing the survival of the people. The balanced interaction between all the single norms of socialb ehaviorc haracteristico f a culture accountsfo r the fact that it usuallyp roves$ gbly._dgpgprgU!ot _pix*culturesT. o kill a culture,i t is oftens ufficientto bring it into contactw ith another, particular$ if the latter is higher, or is at least regarded ash igher,a st he cultureo f a conqueringn ation usuallyi s. The people of the subdued side then tend to look down uPon ev- \ III I t 261 On Aggression erything they previously held sacred and to ape the customs which they regard as superior. As the system of social norms and rites characteristico f a culture is alwaysa daptedi,n many particular ways, to the special conditions of its environment, this unquestioninga cceptanceo f foreign customsa lmosti n' variably leadst o maladaptationC. olonial history offersa bundant examples of its causing the destruction not only of culturesb ut alsoo f peoplesa ndr acesE. veni n the lesst ragicc ase of rather closely related and roughly equivalent cultures mix- . ing, thereu suallya re someu ndesirablere sults,b ecausee ach {fiodt it easiert o imitate the most superficiall,e astv aluable \customs of the other. The first items of American culture imitzted by German youth immediately after the last war were gumc hewingC, oca-Colad rinking,t he crewc ut, andt he reading of color comic strips. More valuable social norms characteristic of American culture were obviously less easy to imitate. Quite apart from the danger to one culture arising from contac.wt ith another,a ll systemos f socialn ormsa nd rites are wlnerable in the same way as systems of phylogenetically evolvedp atternso f socialb ehavior.N ot beingm an-madeb, ut producedb y selectiont,h eir functioni s, withouts peciasl cientific investigationu, nknown to man himself, and therefore their balance is as easily upset by the efiects of conceptual , thought as that of any system of instinctive behavior. Like the llatter, they can be made 1s miscarry by any environmental I' changen ot "foreseen"in their "programming,'b ut while instinctsp ersistf or bettero r worse,t raditionals ystemosf social behaviorc an disappeaar ltogelfoswl ithin one generationb, ecause, l ike the continuouss tatet hat constitutesth e life of an organism,t hat which constitutesa culture cannotb ear any intemrption of its continuity. Severacl oincidingf actors are,a t present,t hreateningto int€ mlpt the continuity of our Western culture. There is, in our Ecce Homot culture, an alarming break of traditional continuity between the generation born at about 1900 and the next. This fact is incontestable;it s causesa re still doubtful. Diminishing cohe' sion of the family grouP and decreasing personal contact between teacher and pupil are probably important factors. Vety few of the present younger generation have ever had the op portunity of seeing their fathers at work; few pupils learn from their teachersb y collaboratingw ith them. This used to be the rule with peasantsa, rtisans,a nd even scientists,p rovided they taught at relatively small universities. The industrialization that prevails in all sectors of human life produces a distance betweent he generationsw hich is not compensatedfo r by the greatest familiarity, by the most democratic tolerance and permissivenesos f which we are so proud. Young people seemt o be unable to accePt the values held in honor by the older generation, unless they are in close contact with at least one of its representativesw ho commandst heir unrestrictedr espect and love. Another probably important factor contributing to tbe samee ffecti s the real obsolescencoef many social norms and rites still valued by some of the older generation. The extreme speed of ecological and sociological change wrought by the development of technology causes many customs to become maladaptive within one generation. The romantic veneration of nationalv alues,s o movingly expressedin the works of Rudyard Kipling or C. S. Forester, is obviously an anachronisn that can do nothing but damage today. Suchc riticism is indubitably overstressedb y the prevalence of scientific thought and the unrelenting demand for causal understanding, both of which are the most characteristic, if not the only, virtues of our century. However, scientific en-' lightenment iends to engender doubt in the value of tradi-'i ti6nal beliefs long before it furnishes the causal insight neces- f sary to decide whether some accepted custom is an obsolete / On Aggression superstitiono r a still indispensablep art of I systemo f social nonn* Again it is the ugft1g-"Sqito- -t-thet ree of knowledge lhat provest o be dangerousi;n dee4 I suspecth at the whole legendo f the tree of knowledgeis meantt o defends acredt raditions againstt he prematurei nroadso f incomplercr ationalization. As it is, we do not know enough about the function of any system of culturally ritualized norrns of behavior to give a rational answer to the perfectly rational question of what some particular custom is good for, in other words wherein lies its survival value. When an innovator rebels against established norms of social behavior and asks why he should conform with them,w e are usuallya t a lossf or an answerI.t is only in rarec asesa, si n my exampleo f Mosesl'a w againset atingp igs, that we can give the would-be reformer such a succinct answer as: "You will get trichinosis if you don't obey.' In most cases the defendero f acceptedtr adition has to resortt o seemingly lame replies, saying that certain things are "simply not done,' are not cricket, are un-American or sinful, if he does not prefer to appealt o the authority of somev enerablefa ther-figure who also regardedt he social norm under discussiona s inviolable. To anyone for whom the latter is still endowed with the emotional value of a sacred rite, such an answer appears as self-evidenat nd satisfactoryt;o anybodyw ho hasl ost this feely'ng of reverenceit soundsh ollow and sanctimoniousU. nder- /standably, if not quite forgivably, such a person tends fe think I that the socialn orrn in questioni s just superstitioni,f he does ) not go so far as to considerit s defendera s insincereT. his, incidentally, i s very frequentlyt he main point of dissensionb e. tween people of different generations. In order correctly to appreciateh ow indispensablceu ltural rites and social nonns really ar€, one must keep fu mind thaf as Arnold Gehlen has put if man ir by nature a being of Eccc Homol culture. In other words, man's whole system of innate activities and reactions is phylogenetically so constructed, so *calculatedb" y evolution,a s to needt o be complementebdy cultural tradition. For instance, all the tremendous neurosensory apparatus of human speech is phylogenetically evolved but so constnrctedth at is function presupposetsh e existenceo f a culturally developedla nguagew hich the infant has to learn. The greaterp art of all phylogeneticallye volved patternse f furrmxtsro cialb ehavioris interrelatedw ith cultural tradition in an analogous way. The urge to become a member of a group, for instance, is certainly something that has been programmed in the prehuman phylogeny of man, but the distinctive properties of any group which make it coherent and exclusive are norns of behavior ritualized in cultural development. As has been explained in Chapter Five, without traditional rites and customsr epresentinga common property valued and defended by all members of the group, human beings would be quite unable to form social units exceeding in size that of the primal family group which can be held together by the instinctiveb ond of personalf riendship discussedin Chapter Eleven. The equipment of man with phylogenetically programmed norms of behavior is just as dependent on cultural tradition and rational responsibility as, conversely, the function of both the latter is dependenot n instinctualm otivation (pages7 7 t). Were it possible to rear a human being of normal genetic constitution under circumstancesd epriving it of all cultural tradition-- ryhich is impossible not only for ethical but also for biological reasons-the subject of the cruel experiment would be very far from representing a reconstruction of a prehuman ancestor, as yet devoid of culture. It would be a poor cripple, deficient in higher functions in a way comparable to that in which idiots who have suftered encephalitis during infantile or )) fetal life lack the higher functions of the cerebral cortex. No On Aggrersion man, not event he greatesgt enius,c ould invent, all by himself, a systemo f socialn onnsa nd rites forming a substitutefo r cultural tradition. fn our time, one has plenty of unwelcome opportunity to observet he consequenoewsh ich even a partial deficiencyo f cultural tradition has on social behavior. The human beings thus affectedr angef rom youngP eoPlea dvocatingn ecessariyf dangerousa brogationos f customsth at haveb ecomeo bsolete, through angry young men and rebellious gangs of juveniles, to the appearancoef a certainwelldefinedty peo f juveniled elinquent which is the same all over the world. Blind to all values, tbeseu nfortunateas re1 [s vistimso f infiniteboredom. The meansb y which an expedientc ompromiseb etweent he rigidity of social nonns and the necessit5orf adaptivec hange can be effected is prescribtd by biological laws of the widest range of application. No organic system can attain to any higher degree of differentiation without firm and cohesive structures supporting it and holding it together. Such a structure and its support can, in principle, only be gained by the sacrificeo f certain degreeso f freedom that existedb efore.A worrn can bend all over, an arthropod onty where its cuticular skeleton is provided with joints for that PurPose. i* Changesin outer or inner environmenmt ay demandd e' li grees of freedom not permitted by the existing structure and I I thereforem ay necessitatiets partial and/or temPoraryd isinte' ; \ gration, in the samew ay that growth necessitatetsh e periodic { 1s heddingo f the shell in crustaceaa nd other arthropods.T his \ f act of demolishing carefully erected stntctures, though indis- \ ipensabteif better adaptedo nesa re to arise,i s alwaysf ollowed i lby " period of dangerousrn rlnerability,a si s impressivelyil lus- | 'trated by the defenselesssi tuation of the newly molted soft' i.g -h elledc rab. All this applies unrestrictedly to the "solidified," that is to say institutionalized, system of social nonut and rites which function very much like a supporting skeleton in human cultures. In the growth of human cultures, as in that of arthro-) pods, there is a built-in mecbalpglqp roylding for graduated I changeD. uring and shortly after puberty human beingsh ave I an indubitablet endencyt o loosent heir altegianceto all tradi- | tional rites and social nonns of their culture, allowing con- | ceptual thought to cast doubt on their value and to look I aroundf or new and perhapsm orew orthy ideals.T herep roba- | bly is, at that time of life, a -dgEsitg*p_e-g!lgy_-e*!9p1ga{r gg!e v oUpglq;gtigg much as in the case of the object-fixation foind in animals and called inprintingrEglqhlt_c.l_ti9al tirnrc ] of .lile=-o-ld.ideaplsro ve fdlaeious under critical scrutiny -d i new onesf ail to appear,t he resulti s completea imlessnestsh, e I uffer boredomw hich characterizesth e young delinquent.I f, I on the other hand, the clever 1p*gg&og well versed in the dangerousa rt of producings uPranonnals t:muluss ituations, gets hold of young peoplea t the susceptiblea ge, he finds it easyt o gurdet heir object-fixationin a direction subservientto his political aims.A t the postpuberaal ge someh umanb eings seemt o be driven by an orqP_oly_e_s:ur:991e9sP ousae cause and failing to find a worthy one may become fiiatEd"ori.eStonishingly inferior substitutesT. he instinctive need to be the member of a closely knit group fighting for common ideals may grow so strong that it becomes inessential what these idealsa re and whethert hey possesasn y intrinsic value.T his, I believe, explains the formation of juvenile gangs whose social structurei s very probablya rather closer econstnrctiono f that Ecce Homol prevailing in primitive human society. Apparenfly this processo f object-fixationc an take its full effect only once in an individual's life. Once the valuation of certain social nomu or the allegiance to a certain cause is fully establishedit, cannotb e eraseda gain, at leastn ot to the extent of making room for a new, equally strong one. Also it would seemth at oncet he sensitiveP erid has elapseda, man's 267 On Aggrcssion abitity to embraceid ealsa t all is considerablyre ducedA. II this helpst o explain the hackneyedtm th that humanb eingsh ave to live thtough a rather dangerousp erid at, and shortly after, puhrty. The tragic paradox is that the danger is greatest for those who are by nature best fitted to serve the noble cause of humanity. The processo f object-fixationh as consequencoefs an importancet hat can hardly be overestimatedI.t determinesn either more nor less than that which a man will live for, struggle for, and, under certarnc ircumstancesb,l indly go to war for. ft determinetsh e conditioneds timuluss ituationr eleasinga powerful phylogeneticallye volved behavior which I proposet o call that ofgriligtt enthusiasm. Militant enthusiasn il particutarly suited for the paradigmatic illustration of the manner in which a phylogenetically evolved pattern of behavior interacts with culturally ritualized socialn onns and rites, and in which, thougha bsolutelyin dispensableto the function of the compounds ystemi,t is prone ,to miscarry most tragically if not strictly controlled by rational / responsibifity based on causal insight. The Greek word en- I thousiasmosim plies that a personi s possessebdy a god; the I GermanB egeisterunmg eanst hat he is controlledb y a spirit a \ Geist,moreo rlessh oly. \* In reality, militant inthusiasmi s a specializedfo rm of conmunala ggressionc,l earlyd istinct from andy et functionallyr elated to the more primitive forms of petty individual aggression. Every man of normally stronge motionsk nows,f rom his own experience,t he subjectivep henomenath at go hand in handw ith the responseo f militant enthusiasmA. shiverr uns down the back and, as more exact observations hows,4 long .theo utsirfeo f hothp rms.O nes oarse lateda, bovea ll the tiesO f everydayli fe, one is readyt o abandona ll for the call of what, in the momento f this specifice motion, seemsto be a sacred duty. All obstaclesin its path becomeu nimportant;t he inl v t * t 't' L ; r . - l l I ,/ r , i4f ' ^ . ' 'nr \ - L- , { . }21 t t t +'t '\f, r 5 rl !]"t6P;' -i 'r 268 Ir,r r-;l,4, Ecce Homot stinctive inhibitions against hurting or killing one's fellows lose, unfortunately, much of their Power. Rational considerations, c riticism,a nd all reasonablaer gumentsa gainstt he behavior dictated by militant enthusiasm are silenced by an arrrazin1re versalo f all values,m aking them aPPearn ot only untenableb ut basea nd dishonorableM. en may enjoy the feeling of absoluter ighteousneses ven while they commit atrocities. Conceptual thought and moral responsibility are at their lowest ebb. As a Ukrainian proverb says: "When the banner is unfurled, all reason is in the trumpet." The subjective experiencesj ust described are correlateo with the following, objectively demonstrable phenomena. The tone of the entire striatedm usculatureis raised,t he carriagei s stiffened, the arms are raised from the sides and slightly rotated inward so that the elbows Point_outward. The head is proudly raised, the chin stuck out, and the facial muscles mime the "hero face," familiar from the films. On the back and along he outer surfaceo f the armst he hair standso n end. This is the objectively observed aspect of the shiver! Anybody who has ever seent he correspondingb ehavioro f the male chimpanzee defending his band or family with selfsacrificing courage wiil doubt the purely spiritual character of humane nthusiasmT. he chimp,t oo, stickso ut his chin, stiffensI his body,a nd raisesh is elbows;h is hair standso n end,p roduc- | ing a terrifying magnification of his body contours as seen I from the front. The inward rotation of his arms obviously has the pulposeo f turning the longest-haireds ide outward to enhance the eftect. The whole combination of body attitude and hair-raising constitutes a bluff. This is also seen when a cat humps its back, and is calculated to make the animal appear bigger and more dangeroust han it really is. Our shiver,w hich in German poetry is called a JglSrl_f_c_hoUgli' a "holy'' shiver,t urns out to be the vestigeo f a prehumanv egetativer esponse of making a fur bristle which we no longer have. 269 On Aggression To the humble seeker of biological truth there cannot be the slightest doubt that human militant enthusiasm evolved out of a communal defense response of our prehuman ancestors. The unthinking single-mindednesosf the responsem ust have been of high survival value even in a tribe of fully evolved human beings. It was necessary for the individual male to forget all his other allegiances in order to be able to dedicate himself, body and soul, to the cause of the communal battle. " W as schert mich W eib, was schert mich Kind"-"\{laf do I care for wife or child," says the Napoleonic soldier in a famous poem by Heinrich Heine, and it is highly characteristic of the reaction that this poet, otherwise a caustic critic of emotional romanticism, was so unreservedly enraptured by his enthusiasm for the "great" conqueror as to find this supremely aPt exPression. The object which militant enthusiasm tends to defend has changed with cultural development. Originally it was certainly the community of concrete, individually known members of a Soup, held togetherb y the bond of pefq-o-glao!y _ea nd friendship. With the growth of the social unit, the social no-rut-s*a$d rites held in common by all its members became the main factor holding it together as an entity, and therewith they became automatically the symbol of the unit. By a process of true Pavlovian conditioning plus a certain amount of irreversible imprinting these rather abstract values have in every human culture been substituted for the primal, concrete object of the communal defense reaction. This traditionally conditioned substitution of object has important consequencefso r the function of militant enthusiasm. On the one hand, the abstract nature of its object can give it a definitely inhuman aspect and make it positively dangerous -what do I care for wife or child; on the other hand it makes it possible to recruit militant enthusiasm in the service of really ethical values. Without thp .c-.qnc.enq4l$qde. ,{!caliono f 270 Ecce Homol qqUl1g!e nthusiasmn either art, nor science,n or indeeda ny of the g'"^i endeavoiS of humaniU wogld evcr have cgme_.into beingr*_Whethern 'thusiasmis made to serve thesee ndeavors, or whether man's most powerfully motivating instinct makes him go to war in some abje.tly silly cause, depends almost entirely on the conditioning and/or imprinting he has undergone during certain susceptiblep eriodso f his life. There is reasonable hope that our moral responsibility may gain control over the primeval drive, but our only hope of its ever doing so rests on the humble recognition of the fact that militant enthusiasm is an instinctive resPonsew ith a phylogeneticallyd etermined releasing mechanism and that the only point at which intelligent and responsible supervision can get control is in the cof,- ditioning of the resPonseto an object which Proves to be a genuine value under the scrutiny of the categorical question- Like the triumph ceremony of the greylag goose' milil4pi enthusiasm in man is a true autonomous instinct: it has its own appetitive behavior, its own releasing mechanisms, and, like the sexualu rge or any other strong instinct, it engendersa specffic feglineoilglg4se glqtclion. The strength of its seductive lure explainb'wly intelligent men may behave as irrationally and immorally in their political as in their sexual lives. Like the triumph ceremony, it has an essential influence on the socials tructureo f the speciesH. umanity is not enthusiastically combativeb ecauseit is split into political parties,b ut it is divided into opposingc ampsb ecauseth is is the adequates timulus situation to arouse militant enthusiasm in a satisfying manner. "If ever a doctnne of universal salvation should gain ascendancy over the whole earth to the exclusion of all others," writes Erich von Holst, "it would at once divide into two strongly opposing factions (one's own true one and the other heretical one) and hostility and war would thrive as before, mankind being-unfortunately-what it is!" The first prerequisite for rational control of an instinctive 27L On Aggression behavior pattern is the knowledge of the s$mulus-sihtatio3 which releases it. Militant enthusiasm can bc elicited with the predictability of a reflex when the following e-qyqgnmental Sit- - "uiOateionntisn aerJis e. First of all, a.sp-c.:al,unwit ith which the subject himself must appear to be t!rSalgqed by some danger from outside. That which is threatened may be a concrete group of people, the family or a little community of close friends, or else it may be a larger social unit held together and symbolized by its own specific social nonns and rites. As the latter assume the character of autonomous values, in the way described in Chapter Five, they can, quite by themselves, represent the object in whose defense militant enthusiasm can be elicited. From all this it follows that this resPonsec an be brought into play in the service of extremely different objects, ranging from the sports club to the nation, or from the most obsolete mannerisms or ceremonials to the ideal of scieutific truth or of the incomrptibility of justice. A second key stimulus which contributes enoilnously to the releasing of intense militant enthusiasm is the presence of a hteg gggry from whom the threat to the above "values" emanatesT. his enemy,t oo, can be of a concreteo r of an abstract nature. It can be "the" Jews, Huns, Boches, t5nants, etc., or abstract concepts like world capitalism, Bolshevism, fascism, and any other kind of ism; it can be heresy, dogmatism, scientific fallacy, or what not. Just as in the case of the object to be defended, the enemy against whom to defend it is extremely variable, and demagogues are well versed in the dangerous art of producing supranonnal dummies to release a very dangerous forrr of militant enthusiasm. A third factor contributing to the environmental situation eliciting the response is an i"qg[!in1g lgtdcr figUre. Even the most emphatically antifascistic ideologies aPParently cannot do without it, as the giant piotures of leaders displayed by kinds of political parties prove clearly enough. Again the u"nll- 272 other Eccc Homot selectivityo f the phytogeneticallyP rogrammedr esponsea llows for a wide variation in the conditioning to a leader figure- Napoleon, about whom so critical a man as Heinrich Heine became so enthusiastic, does not inspire me in the least; CharlesD arwin does. A fourth, and perhapst he most imPortant,p rerequisitef or the full eliciting of militant enthusiasmis the presenceo f many all asitated bv the same emotion. Their abnumber has a certain infln@ of the responseS. mallern umbersa t issuew ith a largem ajority tend to obstinated efensew ith the emotionalv alue of "making a last stand,"w hilevery largen umbersin spiredb y the samee nthusiasm feel the urge to conquer the whole world in the name of their sacred cause. Here the laws of mass enthusiasm are strictly analogous to those of flock formation described in Chapier Eight; here, too, the excitation grows in proportion, perhapse ven in geometricapl rogressionw, ith the increasing number of individuals. This is exactly what makes militant masse nthusiasmso d angerous. I havet ried to describew, ith as little emotionalb ias as Possible, t he humanr esPonsoef enthusiasmi,t s phylogenetico ri' gin, its instinctive as well as its traditionally handed-down componentsa nd prerequisitesI . hopeI have madet he reader rcalize,withouat ctuallys a)tlngs o,w hat a iumbleo -tlrp hilosog[ if_yelU$_iq. What is a culture? A system of historically ACvetopesdo cial nonns and rites which are passedo n from generationt o generationb ecausee motionallyt hey are felt to be values_. Whaits a value?O bviously,n ormal and healthy peoplea re'iEfd-tr6a- pprec-iatseo methinga s a high value for wnicnt o tve and,i f necessaryto, die, for no otherr easont han that it was evolved in cultural ritualization and handed down to them by a revered elder. fs, then, a value only defined as the\ object on which our instinctiveu rge to Preservea nd defend I traditional social nonns has become fixated? Primarily and in ./ On Aggression the early stageso f cultural developmentth is indubitably was the case.T he obviousa dvantageos f loyal adherenceto tradition must have exerted a considerable selection pressure. However,t he greatestlo yalty and obedienceto culturalty ritualized nonns of behavior must not be mistaken for responsible morality. Even at their best, they are only functionally analogous to behavior controlledb y rational responsibilityI.n this respectt,h ey are no whit differentf rom the instinctivep atterns of socialb ehaviord iscussedin ChapterS even.A lso they are just as prone1 em isczur!u nderc ircumstancefso r which they haven ot been" programmed"b y the greatc onstructorn, atural selection. tj't, u {rr,4 i,i{ ,.;lutr' In other words, the need to control, by wise rational responsibility, a ll our emotionala llegiancesto cultural valuesi s as greats , il not greatert han, the necessittyo keepi n check our other instincts. None of them can ever have such devastating effectsa s unbridled militant enthusiasmw hen it infects great massesa nd overrides all other considerationsb y its single-mindednesasn d its speciousn obility. It is not enthusiasm in ieelf that is in any way noble, but humanity's great goals which it can be called upon to defend. That indeed is the Janus head of man: The only being capable of dedicating himself to the very highest moral and othical values requires for this purposea phylogeneticallya daptedm echanismo f behavior whose animal properties briog with them the danger that he will kill his brother, convinced that he is doing so in the interestso f thesev ery semeh igh valuesE. cceh omo! -$. r |.,rtrrlz l..i 1,ul ,l,l-''i'''!n'{ t"/."'- Wlrri{ / ,r"'*ot i r . ' \1'.jn ' r " ' l '-"'$ | 274 Chapter Fourteen Avowal of Optimism Ich bilde mir nicht ein,lch kdnntc was knrcn Die Menschcn zu bcssern und zu bekehren.

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