And yet this is not the whole story. In contradiction to the grip that dominance undoubtedly has, and after the fashion of history, interleaved with itis the widespread development of cooperative ways of living and working. I see it in my working life, my personal life, down the road from where I live in Brussels in the European Union, plus many striking, if still isolated, examples elsewhere. This relatively hidden undercurrent flowing in the opposite direction to the old paradigm of the mailed fist has seen the non-violent demolition of the Soviet Union, the freeing of its Eastern European client states, the fall of the Berlin wall and the repossession of South Africa by it indigenous inhabitants.
This is one of the stories that history is beginning to tell of our time, another sister story, equally slow to emerge has been the dramatically increased public awareness and legal recognition, of domestic violence, child abuse (including child sexual abuse) bullying, and discrimination on gender, ethnic and racial grounds. A scan of the history of childcare points equally strongly to a continuing revolution in child-care in favour of a gentler, more child-centered approach. The extent to which violence and coercion have provided the 'carrot and stick' shaping daily life is now more openly discussed, contested and even obsessed about. You don't have to be that old (but I'm qualified!) to be aware that this is a tide of attitudes coming in. Followed, sometimes far behind, by action to match.