Why Are Anger and Social Violence Increasing In America?

April 4, 2022

To answer this important question, we need to understand the ego of the unconscious inner child that resides inside all of us. We humans use our minds to create the world we live in, so the better we understand how our minds work, the more successful we will be in creating the world we live in….and more importantly, the world we want to create.

In the previous blog (Our Politicians In Washington Are Behaving Like Kindergarteners On A Playground!!) (  we covered the early childhood conditioning present in the collective unconscious mind of humanity. Today, I want to discuss how “three important aspects” of humanity’s collective primitive ego-consciousness present in many Washington politicians, are creating the dangerous increase in anger and social violence that we see today….they include a) what’s in it for “me” (greed), b) the need to be “right” (i.e., the tendency to create tribal thinking and rigid polarization), and c) the serious lack of self-awareness in many of our politicians.[1]

To understand our primitive ego and the early childhood conditioning unconsciously embedded in our collective human consciousness, we need to understand the critical tasks our young ego struggled to achieve in early childhood. These included the need to a) be seen, b) be heard, c) feel loved, and d) feel important! But the most important goal of early childhood was the need to feel safe! This early childhood conditioning is deeply embedded in humanity’s collective unconscious primitive childhood ego.

The primitive ego conditioning of our early childhood tends to be unconscious until we do the challenging work of becoming more self-aware. But, conscious or unconscious, our inner-child primitive ego is always with us, controlling our behaviors and feelings and unconsciously assessing our sense of safety! And when we feel unsafe, we will resort to anger and aggression. We will seek out tribal relationships with those who share our feelings and our beliefs.

Like all humans, this early childhood conditioning is present in our politicians in Washington. When they are challenged or threatened in any way, their inner child will “knee jerk” that aggressive and angry behavior into the world. Their need to be “right” and their “what’s in it for “me” attitude will manifest into the world around them….and often in the legislation they support.

In other words, to understand the growing anger and social unrest we are seeing in the country today, we only need to acknowledge that when our unconscious inner child feels challenged or unsafe, its primitive ego will tend to get angry, defensive, aggressive, hostile, and belligerent. And that is how the collective unconscious inner-child of our middle-class is feeling today. The middle-class of our nation has been increasingly neglected, disempowered, poor, and working for wages and salaries that don’t cover the necessities of day-to-day life. Burdened by debt, the loss of voting rights, the growing loss of abortion protection, drug prices that are often above their ability to afford, housing prices and rents that are beyond their ability to afford, rapidly rising energy and food prices, climate change storm damage they can’t afford to pay for, forest fires that are destroying homes, rising ocean levels, and insurance companies that are increasingly refusing to insure against these growing climate change realities…….all while the 1% is experiencing obscene growth in their wealth, paying little to no taxes, putting dark money into politicians to ensure that their ability to acquire more wealth is not threatened. It’s no wonder the middle class’s collective primitive ego feels unsafe! They are! It is not just a feeling. It’s a rapidly growing reality!

Slide Anything shortcode error: A valid ID has not been provided

The Real Problem That Needs To Be Addressed: Our Gridlocked Congress

While all these factors are increasing in severity, Congress is increasingly politically gridlocked and unable to pass legislation that would support the middle-class. Two years of the Covid pandemic has shut down our economy, interrupted critical supply chains, closed schools, and increased the number of working parents forced to drop out of the job market to home school. I could go on, but you get the idea. The unconscious primitive ego of our nation’s middle-class and its unconscious inner-child consciousness is “not” feeling safe! And the growing anger and social violence we are experiencing are growing evidence of that simple reality.

Many of you reading this blog probably grew up in a home with only one working parent. And that one working parent provided a safe and secure quality of life. That was called life in the middle class.

That middle-class is gone. Today children struggle to get enough food, parents are frustrated and stressed…..but the wealthy 1% are doing fine. Most of them pay no taxes. Many are purchasing homes on distant islands. I suspect they know climate change and growing poverty will increase social violence and anger in the years ahead.

They may be right! When we look back in history, every “empire” created by humanity has collapsed. And the triggers that collapsed those empires included a) the exhaustion of the natural resource that financed the original growth of that empire (think petroleum energy), b) an obscene wealth inequality of the 1%, and ca frustrated, angry, disempowered commons or middle-class that rebelled because they had nothing to lose.

The violence and civil unrest of the disempowered global commons or middleclass, including the middleclass here in America, is growing rapidly. Our once robust and thriving middleclass is becoming increasingly anxious, and that anxiety is creating the growing social unrest and violence we are witnessing.

I believe we are witnessing history in the process of repeating itself here in America. It has me worried and concerned. Authoritarian, autocratic governments and the decline of healthy, middleclass cultures and economies are replacing and threatening our global “democracies” at an alarming rate! A threat America recently experienced on January 6th of last year!

The primitive ego focus of our politician’s on what’s in it for “me” (greed) in Congress and other global governments, and their primitive ego’s need to be “right” when making political decisions, has created dangerous tribalism and polarization gridlock in Congress and in other governments around the world. Primitive ego thinking is rapidly bringing the American dream and the dreams of other young democracies worldwide to their knees.

Our politicians in Washington need to wake up and see what their dangerous, primitive “self” focused ego tribalism and growing political polarization/gridlock are creating. America and other nations worldwide are headed in the wrong direction. And we are running out of time to reverse course. The current conflict in Ukraine is a sober reminder that destabilized global governments have access to weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons for the first time in human history.

The collective consciousness of humanity needs to mature and evolve! Ignoring, or waiting to address, the problems of massive wealth inequality or the growing anxiety, social violence, and civil unrest in the global commons is “not” a viable option; here in America or in the world.

[1] I use primitive in the sense of being unevolved, immature, and unconscious (i.e., lacking in self-awareness). To become self-aware of our inner child, and the unconscious childhood conditioning that formed who we are today, requires an intentional commitment to become more self-aware. Those who have done this work know intentional growth in self-awareness is often a challenging and humbling experience. Unfortunately, humility is seldom a strong suit in many politicians.


Teaser photo credit: By spaceflattener – Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

Dick Rauscher

Dick Rauscher, author of “Waiting Is Not An Option”: The Transition From Unlimited Growth to Long-Term Survival has focused his professional career as a licensed mental health therapist on the development of Primitive Ego Psychology and the transition from humanity’s current narcissistic self-focus on "me" to that of a more enlightened post growth "we" based focus on well-being. "Waiting is Not an Option" explores a) the existential threats that humanity's unevolved primitive ego thinking, and its immature early childhood conditioning have created on the future of human civilization, and b) the importance of creating self-reliant local communities and local economies as post-growth preparation for the existential changes, threats, and challenges that are coming. “Waiting Is Not An Option” is available at ( and other book outlets. Dick's blog articles based on "Waiting Is Not an Option" are posted on his website at "Waiting is Not an Option" reflects the wisdom that……. It isn't the things you know for certain that will cause you harm. It's what you know for certain that just ain't so. (Mark Twain)

Tags: American politics, building resilient societies, human evolution, social breakdown