Interesting thing aggression. In fiction, the hero, invariably a male, takes out the ‘bad guys’, five or six at a time in about five minutes or less. That his cardio vascular fitness lasts that long is always a wonder to me. Try swinging a broad sword for longer than three minutes in a simulated battle and you’ll see what I mean. Knackered. Take on five people at a time rather than running away and, unless it’s a film, they’ll attack you all at once and you’ll go down. Then the kicking begins.
During Boudica’s war against the Romans, like a number of British tribes, the Iceni had small, two man chariots comprising the driver and a warrior. Pre-dating cavalry, the chariots would race up to the enemy and javelins, along with other pointy things, would be thrown. The aim was to break the ranks and create mayhem and confusion. They would wheel around and drive away, or, the warrior might jump down and engage in violence and general unpleasantness. This might last about three minutes or so, maybe slightly longer, and then the driver would race back. The warrior would leap on board and away they would go. This would allow the warrior time to recover because doing violence at that level is knackering. Then they’d go back and do the same thing again. Alternatively, if the driver saw his warrior in trouble he would come back earlier. It was all about controlled aggression.
More recently, some of the people I know who have been trained in controlled aggression, prefer to fight from a distance, using long barrelled weapons and so on. Oh, and in greater numbers than the enemy. ‘It’s safer, and means we can run away if it turns naughty,’ was one comment. They knew about controlled aggression and used it effectively. They are also some of the most peace loving people I know. They know the cost of violence.
I also find it interesting that the most aggressive people tend to be those who hide behind the anonymity of Facebook or Twitter. So very brave, so very aggressive. However, they’re bullies, and like most bullies, if one was able to confront them in person, their anonymity lost, they would deflate.
Then there are the political bullies. They are the ones who confuse aggression with being assertive, with being leaders. They use their position to bully those who have the temerity to question them. I don’t need to say who they are, you’ll have your own ideas.
The problem with aggression is that in our current situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the virus doesn’t give a hoot, (polite version). It has no ego to be intimidated, it has one simple aim – infection with the bonus of killing people if it can.
Controlled aggression requires never giving the virus the chance to spread; to bring people along with you; to make sure that those who break the rules are brought to justice and made to pay for their selfish transgressions. New Zealand is a great example of controlled aggression. From the off, they went in hard.
The problem is that the bloviate leadership we are seeing currently, populists all, can only peddle aggression. Uncontrolled and bullying aggression. And that’s why they’ll fail.
But at what cost? That’s what we should be asking ourselves. How many have died unnecessarily? Let us not confuse aggression with leadership. Let us not confuse aggression with effectiveness. Let us simply make those using aggression accountable for the damage they have done and will continue to do until they are replaced.
Interesting thing aggression, it can end up killing you. But never them…
J J Mitchell
‘No one left behind’