The overarching purpose of Moral Cruelty is to identify and sensitize the reader to the existence of "moral sadism." As it stands, every act of overt violence, from Bosnia to Columbine, is immediately followed by a discourse of cliches. The acts of violence are attributed to the media, song lyrics, availability of guns, racism, persistent poverty, and so on. Although such influences are surely involved, the tendency of assigning "the cause" to external agents leads us away from asking ourselves, "Is it possible that I contribute to the escalation of violence in ways that I currently cannot see? Is it possible that I interact in ways that have effects that I do not understand?" It is the authors' contention that what we as individuals perceive as "normal" modes of interaction conceal hidden contributions to cruelty.
Publisher: University Press of America