Realities Of Rage

Anger. Rage. Perhaps the most primal of emotions. It generally gets a bad rap today in our overly sensitive, touchy-feely modern society and culture, with children and adults alike mindlessly encouraged to erase it any time it rears its ugly head. Oh sure, the topic of anger is addressed by modern culture, media, and self-help gurus, and its potential upsides are sometimes even acknowledged and touted, but by and large anger is unequivocally viewed today as an intrinsically negative emotion. Look no further than all the modern new-age self-help garbage, which is all but flooded in ridiculously hollow platitudes and advice for “letting go” of anger and negativity. Don’t be mad, be glad. Turn that frown upside down. Anger never solves anything. Only you can allow someone to make you angry and hold power over you—the vapid platitudes remark.

Today, anger is almost always uncritically viewed as a terrible, terrible thing. It causes stress and negative health and emotional issues. It causes regret. Therefore, you should avoid being angry at all costs. But if you do ever find yourself becoming or harboring any latent anger, don’t worry, modern society is here to help. With its practically limitless array of mindless diversions and materialism to cheer you up and keep you placated, there is hardly ever an excuse to be angry anymore. But if that fails, you can always seek therapy or yoga or some other new age “cure” to help you release your anger and negativity and balance out your chi. And, failing that, if you still find yourself suffering from any anger issues, then fear not for there are still plenty of modern doctors willing to medicate your rage away. So pop some “soma capsules”, cheer up, and carry on “comfortably numb” like a good little drone.

Because generally speaking, emotions and expressions of anger, rage, and especially hate are verboten in our “progressive” modern society. Unless of course it’s the correct, socially acceptable anger. The leftist, politically correct, social justice kind of anger. If one displays anger, rage, hate, or even violence in the furtherance of leftism and social justice activism, then that is generally viewed by modern social and cultural standards as an acceptable and legitimate form of rage. It’s ok to rage against the white male patriarchy. It’s ok to rage against and hate white people. It’s ok to rage against “oppression” and “inequality”. It’s ok to rage against “fascism”. And it’s ok to rage against and hate anyone labeled “fascist”, “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic”, or “xenophobic” by the modern left. But anger, rage, and especially hate in any other form or incarnation, or focused in any other direction, is a terrible, terrible thing. And it must be suppressed and eliminated at any cost.

But is anger really the unhealthy and destructive emotion that must be automatically “let go” and reversed at every occurrence. No, that is a gross oversimplification. Feelings of anger are completely natural. Anger is just another normal emotion on the vast spectrum of human expression and emotional experiences. In reality, anger is neither good nor bad, it simply is. Anger, like many other emotions, can be harnessed for both constructive and destructive means. Anger is therefore like fire. When it is controlled and focused it can be wielded to cook one’s food and warm one’s home, but when it is uncontrolled and allowed to burn freely it can raze a forest or town. Anger is no different, it must be controlled and focused in order to be harnessed productively. And like all emotions, a man must be in complete control of his anger. He must never be a slave to his emotions. To not do so is to exude effeminacy.

I do not automatically buy into the popular preconceived notions about the absolute negativity of anger. For modern society and culture are heavy on mindless mantras and platitudes and light on critical thinking. Still, even the countless famous proverbs and adages about anger are, in my opinion, quick to point out the negatives without much context or critical thought—though I suppose that is what makes them proverbs. However, I think the examination of something as universal and primal as anger requires slightly more nuance and critical thought than most are able to provide. Take this quote from Aristotle: “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” See, that is the kind of nuance that I am talking about. The ancients understood it. Aristotle is clearly recognizing that anger is universal and even justified at times, but that it requires great self-control and discipline to wield it constructively. Anger can absolutely be a powerful force and motivator—when it is wielded correctly.

This is, of course, not to say that anger can’t also be a destructive, unhealthy emotion. Recall the fire analogy. Anger left unchecked, to fester inside the body and mind like an infection or cancer, is clearly a potentially destructive force. In this respect, the old adage by Mark Twain about anger as “an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured”, is true. Anger must be controlled and dealt with properly.

Anger not properly dealt with, that is either left unresolved or allowed to further build and accumulate, can, over time, transform into seething hatred, bitterness, and even hopeless depression. It becomes worn upon the face and exudes from every pore—even when one consciously tries to conceal it. Unresolved and suppressed anger, which is repeatedly pushed down and allowed to slowly boil, can also eventually result in an uncontrolled explosion of rage–violent or otherwise—once said anger reaches critical mass. In general, the psychological explanation and legal defense of an otherwise normal person finally just “snapping” and committing some kind of crime or violent outburst is grossly overused and overstated, which such examples usually the result of multiple contributing factors—to often include psychosis and mental illness—colliding in a perfect storm. But, it can occasionally happen as a result of stored anger, with the potential powder keg in some just waiting for the right spark. Though more likely however, suppressed anger is likely to result in potentially destructive physiological, psychological, and quality of life consequences. Increased stress, anxiety, depression, social isolation, insomnia, digestive issues, blood pressure, and even heart and stroke issues have often been associated with suppressed or unresolved anger.

Uncontrolled anger in the form of a temper or short fuse can be equally destructive. And being prone to explosive anger or outbursts indicates a severe loss of self-control. A quick temper allows for one to be easily antagonized or provoked into losing control over themselves and their faculties. It allows one to be easily manipulated under certain circumstances. Losing one’s temper can impair judgement and cause one to make rash, impulsive decisions, put one in harmful situations, cause one to do things they might otherwise not do and may later regret or cause one to say things they might otherwise not say and may later regret, or lead to an explosive angry outburst—verbal or physical. Simply put, as the old saying goes, don’t fight angry. Few good things result from an explosive temper. And while we all may be guilty of this to some degree from time to time, the stoic man remains in control of his temper. There is nothing wrong with having a long, slow burning fuse—while still being prepared to take thoughtful, decisive action or wreak vengeance when the time finally comes. Be slow to anger and slow to act, but be prepared to let slip the dogs of war when necessary.

That being said, anger is not the vile, harmful emotion that many automatically assume it to be. Anger does not always need to be “let go” of or eliminated. To believe so is again a gross oversimplification bordering on the idiotic. Anger, even old latent anger, can be an extremely powerful and beneficial motivating force, when it is properly acknowledged, examined, and then focused or harnessed correctly and constructively—while still recognizing and remaining aware of the potential negative effects of unresolved and uncontrolled anger.

The first and most critical aspect of constructively dealing with and harnessing anger is to first recognize the source of said anger. What is causing or contributing to the anger? This analysis obviously requires a certain degree of introspection and self-reflection on the part of the individual, which can be yet another beneficial aspect of anger. For by conducting such self-reflection, it forces one to think critically about their life, relationships, and circumstances. So by first understanding and coming to terms with the source of one’s anger, it then allows for the second critical aspect of constructively harnessing anger, which is determining if said anger is even legitimate or not. All too often, modern self-help gurus and liberal psychoanalysts want to preach and assess that any and all sources of anger—with the exception of culturally accepted leftist anger—are somehow illegitimate and therefore nothing but a negative reflection of personal issues or deficiencies on the part of the individual. This is, of course, complete uncritical nonsense, for there are scores of legitimate reasons to be angry that in no way reflect a failure or deficiency on the part of the individual. The key for the individual is simply determining whether said anger is legitimate or trivial, and this determination is generally a subjective one and in the eyes of the beholder. Still, this determination is of vital importance because a stoic, masculine man in control of his emotions and anger should not become angry, or waste his time being angry, at trivial things. That is what effeminate, crybaby snowflakes who are “offended” and “outraged” by every little thing do. Moving on, these first two steps then lead to the third critical aspect of constructively dealing with anger, which is recognizing what you have the power to change or control and what you do not. Essentially, recognizing whether the source of your anger is internal or external, and whether it is even within your power and control to affect change.

If the anger stems from legitimate external sources, and there are positive or constructive actions you can take to remedy the situation or circumstances, then being angry about the situation can be a powerful motivator and force multiplier. Even if you do not have the power to completely change everything or all external circumstances, you can still use that motivating anger and energy to try and change whatever elements you can to better your overall situation. Similarly, if the anger stems from legitimate internal sources or circumstances, like being fed up with one’s self or personal situation, then said anger can also be an extremely powerful tool for self-improvement. Getting angry at yourself for your own circumstances or failures, and then using those feelings of frustration and anger to fuel constructive action, is a powerful tool for positive change. And while it’s generally not beneficial to dwell on, beat yourself up, or remain angry over past mistakes, it can certainly be beneficial to use past anger as a motivator for positively improving present and future circumstances, or as a reminder not to repeat similar mistakes again. Simply put, holding on to anger or regret over the past without a plan for future improvement is wasted energy and destructive, but storing such feelings in order to use them as a constant motivation for self-improvement can absolutely be beneficial and positive. For as the old saying goes, complaining without proposing a new solution is called whining.

In other words, it’s perfectly okay to be angry, externally or internally sourced, so long as you are ultimately prepared to do something about it. The important thing to remember either way, when constructively harnessing the motivational power of both current and past anger, is that any decisions, solutions, or actions taken should be made with deliberate prudence. Anger should very rarely be harnessed rashly or impulsively.

Yes, the insanity of modern society and culture tries to tell us that anger, as an intrinsically negative emotion, must be let go and eliminated in practically all instances—unless of course one is an SJW raging against the “machine”. But that is a lie. Anger can be an extremely powerful tool, and there are plenty of legitimate things to be angry about with regards to the modern world. The left has become the establishment, and they generally control the narratives and culture. They have become “the machine”. And one should no more believe their lies about anger as they should anything else the left spews forth. There is nothing wrong with being angry, and there is especially nothing wrong with being angry at the modern world and at what has been stolen from you. But simply dwelling on that seething fury accomplishes nothing. Using that anger as motivation and fuel, what are you prepared to do about it? What are you prepared to change? What action are you prepared to take?

Anger is not the devil that modern society and most people make it out to be. You don’t have to automatically “let it go”. Like Aristotle said, it’s about being angry at “the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way”. And the toxic, depraved degenerate insanity of the modern world leaves plenty of people and things to be legitimately furious about. There’s nothing wrong with anger, both external and internal. It’s ok to be angry. Only question is, what are you prepared to do about it?

© 2017 By AB Frank, All Rights Reserved

This entry was posted in Philosophy. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.