I don't think generalisations are necessarily reductive. if people are motivated by some drive or desire (whether it's lizard-brain stuff or something more rarified) it doesn't mean that's the *only* thing motivating them (people are subject to multiple contradictory drives), it doesn't mean everyone is subject to the same drives in the same way, and it doesn't mean people are automatons who are completely determined by their desires.
humans are quite a violent species, imo. that's why there's so much history knocking around. that's not all they are, of course, and there's also the question of how much of it is nature and how much is nurture, but either way it certainly seems to be a part of us
I've just been reading some of k-punk's old blog posts and under one on an old post of Craner's about the Cold War someone's left the following:
the death drive permeates pop all the way thru e.g "the leader of the pack". it's the kind of death craved that changes from genre to genre. with the early industrialists, they wanted a death that matched their aesthetic - impersonal and mass-produced. making nuclear war an ideal candidate.
Assuming this is true, what's the death-aesthetic these days? Drifting away, numbed on prescription drugs, seems the obvious one what with the prevalence of the stuff in hip-hop atm.
This is one of the things Ballard got right. We are all aware our feet have never touched the ground. We are desperate for disaster. We are hungry for The Real. We are not content with global warming, we have to accelerate it. There is no way out of this logiv. We all know our secret desires. We want to turn the world upside down. The protagonist in any Ballard novel only comes alive once the worst has happened. We want it. We need it. The vultures waiting on the street lights and telephone wires.