Anger can be seen as ‘just’, Oliver explores how anger may be essential for positive social change - so long as it doesn’t go too far.
Despite how it can be misdirected anger has long been known as the 'moral emotion' the one most likely to urge us into action in redressing some injustice or offence. But is this belief justified, or self-deluded excuse to indulge in a little payback?
Oliver explores why anger is sometimes necessary for the betterment of society, how anger can be channelled for good or evil, and he meets with meets with Martin Boyce, a veteran of the Stonewall Riots, to learn how an eruption of repressed rage can be transformed from destruction into pride.
He tells us about his experiences during the riot in June 1969, what life was like for the gay community in New York at the time, and how rage has to evolve into something more than that initial spark to create positive change in the world.
She tells us about her research into ‘reappraisal’ - how people can reframe or reassess circumstances that have made them angry in order to feel better. Although it may be a useful tool for securing a person’s individual well being, there may be wider social consequences if people don’t feel the anger that can spark action.
Photo credit - Arnau Dubois.
Martha C. Nussbaum
Professor Martha C. Nussbaum is an American Philosopher and is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She’s written numerous books, including appointed Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice and The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis.
She tells us about how our values are so wrapped up in our personal values and view of the world, and that although anger can have some value in the fight for justice, fury on its own is not enough.
She discusses the idea of righteous anger, and how no matter how noble we think our rage may be, there’s not much