"Anger, or at least the unmediated expression of it, has effectively been outlawed. The emotional police have declared war on anyone who remotely resembles an angry young man (or woman). The aim, it seems to me, is to turn the ‘billygoats’ into sheep, yet barely an eyebrow has been raised in response to this insidious campaign of mental manipulation, emotional conformism and spirit-dampening,..."
"The demonisation of anger - more than that, the borderline criminalisation of anger - is part of today’s new insidious, intimate policing of the emotional mind. The wholesale management of anger is an attempt to enforce conformity, spearheaded by politicians, police, officials, judges and health practitioners who seem to prefer a populace that resigns, fatalistically, to the problems it faces, rather than one that asks awkward questions and kicks up a furious fuss."
"Anger was once seen as an understandable reaction to unpleasant experiences or less-than-civilised living and working conditions; it was a rational, sometimes even dignified ‘strong feeling of displeasure’. Now, in the Anti-Angry Decade, it has been psychologised: anger is looked upon as a condition, a disease, a moral failing on the part of individuals which must be treated and corrected."
"The psychologisation of anger has two consequences: first it separates our anger from the experience or the condition that gave rise to it, so that our ‘expressions of rage’ are always judged to be disproportionate, irresponsible and illegitimate."
"The second consequence,...the anger-management movement nurtures a society that is obsessed with policing individuals’ inner lives rather than focusing on transforming the world around us. From the anti-angry worldview, society should devote its resources to correcting rage-afflicted individuals rather than fixing the things that made us angry in the first place."
"You know you live in a deeply authoritarian society when, Stalinist-style, political, social and personal disgruntlement is labelled a mental illness, and the powers-that-be focus on pacifying and even medicating angry individuals rather than listening to and meeting their demands."
"The war against anger is not a top-down conspiracy. This is not Nineteen Eighty-Four, with faceless authoritarians decreeing that certain emotions must be outlawed. Rather, today’s nervous and insecure elite instinctively fears certain emotions and champions others; indeed, it is precisely because the authorities are adrift and directionless that they feel the need to police the mind and to pacify what looks to them like an unknowable, untrustworthy mass of people: the public. So governments promote happiness in schools and workplaces on one hand, and demonise anger on the other, because they would rather that we were contented little lambs, resigned and relaxed, rather than agitated, questioning and demanding individuals.
And yet there is still a great deal to be angry about,..."
- From Brendan O’Neill, writing in Spiked!