Why is anger all the rage?

Why is everyone so angry? Why is grim survivalism the current zeitgeist? To quote a leader in the Financial Times a while back, it might be that “The nice decade (for non-inflationary continuous expansion) may be behind us”.

In other words we are entering a nasty period where western economic anxiety is becoming a catalyst for all kinds of attitudinal and behavioural shifts. For example, the real issue might not be peoples’ anger per se but the increasing number of people and events that provoke this anger. This can range from traffic jams and bad customer service to falling house prices, increasing food and energy costs or someone getting shot in the head in north London.

You can see this anger already in the form of ‘Wrath Lit’ on the shelves of your local bookstore. But is the world really getting more angry or is it simply that mobile communications and social media are making more of us aware of incidences of anger?

Put slightly differently, the way to create an epidemic of something like anger is simply to use the word in politics or the media. Another explanation for the rage trend is that in many societies anger is a badge of honour. It is seen as a virtue. It is the individual being true to themselves and expressing their feelings.

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