Murray Dobbins has illustrated in his post "The Tyrant's Poison Pill: the suppression of civil society" the way violence harms whole societies. But also, I suspect this mass violence permanently damages our capacity to survive by creating a new species incapable of nurturing life.
We live in a time of global, political, social and religious dysfunction. The age of pathology where structure demands its members compete for power in the arena of zero sum games. Politicians, CEO's, corporate representatives must, by default, divest themselves of anything civil and decent in order to play the game - where egos are isolated, alone, enemies among enemies, looking over their shoulder, in mistrust.
We are trained to believe we are successful when we are losing our way, going mad. The biggest bullies are not in control because the whole organism known as civil society is decaying.
At the end of World War II, European civilizations were in the spiral of destruction and nihilism, and courageous people worked together to re-build new worlds through extraordinary effort, and faith in the best of human nature.
America shined like a beacon of hope for many, with its creative energy. But megalomania got hold of it too, and the more wealthy and successful they became, the more violent their foreign policy. Now America is being destroyed by the ideologies that destroyed Europe.
What are the main instruments of this destructive power? Fear, hate, and greed. But these are also natural human emotions that most, if not all, have experienced.
Where is the way out? First to acknowledge the seeds of destruction are within us. Then to see that power as something elevated or superior to life, is the carrier of delusion in our collective mind. Power for power's sake fixes nothing and destroys everything. It is the uroborus (the serpent that swallows its tail for the integration and assimilation of the opposite). In Christianity it is the fallen angel Satan and "our race apart from God".
For me, the first steps towards our way out is to fill up on love and compassion, in order to return to the power that reveres and comes from life.