The Economy of Vengeance: Some Considerations on the Aetiology and Meaning of the Business of Revenge

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: The Economy of Vengeance; Some Considerations on the Aetiology and Meaning of the Business of Revenge
Year: 2006
Authors: Sievers, B. Mersky, R. R.

Throughout the history of mankind, revenge and vengeance have
been deeply ingrained in our social fabric and richly portrayed in
literature, music, drama, and film. Vengeance can be understood as
a defence against annihilation anxieties, stimulated by the reactivation
of injuries and losses experienced earlier in the lifetime of a
system, fed by an institution’s inability to acknowledge guilt and to
integrate love and hate, and driven by the desire for ‘repair’ via retaliation.
As open and direct acts of both revenge and violence are
largely taboo, they are broadly denied in contemporary society at
large and in organizations in particular. Despite that denial, the underlying
feelings and the desire to persecute remain real. Thus revenge
often is wreaked unconsciously by sophisticated and hidden means.
This article is guided by the working hypothesis that vengeance from
a socio-analytic perspective is a psychosocial phenomenon and a
dynamic of the collective, that is, the community or polis of related
people. In social (political and economic) contexts, its inherent
aggression and annihilation is often hidden behind an apparent logic
of rationality, justice, and competition.

Keywords: economy, political economy, revenge, socio-analysis, vengeance, violence
Language: English

Journal: Human Relations
Volume: 59
Issue: 1
Start page: 241
End page: 259
Publisher ID:

Submitted by:
Burkard Sievers
Prof. Dr.
Schumpeter School for Business and Economics - University of Wuppertal - Germany
Corresponding author:

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