Racket Anger and Domestic Violence
Once while visiting a petting zoo, I saw a lion cub growling, with a very angry tone and expression, at goats that were walking around. The goats of course had done nothing to irritate the lion cub, and the lion cub had no reason to be angry at them. Rather for the lion cub the goats were food; and its predatory aggression looked a lot like anger.
We see the same thing happening in many situations that feature domestic violence. The abuser keeps making up reasons to be angry at the partner. In most cases this anger is a decoy. Rather, the abuser simply wants to beat up on the partner; and making up fake anger offers him an excuse to do what he, as a predator, wants to do.
Eric Berne came up with the concept of racket anger to explain these situations. The anger is not real, and there are no real reasons for the anger. Rather the person simply wants to beat up on someone - in this case, a partner who he believes cannot escape. And to this end he invents any number of false reasons, in much the same way as a lion cub growls at the goats - because he wants to eat them.
In situations of domestic violence, many people at the receiving end of abuse (especially women) either believe the racket anger or try all sorts of compassionate ways to reduce it. But the person practicing racket anger does not need compassion; what he needs is a kick in the ass. He comes into the situation wanting to beat up on the partner. Racket anger helps him to justify his aggressive impulses. He is not really angry at the woman. He just enjoys beating her up.
Racket anger can be either conscious or unconscious; but in all cases it is unconscionable. It is a way to justify a brutal, destructive and stupid way of life. When faced with racket anger, the correct response is to see at for what it this: A justification for predatory impulses and predatory intentions. And that means to see it as an accessory to crime, criminal and corrupt in and of itself.