It may be that, cruelty, all cruelty, the desire for and motivator to promote and celebrate misery, unhappiness and suffering in others, is a by product of our primitive autonomic defences; a product of our fear response. When we are not conscious of our fear response, when the amygdala and HPA Axis are functioning and activated on a plane beneath our awareness, they influence our emotions and behaviour outside of the critical evaluator of our prefrontal cortex and we create vindication for our behaviours to avoid the self critical judgments of our conscience. Essentially, I am suggesting that we treat others badly, and justify treating others badly to ourselves, because primitive unconscious processes in our brains are perceiving and responding to a threat or danger that we cannot comprehend or explain to our conscious selves, or that the explanation, itself, might be perceived as a threat to our instinctive notion of our authority over ourselves.