The use of writing for disinterested purposes, and as a source of intellectual and aesthetic pleasure is a secondary result; and more often than not, it may even be turned into a means of strengthening and concealing the other. -- Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques (cited in Rosalind Thomas, Literature and Orality in Ancient Greece.
This is a very provocative statement. But the argument that i wish to research goes deeper than that. Levi-Strauss said that writing is mainly used for enslavement (violence) which may or may not be so; but it has been argued somewhere by somebody that there was an inherent cause effect relation between literacy in previously oral societies and increased levels of violence in those societies. I think the assumption is made here that literacy is an indigenous development rather than being imposed from outside the society. The argument seems to go something like this: Writing distances the writer from his experience and from the reader in a way that verbal communication does not. Distance, physical, emotional, social, etc., is a factor involved in violence among human beings.
If any one has heard this argument and remembers a source or sources, i would be grateful for that information.