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Modern attitudes to conflict


He's taken the things I've been theorizing but thought I was alone and haven't been able to talk about, and he's put brilliant words to them. This is it!

Marc MacYoung, "Conflict: the 21st Century Taboo":
Current dogma is that conflict is bad. Physical violence is viewed as evil, abhorrent, traumatic, out of control and something that must socially engineered out of existence by policies, laws and legal retribution.

And yes we intentionally used the word 'dogma.' Much of what are being promoted as unquestionable 'truths' on these subjects are not only unproven, but in many instances demonstrably false (e.g. "Violence never solved anything"). Offering a different point of view is risky. Daring to question the veracity of popular 'truths' about violence is often an invitation to a tirade worthy of a religious fanatic.

At Conflict Communications we contend popular denial, condemnation and ignorance don't protect people from the trauma of conflict and violence. They instead leave people vulnerable and more traumatized. Simply stated, teaching abstinence does not instill coping skills regarding a normal human behavior.

(the rest of the article)

Just had to share that with somebody, while I'm sitting here all elated that anti-violence neurosis really, truly, is wrong. And there's a logical case for it.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 29th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
Huh, this is interesting.

Just found this article on the site: http://www.conflictcommunications.com/conflictcycle.htm and I am really liking it. Simple way of putting into words something that I had been vaguely aware of on some level but not really understood yet. I think I've had a lot of fear and difficulty dealing with conflict because I'm so used to it flying out of the cycle in bad directions without getting resolved... but if it follows the cycle, it seems like it could be a generally healthy/productive thing.
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, I read through that one as well and it's helping a lot. Learning the patterns for these things is really useful, and getting some practical experience in watching them operate properly.
Aug. 30th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
I like it if there's patterns for things. Maybe if it goes in a pattern it's okay.
Aug. 30th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
Aug. 29th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
's a good article. Haven't read any of that site. It is fairly new. I should huh?!
I think I know the nononsense one off by heart (but they do keep adding to it!)
Rory Miller is pretty awesomely insightful as well as Marc.
I happen to agree btw, with the premise. And conflict resolution skills are barely considered or taught, and if they are they never go further than verbal conflict.

Shit, I never asked onlist for a Self defence course. Barely been there. When are you gonna be able to post? Still want me to do it for you?
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Thanks for that, re the premise. :) It really helps knowing that there are other people who see this in a similar way. That means the social conditioning is localized rather than planet-wide. :)

Re the list, I can't answer for Daria and Lin, it'll defeat a big part of the point if I tried to push them out of the way, and I seriously doubt either one would consent.
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC)
oh yeah, sure thing re daria and lin. If I have the energy I will check out the list today and just write up a question and post it anyway as I said I would, then. I just gotta have my wits about me when dealing with that mob, and the wits seemed to be off fighting bacteria this past week!

I think the conditioning is local. Quite a white middle-class thing I think. Well, probably a lot more than that but for eg, Weaver's bowhunting mate is from a real irish working class background and physical violence is just one of those realities you live with and partake of if the mood suits you, or someone pushes you too far, or worst crime of all, hurts someone you love.
But oddly enough the level of *emotional* and *social* violence is a lot lower around these people. Go figure huh?

Another element is when weapons are routinely involved, or carried. Like at the bowhunting club. Violence of ANY sort isn't condoned - except for a huge piss-up brawl at the christmas party or whatever! That is Expected! But in general interaction, no one gets worked up, or if they do they are treated in a way where that worked-up-edness is acknowledged and they are calmed down and listened too before it goes pear-shaped. With a whole lot of deadly weapons lying around, and everyone there having used said weapons to KILL things with, they all behave really differently than say the way they were to my friend at her work in her "cushy" white, middle-class, highly paid govt job. (and she is still recovering emotionally from their treatment) *shudders*

So yeah, definitely not global I don't think! (thankfully!)
Aug. 31st, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
About the list - how bout you just have our backs when we post? We can post as of tomorrow. I'll tell you when we do.

Plus do you just need another day for the lesson? Or are there questions you need to get one of our answers for? I know we've left a lot of them unanswered.

- Daria
Sep. 1st, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
Hi Daria,

I didn't see this till just now, and last night posted on the list for you lol!

And yep, when you do post on the list I will definitely have your back *smiles*

To be honest the whole lesson thing went out the window yesterday, stupid headache :-( (We don't usually get them right in the middle of the day, but yesterday we did and I couldn't function. Oh well...)
Will take a look at it all today, and listen to my intuition on it and put a lesson or whatever, up today.
Nov. 29th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
nice points :)

well, there's the pernicious myth that violence is a "primitive" instint which would spiral out-of-control if not for authoritarian reprsessive measures practiced by "civilised" modern humans

and then, there's an abundance of evidence that the members of anarchic hunter-gatherer communities are amongst the most gentle people on earth.

i would think that your bowhunting club is a lot closer to that "primitive" social model than a govenment office is.

of course, repression doesn't work. in the civilisised enviromnent, the repressed emotions find outlet in whatever subtle form escapes regulation; at which point they're beyond any form of social regulation, and do, indeed, spiral out-of-control

i've noticed that irish people are not just more accepting of violence than we english. they are also more cultered. they are more literate. They wrie better poetry, and they find it natural to read and appreciate poetry (whilst we english tend to regard that as the exclusive domain of the middle class... once you're old enough to have outgrown nursery rhymes). they sing and dance and make music, whilst we have been largely dispossessed of these things.we are relegated to the auditorium, unless we prove to have a special talent(in which case we're evelated above the common masses, so as to always retain a clear distinction)

i've had the privilege and pleasure, of working alongside africans, in a factory environment. most of them hail from small villages, where people still run around barefoot. they have more dignity than the rest of us. they have more native intelligence, seeminlgy. they lack a work-ethic and only do what needs to be done, no more (so they often get put down as "lazy"); they are non-judgmental; they sing as they work.

i think what the africans share with the irish is a personality and social structure, relatively undistorted by urbanisation and the powerful centralised hierarchical structures that come along with that; and the slavery and wage-slavery that come along with that. they retain their sensitivity, their creativity, their sense of automony, their self-respect. it is a bigger thing altogether than mere attitude to violence.

which is not exactly what i meant to say. but worth saying anyway, i think *grin*

Aug. 30th, 2010 01:12 am (UTC)
I think there's a difference between nonviolent conflict resolution and nonviolent conflict AVOIDANCE. Equating violence with conflict is a problematic assumption, I think.

Aug. 30th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
great icon *grins*

I think you and the people who wrote this article have different definitions of violence. I could be wrong (lemme know if I am!) but it sounds like you are using violence as a term for *physical* violence, whereas these authors are using the term for any kind of injurous or forceful action, including emotional, mental and social.

If you define violence as they do, I think you are saying the same as them!

(I know the authors hence I know what they mean when they use the term violence :-) in fact, in this or another essay, they explore the dictionary definition of violence, and its different levels of interpretation.)
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Ah, I was thrown off because the selection explicitly said "Physical violence" in the second sentence there, and then continued to use violence without clarifying, so I assumed it meant 'physical violence.'

Obviously I should, you know, READ THE WHOLE THING before commenting. Sorry.

Aug. 31st, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
lol! :-)
Aug. 30th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
LOL, tigerweave beat me to the punch. Aside from the stuff she said, I'd have to know more about your take in order to come up with any decent response. Like, why do you think it's a problematic assumption?
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
Just because violence and conflict are different things. For instance, there can be conflict without violence (shouting at each other, for instance, or just having a debate), and there can be violence without conflict (unless people are taking their rugby practice way too seriously).
Aug. 30th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Ah ok, just a question of different definitions then. Cool.
Aug. 30th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
That was a refreshing read. Thank you. I'm sure my friends over at http://twitter.com/ChurchofSatan would enjoy it too.

The interesting part about the comparison to sex as a 'former' taboo is that the segment of the populace that still considers sex a taboo is NOT the one associated with pacifism.
Aug. 30th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, I imagine your twittering friends would find a site like that quite enlightening.

Make war not love? Or maybe everybody's got to keep a treasure somewhere.
Nov. 29th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
hmm. i agree with much of what the article says, but i'm having a hard time seeing that violence is taboo. i live in a world where large scale violence between nations is promoted at least as much as abhorred, and conflict is meant to be resolved by by an over-ritualised and prohibitively expensive process which exacerbates the problem by pretending that there are only 2 possible points-of-view, one of which must be right, and the other wrong. i live in a world where conflict is out-of-control, same as the authors, bit i think that "violence is taboo" is an over-simplistic analysis of the causes at best.

it perhaps might be said that violence has come under state ownership and control, and that interpersonal conflict is marginalised and, as the authors say, abhorred rather than addressed.

it can definitely be said that modern humans lack the rituals for containing violence within reasonable bounds that other animals have. an observation also made by Erich Fromm, some decades back in "The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness"

Do read that book. I think you'll love it. :)

i woyld say , along with Fromm, that the problem goes deeper than denial of violence. More fundamentally. our culture denies, marginalises and suppresses our life-affirming insrtincts, which are bound to turn to violence, though being continually frustrated.

No, i don't mean sex lol. Read the book.
Feb. 24th, 2011 07:09 pm (UTC)
hey leonie :)

i followed your link. seems like an age ago..oops it was. my first visit to LJ in ages, though i did make a mental note to reply to your "Wanna be lj friends" with an enthusiastic "YES"

huh. guess that sounds a bit insincere after such a long interval

you'll get used to me (i hope)

walkie :)
Feb. 25th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
lol, no worries!

We'll go friend you back, if we didn't already.

- Imoh (Leonie is asleep atm)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )