“Conflict resolution in the peaceful societies … is based on assumptions about human relations and social patterns that are quite different from those of modem societies. For instance, people in the peaceful societies strongly believe they should avoid, and if they can’t avoid then they should quickly resolve, all conflicts. They view nonviolence as absolutely essential to the proper functioning of their societies. In contrast, Western social scientists and popular writers believe that conflict is an inevitable, and to some extent productive, aspect of human societies which we must learn to manage effectively.”
This quote from a 1996 journal article about conflict resolution in peaceful societies by the author of this website has just been scanned and added as a PDF to the Archive. A few more quotes from the text of the article will help give a flavor of the work.
“The predominant world-views of Western societies … proclaim the ideology of love, peace, cooperation, and generosity, but accept conflict, aggression, competition, and violence as inevitable aspects of human nature and human societies. Conflict resolution, in this view, is just a process – a strategy or series of strategies for settling disputes.
“Such attitudes toward conflict would not be shared by peaceful peoples. While many of them would recognize that conflict is a problem at times in their societies, none would see it as beneficial.
“The basic reason for peacefulness in these societies is that the people are strongly opposed to actual physical violence and firmly in favor of nonviolence, in contrast to neighboring, and sometimes very similar, communities that may only pay lip service to the ideals of peace and are, in actual practice, far more violent.
“The peaceful peoples not only believe fervently in their world-views of nonviolence: in general, they have internalized those beliefs and adhere to them very strictly, using primarily internal controls to prevent and resolve conflicts, as has been discussed earlier. In other societies that claim they have nonviolent values, but have not really internalized them, people rely primarily on external controls for preventing and resolving conflicts.
“The peaceful peoples settle conflicts with outsiders by using nonviolent strategies which are quite comparable to the techniques they use for resolving internal disputes. Western societies, in general, view force and violence as a necessary, and at times justifiable, aspect of external relations.”