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Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future

Chapter Six: The Future Human

Section 13: Conflict Resolution

 

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Greek Dance by Thessaloniki Dancers at Greek Festival, Saturday, May 30, 1998, St. Nicholas Church, San Jose, California.

 

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Because perspectives and interests can never be completely shared, conflict is inherent in the human condition:

 

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One of the few safe generalizations about human existence is that conflict will always be with us. Nor would one wish it otherwise, for conflict adds zest to life; it is the spur to growth and change, and the means by they occur. Through engaging in conflicts, individuals develop their social and communicative skills, strength of character, self-confidence, and awareness of the scope and limits of their powers. Similarly, and social organization and structure grow out of clashes of interest and struggles for dominance between individuals and subgroups within each society. (Sanity and Survival, Jerome D. Frank, p. 257).

 

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While conflict produces many socially desirable outcomes, it is costly, and it is important to develop effective means of resolving conflicts.

 

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The most straightforward solution is to have one party's will dominate the other's: "The most effective way of imposing one's will has always been to make the opponent suffer until he gives in or to kill him if he persists in his obstinacy." (Sanity and Survival, p. 260). However, such strategies are risky for the opponents, and they are a waste of human resources from the society's perspective. Using Roger Fisher's analysis, even the victor,  having expended considerable resources to win, may have sacrificed some power so as to be in a worse position with respect to future conflicts with new opponents.

 

 

 

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