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Tribethink versus Worldthink Learning the Languages of War and Peace.

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Presentation on theme: "Tribethink versus Worldthink Learning the Languages of War and Peace."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tribethink versus Worldthink Learning the Languages of War and Peace

2  Why do we choose war?

3  What war? (Human Security Report, 2005, from the University of British Columbia )  Not my choice  Rational choice  No-win wars ( e.g. Davoodi, Clements, Schiff, & Dabaere, 2001; Collier, 1999)

4  Why do we choose war when peace is a better deal?

5 The five languages of war

6 1.The language of gain and god 2.The language of dominance and resistance 3.The language of good and evil 4.The language of regrettable necessity 5.The language of zealous allegiance

7 #1 The language of gain and god  “…of all the tasks which we have to face, the noblest and most sacred for mankind is that each racial species must preserve the purity of the blood which God has given it.”  – Adolf Hitler, Berlin speech of January 30, 1937, celebrating four years of Nazi rule

8 #2 The language of dominance and resistance  “As long as Jews cannot work in peace and security in their greenhouses, then the Arabs 4 meters from [murdered] Ronni Tsalah's greenhouses will not be able to work quietly in their field.”  – Settler Ayala Azran of Gush Katif, the Gaza strip.

9 #3 The language of good and evil  “States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”  – George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, January 2002.

10 #4 The language of regrettable necessity  “I would do it again today if it were against bin Laden.”  — French General Paul Aussaresses, speaking in November 2001 of atrocities and torture in which he was involved during his role in maintaining French dominance in Algeria

11 #5 The language of zealous allegiance  “The vast majority of the American people … support what we're doing … so if there's a backlash pending, I think the backlash is going to be against those who are suggesting somehow that we shouldn't take these steps in order to protect the country.”  — Richard Cheney to the Press, December 20, 2005

12  Languages

13  Languages  Meaning systems

14 The Last Four Languages of War

15 #2 The language of dominance and resistance  Victim rage  Intolerance of challenge  Reactance ( J. W. Brehm, 1966)  Hunter-gatherers, sedentary societies, & kleptocracies (Guns, Germs, & Steel, Jared Diamond, 1999)

16 #3 The language of good and evil  Moral vision & capuchin monkeys (Frans de Waal)  Plowshares into swords (Richard Nixon)  You can’t tell who’s right from the rhetoric (Bush & bin Laden)  Universalized ethics (John Rawls)

17 “ It may seem melodramatic to say that the US and Russia represent Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, God and the Devil. But if we think of it that way, it helps to clarify our perspective of the world struggle.” — Richard Nixon

18 #3 The language of good and evil  Moral vision & capuchin monkeys (Frans de Waal)  Plowshares into swords (Richard Nixon)  You can’t tell who’s right from the rhetoric (Bush & bin Laden)  Universalized ethics (John Rawls)

19 #4 The language of regrettable necessity  MAD ( Robert McNamara)  Existential threat & escalation  The Prisoner’s Dilemma (Rand Corporation, 1950, von Neumann & Morgenstern, 1944)  Logic hard to beat  Logic that can be dodged

20 #5 The language of zealous allegiance  The follower reflex (Gallup Organization, Boston Globe, Sept 13, 2003)  Media control  Feeding to the lions (B. Drainie, 2000, The Toronto Globe & Mail)

21 What is not published has not happened at all — Attributed to Sloboban Milosevic, International Court of Justice testimony, 2004

22 #5 The language of zealous allegiance  The follower reflex (Gallup Organization, Boston Globe, Sept 13, 2003)  Media control  Feeding to the lions (B. Drainie, 2000, The Toronto Globe & Mail)

23 Tribethink

24  Tribethink  Groupthink (Irving Janis, 1972)  Exclusive meaning system, a coherent mega-system of several subsystems  Oppositional identity  Sociological evidence

25 With God on our side, we will stand together as one to resist these evil attacks and deliver the stern justice that sadly is required. Gain and god Zealous allegiance Dominance and resistance Good and evil Regrettable necessity

26  Tribethink  Groupthink (Irving Janis, 1972)  Exclusive meaning system, a coherent mega-system of several subsystems  Oppositional identity  Sociological evidence

27 The tribal instinct hypothesis, Mark van Vugt, Justin Park  We make spontaneous in-group/out group categorizations and preferentially help in-group members over out-group members. Sometimes the in-group helping is quite costly.  Form deep emotional attachments to large anonymous groups that are merely symbolic in many ways, and stick with these groups even when we would be better off allying with other groups.  Dislike group members who are disloyal, scorning, excluding, and punishing them.  Show a differential tendency to derogate and actively harm out-group members, as well as thinking of them as less moral and trustworthy than members of the in-group.  Automatically tend to perceive intergroup contexts as competitive and hostile, in contrast with more generous perceptions around individual relations.  Sometimes do help across groups, form alliances, and develop good relations with individual members of other groups.  Allocate managing intergroup relations primarily to males, with intergroup aggression almost exclusively between coalitions of men, who are also the primary peacemakers.

28  Tribethink  Groupthink (Irving Janis, 1972)  Exclusive meaning system, a coherent mega-system of several subsystems  Oppositional identity  Sociological evidence

29 The puzzle of no-win wars Why do we choose war when peace is a better deal?  Tribethink  Exclusive meaning system focused on oppositional identity, incorporating several subsystems each psychologically powerful and problematic in itself

30 Worldthink

31  Tribethink  Worldthink

32  Exclusive  Inclusive meaning meaning system system

33 The inclusive meaning system 1.The language of mutual benefits and respect (rather than gain and god) 2.The language of checks and balances (rather than dominance and resistance) 3.The language of equitable justice (rather than good and evil) 4.The language of human rights (rather than regrettable necessity ) 5.The language of multiple identities (rather than zealous allegiance)

34  Exclusive  Inclusive meaning meaning system system

35 Fostering worldthink

36 Fostering worldthink as an educative process  Critical awareness  Visceral experience  The language of action civil protest, satyagraha (Gandhi), civil disobedience (Thoreau, 1864), more acceptable (Helen Haste)  Managing reality dissonance (Yigal Rosen)

37 Fostering worldthink as a social commitment  Lessons from the teaching of history (Justin Reich, Mario Carretero)  The crucial chemistry of attitudes and the law  Leaders to peace

38 shared attitudes legal structural support

39 Fostering worldthink as a social commitment  Lessons from the teaching of history (Justin Reich, Mario Carretero)  The crucial chemistry of attitudes and the law  Leaders to peace

40  Question to Mohandas Ghandi  What is your view of Western Civilization?  Answer I think it would be a very good idea.


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