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Dialogue #06

Conflict (Sung)

Metaphors: Arguing / Dispute

Social When a dialogue encounters opposition in pursuing a course of action it considers appropriate, conflict arises which can only be usefully resolved by coming to terms with the opponent.


1. In its incipient stage, especially when the opposition is strong, it may be best for the dialogue to drop an issue rather than risk open conflict. (Resulting in: Careful conduct).

2. If the opposition is of superior strength, timely withdrawal by the dialogue may prevent undesirable consequences for the community as a whole. (Resulting in: Stagnation).

3. If the dialogue subordinates itself to a strong ally, conflict can be avoided by not acting to acquire prestige. (Resulting in: Encounter).

4. If the opposition is of weaker strength, the dialogue will have difficulty in justifying the success of any conflict and can best achieve its ends by redefining its goals. (Resulting in: Barrier dissolution).

5. If it is in the right, the dialogue can derive great benefit if the conflict takes place under the auspices of a powerful and just arbiter. (Resulting in: Transformation threshold).

6. If the dialogue carries the conflict successfully to the bitter end, it will find its success short lived and constantly exposed to further attack. (Resulting in: Adversity).

Transformation sequence When there is conflict a controlled threat eventually emerges to regulate it. (Resulting in: Controlled threat).

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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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