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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.

Sub-conditions:

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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