Also in last month''s Craig's News, I promoted my new Conflict Prevention course (also promoted below) and received feedback from C.T. Butler, co-author of On Conflict & Consensus, a handbook for Formal Consensus decisionmaking. This book has been foundational for me, as it has been for many in the field of consensus decisions making, so I was truly honored to hear from C.T. and absorb what he had to say.
Here's what he wrote: "I maintain that conflict is GOOD and should be allowed and supported rather than avoided, repressed, prevented or feared. War is NOT conflict (contrary to popular opinion). War is the resolution of conflict using violence; massive, organized violence. A conflict, and the inability or unwillingness to resolve it without resorting to violence, is what caused the war. Our culture has a problem with avoiding and denying conflict, with good reason. Collectively, our primary and almost only way to resolve (any) conflict is to use violence (power over) or the threat of violence."
C.T.'s book (with co-author Amy Rothstein) is based on the premise that we should not seek to prevent conflict but rather seek to resolve it without violence; by consensus for instance. C.T. makes an excellent point and I highly recommend his book. And at the same time I've decided to continue to help groups prevent conflict because I think we need both: strategies to prevent unnecessary harmful conflict AND peaceful ways to resolve all types of conflict.
Thank you for that feedback!