Ideas & Tools for Building a Nonviolent World - a World without War

Preface: This section will be a collaborative effort to identify ideas and tool that are effective alternatives to violence. This includes techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective in managing conflict nonviolently within a given set of circumstances. Our goal is learn from each other by sharing constructive ideas.

The application of these ideas & tools will be further defined in the section on "Building"


Tool: "Fact Finding"

The technique of "fact finding" or "searching for truth" is a constructive strategy/tool used for nonviolent conflict management. Appropriate use of this tool contributes to the eventual de-escalation and nonviolent management of a conflict situation. Conversely, the strategy of deceiving, lying, and deliberately fabricating disinformation will escalate and inflame a conflict situation thereby increasing the risk of eventual violence. An inappropriate use of this technique would include "interrogation" of an enemy.

"Truth above all" is one of the principles of M. K. Gandhi's practice of nonviolence social action, called Satyagraha. It assumes a constant beneficient interaction between contestants with a view to their ultimate reconciliation.

Applicability: The technique of "fact finding"appears to apply to all levels of conflict:
a) internal conflicts and scripts we play within our own minds
b) conflict with another person as well as to conflicts between groups of people,
c) conflicts between nation states.

Effectiveness: At the risk of upsetting a number of people who are not analytically inclined, we propose to collect and document "effectiveness" data to help sort the grain from the chaff. One of the reasons peacemaking appears to be so difficult is that everybody and their siblings are developing their own 2 step, 5 step, 7 step, 10 step,... method. As is often the case, everyone is saying the same thing, yet each believes that "their way" is the only way. Also it appears that unless you have "your own way" of managing conflict, you are unable to sell your service. This desire for peace but choice to re-invent the wheel is actually counterproductive. As many of our nonviolent heroes have demonstrated, there is value in simplification - in seeing how we are all connected - in being conscious that our choices affect other people, other life, and the whole ecology of our planet.


Format for presenting "TOOLS & IDEAS"

The approach to presenting and organizing these effective alternatives to violence is still undefined.

There are a number of models available: for example, we could use the encyclopedia model and arrange information alphabetically in multiple "volumes." We could use the Sears Catalog / Yellow Pages model and arrange information by departments making the book only as big as one can carry. We could use the Montessori model and not display anything until you asked for it - then provide a search engine to locate just what you think you want, or we could use the service manual approach, information is arranged by category, by how you replace / repair the items, or by some service manuals present information by diagnostics, "Does the engine turn over? Yes go to page X, No. Go to page Y, .............

A personal favorite used earlier in some research was to arrange to tools in a pseudo chronological order consistent with how a conflict situation is first identified, and then how one goes about learning more about the problem while simultaneously developing a working relationship between the parties involved, and finally how one creates choices and selects a construct (win-win) path - Along the way each tool is identified - the What. There is a brief explanation on how to use the tool - the How. There is a description of Why this tool is used - the rationale- so that one has a better understanding of the context where it is useful. And there are Examples of people using the tool.

Rationale, Effectiveness,
References for further study
Comments on the effectiveness

Another model could be the parable - never say exactly what the tool is but allow the reader to infer -to use their own experiences to shape the tool. Story telling can be an effective way of presenting information

Your inputs would be appreciated

Discussion Groups

Exploring Nonviolent Alternatives to War 3-25-03
Famous Quotations (Search Service)