Other Books on This site
Democide: Nazi Genocide....
Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix (entire)
Vol. 4: War, Power, Peace (entire)
Vol. 5: The Just Peace (entire)
The Miracle That Is Freedom (entire)
Understanding Correlation (entire)
Article: "Understanding Factor Analysis" (entire)
Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix (entire)
Vol. 4: War, Power, Peace (entire)
Vol. 5: The Just Peace (entire)
The Miracle That Is Freedom (entire)
Understanding Correlation (entire)
Article: "Understanding Factor Analysis" (entire)
- Chapter 1. Introduction and Summary
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Perspectives
- 3. Summary
Part I. CONFLICT IN PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
- Chapter 2. Aggression and the Conflict Helix
- 2.1. Approaches to Aggression
- 2.2. The Nature of Aggression
- 2.3. Temperament and Needs
- 2.4. Attitudes and Interests
- 2.5. Perception, Expectations, and Behavioral Dispositions
- 2.6. Moods and States
- 2.7. The Psychological Field of Aggression
- 2.8. And the Conflict Helix
- Chapter 3. Frustration, Deprivation, Aggression, and the Conflict Helix
- 3.1. Frustration
- 3.2. Relative Deprivation
- 3.3. Injustice Vector
- 3.4. And the Conflict Helix
- Chapter 4. Misperception, Cognitive Dissonance, Righteousness, and Conflict
- 4.1. Misperception
- 4.2. Cognitive Dissonance
- 4.3. Expectations
- 4.4. Righteousness
Part II. CONFLICT IN SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE
- Chapter 5. Marxism, Class Conflict, and the Conflict Helix
- 5.1. Marx and Class Conflict
- 5.2. Dahrendorf's Class and Class Conflict
- 5.3. And the Conflict Helix
- 5.4. A Note on Status
- 5.5. A Note on Property and Authority
- Chapter 6. Same and Other; Similarity and Difference
- 6.1. likes Attract; Unlikes Repel
- 6.2. Similarity and Dissimilarity; Solidarity and Antagonism
- 6.3. Same and Other
- 6.4. Concordance in Norms
- 6.5. Similarity and Opposition in Values
- 6.6. And the Conflict Helix
- Chapter 7. Cross-Pressures, Overpopulation, Anomie, and Conflict
- 7.1. Cross-Pressures
- 7.2. Overpopulation
- 7.3. Anomie
- Chapter 8. Conflict as a Process and the Conflict Helix
- 8.1. Sorokin on Conflict
- 8.2. Marx
- 8.3. Chalmers Johnson
- 8.4. Lewis Fry Richardson
- 8.5. Change
- 8.6. Cycles
Part Ill. CONFLICT IN PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE
- Chapter 9. Opposition, Determinism, Inevitability, and Conflict
- 9.1. The Conflict of Opposites
- 9.2. Determinism
- 9.3. Inevitability
- Chapter 10. Intentional Humanism
Peace makes plentie, plentie makes pride,|
Pride breeds quarrell, and quarrell brings warre:
Warre brings spoile, and spoile povertie,
Povertie pacience, and pacience peace:
So peace brings warre and warre brings peace.
----George Puttenham, The Art of English Poesie, 1589
Field is the fundamental orienting concept for me. It is dynamic and holistic, involving a continuous spread through psychological space of energy or potentiality that is the seat of psychological forces. We are seen individually as this dynamic psychological field of dispositions and powers, and humanity collectively appears as a dialectical balance of these individual fields.
Through this field orientation, perception is an active balancing between our reaching out to transform reality within our perspective and the powers of reality to manifest themselves. We are no passive victims of external powers; rather than being a dart board for stimuli, we are their active combatant. Conflict begins in the very act of our perception.
Perception eventuates in behavior depending on three other aspects of the psychological field. One is the perceived situation calling for some kind of behavior. The second is our behavior dispositions, or our tendency to behave in a particular way in this perceived situation. The third is our expectations, our predictions of the outcomes of our behavioral possibilities. And the fourth is our personality. Our specific behavior is a result of our weighting our behavioral dispositions by our expectations, and of our weighting of our personality by the situation we perceive. This is the behavioral equation: we behave in a situation as we perceive it, as our personality is engaged, as our disposition are activated, and as our expectations are relevant.
We are not just a structure; we are an active participant in reality, a directed field. We have orienting needs, drives, goals, and interests: the seat of the dynamic potentiality of our field. Interests are energized attitudes rooted in our major needs involving sex, hunger, gregariousness, protectiveness, curiosity, security, and self-assertion. The attitudes cluster into sentiments, of which the most important are the superego--providing our basic normative steerage--and self-sentiment. The self-sentiment defines attitudes clustering around our superordinate goal, which is the enhancement, development, and maintenance of self-esteem.
We are future-oriented. We organize and integrate our psychological field toward enhancing our self-esteem, as illustrated in Figure 20.2 (from Chapter 20 of The Dynamic Psychological Field). To comprehend our behavior is to identify the future goals in which we invest our esteem.
Are we then free to select our goals, determine our future, correct our deficiencies? To answer; we need an understanding of the self and will. The self is a power we come to know through confrontation with external powers and the inner forces we try to control. It is a power consisting of our ego, which coordinates and controls our activities; our self-sentiment that through our superordinate self-esteem goal provides the perspective within which our self actualizes our potentials; our superego consisting of the rules guiding our self.
Our will is a facet of our self, exercising choice between alternatives, applying practical reason, and bringing our self to act.
Is our will then free to choose? Defining freedom as the power to generate or create actions independently, as spontaneous originality, we cannot know whether the will is free. We can, however, argue for the possibility that the same actions can be determined at the level of phenomena, thus are free at the underlying level of things-in-themselves. It is possible for our reason to be independent of natural laws and causality, and to originate actions. Therefore, as a moral choice of reason, let us hypothesize our freedom.
It is not sufficient to posit our freedom or to describe us as a field, however. There must be an ethics integrating basic assumptions, framing solutions to our problems. Intentional humanism is such an ethic. Its descriptive basis is our psychological and social fields, and reality as potentiality actualized through our perception; its normative basis is humanity as the pivotal value. At the center of reality is our mentality, distinguished by intellectual faculties and moral capacity. This reality is given scale and perspective for us only by our meanings, values, and intentions.
This brief introduction summarizes my The Dynamic Psychological Field. But a psycho-philosophical analysis provides only part of the foundation requisite for understanding conflict. We must also uncover the nature and bases of social behavior; of the nature of social perception and social distance; of status, class, and power; of society and culture. Moreover, we must directly engage the nature of social conflict and violence.
This is done in my following volume, Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix. There, our social perception is described as a balance between the power of another to force a perception on us and our own perspective. This balance is a field of expression, a totality of another's words, dress, gestures, and physical appearance, perceived within our psychological field. We give this field of expression unity by imputing to it causal structure, or by seeing it in terms of reasons or intentions. It is this field of expression toward which we behave, socially.
Social interaction comprises acts, actions, or practices that people mutually orient toward each other's selves. It is our behavior that tries to influence or take into account another's subjective experiences or intentions, and such behavior is familistic, contractual, or compulsory.
The fields of expressions of socially interacting, mutually perceiving individuals, form a sociocultural field with these aspects. It is a complex of interdependent social interactions, a space of vehicles carrying meaning and values. It is a force field generated by people's goals and motives, attitudes and interests, sentiments and roles, capabilities, and wills. It is a medium of sociocultural meanings, values, and norms. And it is the seat of field processes--the dynamic adjustments of interests called the conflict helix.
Of special importance is social distance as a field force, particularly the distance-components of status, power, and class. Status is a bundle of characteristics that are held to be desirable by consensus; it is a cluster of positive-valued aspects of our fields of expression read by others: our wealth, prestige, and power.
Power can be either social or nonsocial. In the latter case it is the assertive power of all beings toward identity or the use of physical force. Social power is intentionally oriented toward another self, toward getting another to choose in certain ways. As Figure 21.1 ( from Chapter 21 of Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix) indicates, there are six forms of social power: coercive, bargaining, intellectual, authoritative, altruistic, and manipulative.
Coercive and authoritative power underlie class distinctions, especially as seen through the concept of antifield. An antifield restrains, neutralizes or annihilates the free adjustment of individuals to field forces, and the most relevant type of antifield is the coercive organization. Through authoritative roles resting on coercive power, the social interaction between individuals in such an organization is regulated by command. Fields and antifields are opposites--as one advances, the other must recede. As coercion spreads, spontaneous interaction disappears.
There are two classes: those who command and those who obey, which is determined by the distribution of power to command in a group. Classes are thus dispositional conflict groups, delimiting the propensity to oppose or defend the status quo. They are reservoirs for interest groups and political parties.
Class struggle must become a political struggle. The state at any one time is an image of class conflict and balance, and the more power at the center the more a class-conflict front dichotomizes society.
The foregoing statements provide insight into conflict as a category and a process.
As a philosophical category, conflict is a balancing of vectors of power. It is the pushing and pulling, the giving and taking, the process of finding a balance between powers. Social conflict is then this confrontation of social powers; it is exclusively an aspect of social power.
Conflict consists of the levels of potentiality, dispositions, and manifestations. As potentiality, conflict is the space of all possible conflicts: the realm of potential opposing vectors of power, a conflict-space. As dispositions opposing each other within this space, conflict is a structure. As opposing powers and their indeterminate balancing, conflict is a situation.
Meanings, values, norms, status, and class are the common components of conflict-space, of potential conflict, and indeed, of our sociocultural space, as shown in Figure 29.1 ( from Chapter 29 of Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix). Potentiality becomes the actuality of opposing dispositions in the structure of conflict. Opposing dispositions are opposing attitudes that lie along the common components delineating the similarities and dissimilarities among people. That is, cultural, status, and class distances are elements defining peoples' opposing dispositions. For dispositions to oppose, however, for there to be a structure of conflict, people also must be aware of one another.
A situation of conflict is created by attitudes transformed into interests. Interests, which is a drives toward specific goals, are a necessary condition of a situation of conflict. Also involved in a situation of conflict are capabilities and expectations, particularly those defining the credibility of--the will to carry out--promises, threats, authority, expertise, love. Capability involves the resources we have to manifest our interest. Together, interests, capability, and will define a situation of conflict.
We achieve a balance of interests in three ways: routinely within a structure of expectations, psychologically by our will inhibiting or transforming an interest to facilitate our striving for self-esteem, and in conflict, by our will actively pursuing an interest in direct confrontation with other wills. In the latter case, there is balancing of interests through conflict behavior. Such balancing is initiated by a trigger event that calls for a new structure of expectations between, disrupts the prevailing structure, or serves as the last straw regarding expectations incongruent with current interests and capabilities. Therefore, the two major elements in initiating a balancing of powers are will and trigger.
Once triggered, conflict behavior manifests the acts, actions, or practices involved in the balancing of powers. Such behavior is not necessarily violent, nor coercive, forceful, or antagonistic. Rather, conflict behavior mirrors the balancing of social power in its many forms, and it can be familistic and contractual, as well as antagonistic.
This confrontation between powers ends in accommodation--a balance of powers. This defines a structure of expectations, or social order--the rules, agreements, contracts, understandings, and so on, determined through the balancing of opposing powers. Society is interlaced by such orders, created at various levels and segmented in diverse ways.
If left undisturbed, social interaction is an upward spiral of increasing order and stability, a helix (Figure 29.1). The balancing of power produces the structure of expectations, which is a balance among the capabilities, interests, and wills of the parties involved. Change in these elements, however, causes the structure of expectations to become increasingly incongruent with the underlying balance. This incongruence produces a strain toward rebalancing--toward conflict. Eventually the strain is such that a minor event can easily disrupt the structure and trigger a rebalancing. All our social interaction is either a balancing--conflict behavior--or a cooperative interaction that reflects the structure of expectations.
The foregoing general view of social conflict introduces my primary concern, namely, collective conflict at the level of societies and states.
Societies are sociocultural fields or antifields. Generated by interests (powers), interconnected through the medium of meanings, values, and norms, laced by the forces of sociocultural distances and moved by the efforts of diverse wills, societies are multifold entities of different, overlapping intersecting, and nested structures of expectations. In other words, society is a complex of balances of powers.
Three such complexes can be discriminated at the level of state-societies. One is the authoritative society, with a prevailing authoritative power based on legitimacy. A second is the exchange society, which is permeated by bargaining power and emphasizes rewards and promises. The third is the coercive society, an organization founded on threats and deprivation.
Regardless of type, each state-society has a political system that is a structure of expectations authoritatively governing the state. It may be characterized as open or closed, as allowing or controlling group autonomy, as normatively based, or past, present, or future oriented. These characteristics define a two-dimensional political space in which three types of political system--libertarian (liberal democratic), authoritarian, and totalitarian--exist in a triangular relationship. This triangle can be further refined according to contemporary political formulas to locate on its sides anarchism, welfare liberalism, conservatism, fascism, and democratic socialism.
The political triangle (Figure 31.3 from Chapter 31 of Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix) overlays society, where the communist and dynastic systems are the most prevalent manifestations of the totalitarian and authoritarian types, respectively. The different political systems are congruent with the different types of social system: exchange societies have libertarian systems, authoritative societies have authoritarian systems, and coercive societies have totalitarian systems.
All societies represent the outcome of the conflict process, comprise structures of expectations, and are built on multiple and overlapping balances of powers among individuals. Thus we can draw the following general propositions for conflict and violence at the level of societies (which were empirically tested in Part IX of Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix)
- Aggregate conflict manifestations are random across societies in relation to their specific structures of expectations.
- Certain kinds of change produces conflict, namely, the change that alters power relationships promotes conflict, and the change from one society (power configuration) to another type involves the most violence; as the change (rate) in education and communication increases relative to economic development, the probability of conflict also grows. Therefore, the ratio of the growth in social consciousness in society to its development provides a measure of the rigidity of the status quo and the likelihood of conflict.
- Power shapes conflict. All modern states are antifields to some extent, and the front between antifield and social field is the region of potential social storms. Across societies there is a curvilinear relationship between elite force and manifest conflict.
- There are three dimensions of conflict, each associated with a particular type of state-society.
- Exchange societies manifest pluralistic conflicts or turmoil, such as riots and demonstrations, and conflict behavior generally involves relatively isolated groups, events, or issues. Conflict may occasionally spread across such a society, but the freedom to remove political elites and influence public policy, and the conflict defusing function of competitive political parties, provide mechanisms for bargaining and compromise far short of revolutionary violence. Moreover, multiple group and class memberships create cross-pressures inhibiting the formation of a conflict front across the entire society.
- Authoritative societies manifest communal-traditional conflict. The major divisions traversing these societies are communal, often based on homogeneity of race, language, and tribal membership, as well as territorial separation. Where communal activities are left alone by the state, conflict is minimal. But where authoritarian rulers try to extend their legitimacy over such communities, communal violence is often the result. This conflict is exacerbated if racial-language-tribal cleavages are also the line of class divisions.
- Coercive societies manifest elite violence. In coercive societies conflict is manifested by class terror and repression, and by elite purges. Coercive societies are the most violent, being responsible for more deaths in this century than occurred in the two world wars.
Some for renown, on scraps of learning dote,|
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
----Edward Young, Love of Fame
In sum, the social field is a continuum of latent meanings, values, norms, statuses, and classes. It is the seat of social powers. We strive to manifest these powers through others to gratify our interests and our superordinate goal. Powers then meet, conflict, balance, and conflict again. The field is alive. The process of conflict--the conflict helix--is a dynamic swirl of manifest activity and latent potentialities and dispositions, but with an order and direction.
This is the most abstract understanding of the social field and conflict. It constitutes a perspective on the social "things-in-themselves" that underlie social phenomena. It deals with categories of the understanding essential for cognitively organizing these phenomena, with the most fundamental perspective on society, with an ontology of conflict.
But this comprehension of social conflict is unfamiliar to most social scientists; indeed, most will be unsympathetic to an approach less concerned with empirical patterns and dependencies than with their latent aspects, which we can never know concretely. Indeed, after working through the previous volumes (The Dynamic Psychological Field, and Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix), the reader may ask with some exasperation: What about aggression or frustration-aggression? What about relative deprivation? What about misperception, overpopulation, class-conflict, and stereotyping? What about poverty, inequality, and exploitation? What about competition and cross-pressures? What about anomie, the conflict of values, and change? What about the processes of conflict proposed by Sorokin, Coleman, and others? What about violence in the form of war or revolution? And the more philosophical may ask: What about the conflict of opposites? What about fate or cause and effect? What about the inevitability of conflict?
These important questions are considered in the following chapters. For the power of the field perspective can best be seen and understood in its ability to encompass, clarify, or confront prevailing scientific and common-sense views of conflict. But to deal with these questions imposes a burden. The literature on conflict and violence is vast. The approaches, views, and conclusions are varied, contrasting, and often contradictory. Yet I must encompass this literature, whether it deals with war, riots, strikes, family quarrels, juvenile delinquency, gangs, politics, assassinations, or revolutions; whether the approach be anthropological, sociological, economic, philosophical, or political; whether the method be historical, descriptive, philosophical, or quantitative.
To demonstrate that the conflict helix underlies all conflict, we must deal with concrete conflict as seen through our many perspectives. To do this comprehensively, however, requires summarizing various views and approaches within a direction. But my interest will be less in presenting a view of conflict per se, such as frustration-aggression, than in sketching the view sufficiently to show its relationship to or contradiction of the conflict helix. Thus certain favorite or theories or views inevitably receive less discussion than some would wish, and certain faddish explanations of conflict are only mentioned in passing.
Three perspectives dominate theories and explanations of conflict, and these serve to organize my discussion. The first perspective is psychological. The explanation for conflict, its source or causes, lies in our nature, psychological processes, or attributes. Thus we conflict because we are aggressive, frustrated, insecure, altruistic, or selfish; because of our status or poverty; because of our learning, ignorance, or cultural learning; because of our misperception, misunderstanding, or stereotypes; because of ignorance.
The second perspective is sociological. We conflict because of the social situation, the context within which we find ourselves. Here conflict is understood as an aspect of cooperation and differentiation, as a result of nonsegmented pressures, overpopulation, or the lack of external threats. It is due to social distance, social class, contact, relative power, or inequality; to inconsistent values or norms. This perspective includes the dispute between the functional and conflict models; the Classical Liberal and Marxists views of conflict; and the contemporary revisions of von Mises, Dahrendorf, and Rex. This perspective also includes the view that conflict is simply a manifestation (or instrument) of change; it reflects a transition period between cultural types or a breakdown in crystallized values and norms; it constitutes a set of phases of crystallizing and disintegrating congruences between expectations and gratifications; it is a political process through which a status quo is tested and altered; or it constitutes a cyclic phenomenon.
The third perspective is philosophical: conflict is seen as the incessant and natural clash of opposites, determined and inevitable. The normative implications of conflict can be viewed from this perspective, especially regarding what is individually just.
Of course to label perspectives on conflict as psychological, sociological, or philosophical is an idealization of the literature, since the same explanation may cross perspectives and mix levels. Generally, however, we can locate a view as being more in one of these perspectives than another, and I do this in the following chapters.
One final introductory comment. My intention is not to present a bibliographic review of this literature, but an intellectual synthesis in relation to the conflict helix. I refer to particular works for purposes of clarification or exemplification, or because they are central to various views on conflict. If the reader's favored works are slighted, I trust their major ideas have been encompassed in the discussion nonetheless.
- Aggression. Aggression is a disposition, power, or manifestation characterized by assault, attack, invasion. The core notion is of a forceful setting upon, either as tendency or behavior. In social relations it is a disposition to behave towards others offensively, and it is woven into the process of conflict. Aggression does not cause conflict; it innately characterizes the manifesting process. Aggressive needs add fuel to the process, aggressive attitudes add substance, aggressive temperaments add style. Regardless of source, however, aggression is a manifestation within a conflict process.
- Frustration-aggression. Frustration is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause of aggression.
- Relative deprivations. For an understanding of conflict, relative deprivation is most appropriately understood as a sense of injustice in comparison with others. This sense of injustice fundamentally defines the class consciousness necessary to the class struggle within all organizations, including the state.
- Misperception. Misperceptions may underlie conflict, which then can be seen as a means for correcting the misperceptions or enabling people to cooperate despite them. Manifest conflict, however, also can result from a real opposition of interests and true perceptions.
- Cognitive dissonance. Dissonance operates as part of the conflict helix in its social significance. It may create opposing interests and provoke their balancing, and it may be rectified by the resulting conflict. However conflict is also manifest without dissonance.
- Expectations. Although the expectation of conflict can contribute to its inception, expectations do not create opposing interest, nor do they necessarily influence the perception of other's capabilities and wills (credibility). These other aspects discipline and limit the effect of expectations on the occurrence of conflict.
- Righteousness. Our feelings about how we ought to be treated are basic to understanding conflict and violence at the level of societies. As a central ingredient in the class struggle, righteousness provides an explanation for the appeal of a political formula. Such moral conflicts have been the most bitter and violent in our history.
- Marxism. Marx's emphasis on conflict, classes, and their relationship to the state and social change, is a powerful perspective shared by the conflict helix.
- Cross-pressures. The presence in society of multiple groups, interests, classes, and statuses guarantees the existence of a constant level of conflict across society, but also ensures that the intensity and scope of conflict will be limited. Freedom for the individual assures the development of conflict-limiting cross-pressures.
- Overpopulation. Population density is generally unrelated to conflict. Its importance depends on the meanings, values, and norms associated with the number of people present. Crucial is the subjective significance of density, and this is a matter of culture and related structures of expectations.
- Anomie. Anomie is a condition of an incongruent structure of expectations, primed for a trigger provoking manifest conflict and the creation of a new structure. Extensive crime and disorder, extensive disobedience and "immoral" behavior, are signs that the societal consensus--the societal structure of expectations--is inadequate.
- Similarity and dissimilarity. The distance vectors between people on the common components of sociocultural space--that is, their differences in language, religion-philosophy, ethics-law, science, fine arts, wealth, power, prestige, and class--are relevant to the nature and intensity of their conflict. Differences in attitudes and interests lie along these distance vectors, and the concordance in norms between individuals in interaction is a function of their structure of expectations. Antagonism will be generated between people as they are distant in their expectations and interests. However the overt expression of this antagonism depends on the conflict process.
- Change. The perspective on conflict as a helix is a dynamic view that is related to the process theories of Pitirim Sorokin, Karl Marx, Chalmers Johnson, and Lewis Fry Richardson. Change affects conflict insofar as change promotes an incongruence between underlying capabilities, interests, and wills, and the structure of expectations. The breakdown in such expectations and their restructuring through conflict is the universal adjustment to change.
- The conflict of opposites. The conflict helix--the process of balancing, balance, disruption, and balancing--is a unity of opposites through which society changes and evolves. Conflict transforms itself into harmony, and harmony into conflict; war into peace, and peace into war. Both are aspects of the same process, an inseparable unity in the social field.
- Determinism. The same social phenomenon can be viewed as either free or determined. Located in the phenomenological realm, an event is determined by the process of conflict; as a manifestation of our underlying reason and will, however, it reflects our freedom. Whether we see an action as free or determined depends on our intentions as social scientists. If our interest is in the moral aspects of the process, in what ought to be in the future, in what we can create through such a process, then we can emphasize our underlying freedom.
- Inevitability. Is conflict inevitable? Yes, insofar as we are members of society we must establish a balance with others, for conflict is the process for doing so. Moreover, we cannot escape coercion, thus coercive conflict; but we can determine its scope, amount, and direction through the society that we create.
- The inevitability of violence. A most basic and frequent motive for collective violence is altruistic or fraternal, a concern for our fellows or humanity in general. But the occurrence of violence is usually due to a crisis of legitimacy, an ambiguity of coercive power between contending groups, and a weakening of credibility. It is a product of change and is shaped by power. Some violence in society is inevitable, although its scope and intensity varies among societies. Exchange societies have the least violence; coercive the most.
- And intentional humanism: the view of conflict as a helix is consistent with an ethics that sees us as free, creative, responsible, and teleological. Indeed, the helix is the sociological plane of intentional humanism, as the dynamic psychological field is its psychological plane.
- Freedom, social justice, and conflict. These are interdependent; in the final analysis they must be considered together for an understanding of conflict, of freedom, or of individual justice.
- Freedom as among the highest values. Only we can decide for ourselves our interests, costs, and ethical constraints.
- As an individual question, not a societal one, justice is the balance of powers. What is just for the individual cannot be imposed by the state. For to do so is to impose on the many what a powerful few define as just.
- Maximal freedom will minimize violence and extreme conflict. Freedom creates diversity, overlapping group memberships, and crosscutting interests, ties, and classes. This segments conflict and drains it off before a conflict front can form across the entire society.
- Maximal freedom will check and balance the aggrandizement of coercive power. If diversity is enabled to develop and individuals are free to strike their own balances, opposition based on differing interests will curb aggrandizing power.
- The ultimate solution to violent conflict is freedom and decentralization of state power.
* Scanned from Chapter 1. Typographical errors have been corrected, clarifications added, and style updated.