- Consensus Building - Always seek the win/win, and avoid unnecessary conflicts.
- Non-aggression - Never initiate violence.
- Conflict Resolution - Develop the skills needed to calm tempers and de-escalate tensions.
The ability to maintain peace and security within a group, and in relation to neighboring groups is vital. This duty is, and has always been our responsibility. However for generations we have outsourced these functions to other groups of humans, often thousands of miles away, who claim the monopoly on violence, money and truth within a given region. As the current system weakens, this responsibility must be picked up again on a community level. The transition must be guided by principle.
Most would agree that it’s “not right” to punch the neighborhood kid in the face and take his toy. But where does that feeling of “NOT RIGHT!” or “That’s NOT OK!” come from?
Some frame the concept of non-aggression as a moral principle, but moral principles could also be described as expressions of the tribal instinct. Such principles resonate deeply in the human psyche, and are easily reawakened because for eons they have facilitated the stability (and therefore survival) of groups which hold to them.
This assertion can be tested. Game theory has established that the most successful strategy in experiments modeled around conflict, is tit for tat: never attack, retaliate in kind.
Tit for tat was a mathematically consistent selective pressure (those who attack first reduce their chance of survival). Instincts are adapted to that pressure.
This is why every human culture has some concept of the right to self defense. It’s also why most societies condemn aggression, and why states always claim to be attacked when they want to start a war.
The retaliation instinct is counter balanced by empathy. Conflict resolution and consensus building improve outcomes by preventing long cycles of retaliation, and averting escalations before they start.