Violence in society and politics, whether in the form of war, terrorism, dictatorship, oppression, usurpation, or genocide, is widely recognized as a grave problem.
All the proposals to solve the problem of violence, or particular expressions of it, have been unsuccessful. It is probable that the problem remains unsolved because such proposals have been based on inadequate understandings of its nature. Without understanding a problem, it is difficult, if not impossible, to solve it.
The objective of this essay is to explore a different perspective on the nature of the problem of widespread violence in society and politics that suggests what will be required for its resolution.
We need to analyze the conditions under which it will be possible to reduce drastically the reliance on military and other violent means of conflict. We need to examine why violence is so widely regarded as necessary for good causes as well as for bad ones, and how fundamental change away from that syndrome might be achieved.
The perspective in this essay is simple, but perhaps fundamental to solving the problem of violence in political and international conflicts.