noun /konflikt/ 1 a serious disagreement or argument. 2 a prolonged armed struggle. 3 an incompatibility between opinions, principles, etc.: a conflict of interests.
verb /konflikt/ be incompatible or at variance with.
— DERIVATIVES conflictual adjective.
— ORIGIN Latin conflictus ‘a contest’.
Where on earth would we be without conflict?
The primary question is: would an accurate understanding of human conflict bring society any closer to the removal of conflict from the global community in the key areas of individual, territorial, sovereign, scientific and belief debates?
The secondary question is: what is the theory of conflict in as much as how does it exist in nature and is it possible to link the first occurrence of conflict in nature with the human experience of conflict?
The tertiary question is: Can the origin of conflict be traced to its first occurrence?
The tertiary question is easy to answer; the answer is ‘no.’
The secondary question would be easy to answer were it not for the suggestion that human conflict can be traced to the existence of conflict in nature. Without putting too fine a point on the question; can the existence of the universe possibly be the result of some unknown, untraceable cosmic conflict and if that should be the case, does it explain the prevalence of conflict in almost every corner of the human experience? The primary or baseline conflict, as such, is that conflict between the artificial world as devised by man and the natural world.
While some people – this author included – hold that the universe came about through a happy, chemical accident some billions of years earlier (even before of Wheel of Fortune). Then there are the newcomers who adopted the notion some two or three thousand years ago that suggesting the universe was created at the pleasure of grand architect.
Creation by design is popular among the religions today on both sides of the Christian-Muslim conflict; this point at least is one they can agree on. Creation by happenstance, on the other hand, seems to be, ironically, the scientific view; that’s at least one thing that scientists for the most part can agree on. However, what if the answer lies somewhere buried in the notion that the designer and chemistry were in conflict and that the result was the universe – a monument, in other words, to conflict.
And conflict itself, in the modern or earthly experience is the shackle that binds us all.
"The great masses of people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. Especially if it is repeated over and over."
While the notion that lying to the public on a daily basis may somehow influence the masses is attributed to Hitler, it would be comical to think that it was he who first came up with idea. Equally, today advisers to US presidents simply need to remind their charges of the effects of the repeated lie and hey presto a new conflict is born.
The lie appears to be conflict’s womb.
Hitler lied about the Jews, Bush lied about WMDs, the west lied when if offered aid to Africa, and the Europeans lied to the North American first nations. The list of deceptions is long and it is safe to say that the Taleban are lying to the Afghanis and certainly safe to say that al-Qaeda is lying through its cloth-covered teeth to the peoples of the mid-east.
The conflicts are enough to attest to the lies; what more evidence is needed?
Inner conflict, that old villain, waits silently ready pounce in the event that external conflict should for one brief moment take a breather. And it is at the doorstep of inner conflict that the blame so often is laid when broader conflict erupts. Not wishing to dwell on the gentleman, but it is well-accepted beyond postulation at least that Hitler’s inner conflict was soon to manifest itself in the lie that all but brought the world to its knees as the resultant conflict raged.
Whether in its most fundamental form, inner, external, personal, communal, international or galactic it would seem that conflict is of itself as natural a part of life as, say, death. Avoidance of conflict is seemingly impossible. Eradication of conflict is a stillborn concept. The question remains; what precisely is the DNA of conflict? How may it be described molecule by molecule? It cannot exist simply in our heads, figmental or imagined without biological or chemical trace.
When manifest, conflict is tangible to say the least. Our hospitals and war zones are credible witness to the tastes, smells and sounds of conflict. When gestating however where does conflict reside? Where did conflict first take root? Perhaps the question by now is irrelevant given that conflict now spreads like a cancer across the planet. I’d like to say that conflict can be simply answered by our inability to educate the vast populations who think of as uneducated – and so, uneducated choose arms before discussion leads even close to solution of one conflict or the other. But unless I am mistaken it is the educated that provide arms to the uneducated. What hope can there for peace when the disparate are fed guns to fend for their rights?
How shall this real estate eventually be divided? This one big piece of land, subdivided between its nomadic peoples. Will the poor and uneducated just disappear, unable to withstand the onslaught of the developed nations? Or should the message to the rich be that when the poor go ‘they’ll take down the wealthy with them.” The full catastrophe - as it were - ultimately succumbing to the last conflict; that conflict between compassion and indifference, between comprehension and stupefaction. The pessimist will answer most certainly this is where we are destined.
The optimist for his part will be hard pressed to keep smiling while the morgues bulge grotesquely skywards with conflict’s harsh harvest.