Peace and Conflict: Advocating the Use of Non-Violoent Means for Resolving Conflict

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When we are trying to attain world peace, we must first start with peace between individuals as these relationships are the building blocks of society and nations. Peace can be achieved by non-violent means or by the use of lethal force. This essay will explore notions of peace and conflict, advocating the use of non-violent means for resolving conflict. The environmental and social cost of lethal force is very high and unsustainable. Never the less, there are situations when justice requires the use of lethal force and examples of these will be discussed. The paper will conclude with the argument that ongoing life enhancing structural reform is required for the management and the prevention of future violent conflicts throughout the…show more content…
Now that we have an understanding of what peace is, what then is conflict and how do we resolve it? What is conflict? The Oxford Dictionary defines conflict “as an encounter with arms, a fight, especially a prolonged struggle”, (as mentioned in Tillet, 1991, p.1). The Chinese symbol of crisis has two characters, one representing danger and the other representing opportunity, (Lantieri, L. & Patti, J.1996, p.53). Michael Banks claims that conflict is necessary, as it provides the catalyst for change and progress in society. Peace education’s aim shouldn’t be to abolish conflict, but to facilitate its healthy expression and to bring it within society’s control, (as cited in Sandole & Sandole-Staroste, 1987, p. 260). Karl Marx was one the first people to analyse conflict, believing that people are creative and generally cooperative, but who face the tyranny of capitalism. Marx believed that conflict between the bourgeoisie (the owners of capital and means of production) and the proletariat (the working class) would lead to a revolution, whereby the workers would overthrow the owners, (Scimecca, 1993, p.214). John Burton speaks of conflict resulting from inherent basic human needs being unmet and as a perception of incompatible values between the parties, that can only be resolved through structural changes, (Tillet, 1991,

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