Understanding Conflict

Across history, every human society has dealt with violence. Where does it come from?

Understanding Conflict

Across history, every human society has dealt with violence. Where does it come from?

Understanding Conflict

Across history, every human society has dealt with violence. Where does it come from?

Understanding Conflict

Across history, every human society has dealt with violence. Where does it come from?

01. IDENTITY

We are what we want;
We are who we’re with.

Humans find ourselves by looking at others. We imitate those we admire; we see the joy they take in work and property and build communities to seek similar joy. But when scarcity or uncertainty obscure these positive desires, our imitation of one another can change our identities for the worse.

02. Rivalry

We fight not because we are different, but because we are the same.

Shared desires lead to friendship, solidarity, and love. They also lead to competition and rivalry. Pursuits of wealth, power, and success reduce our personal relationships and institutions to games of winning and losing. We justify deceit, manipulation, and violence.

03. SCAPEGOATING

Standing against someone is worse than standing for nothing.

Communities that trade collaboration for competition soon find themselves managing hate, resentment, envy, and alienation. No longer seeking help in our goals, we start blaming others for the state of things. It’s soon hard to tell “justice” from lynching, or public opinion from a witch hunt.

04. ENDING Violence

Peace is the secret potential in conflict.

Peace cannot be imposed; it can only emerge. The only requirement is that we continually acknowledge others as our true sources of passion, friendship, community and meaning, not as obstacles or rivals. These gracious relationships are always available to us, saving us from the illusion that we must choose up friends and enemies. The path to healing starts when we are willing to stand face-to-face with the victims of our individual and systemic violence.

The Science of Violence

Studies into the nature of violence and victim-blaming have produced massive ecosystems of secondary literature spanning many disciplines. We unite the best insights of scholars theorizing violence to the frontlines of those building peace across the world. Specializing in the sub-field of “mimetic theory” pioneered by René Girard, unRival seeks to deeply understand and widely share ideas that have real potential to turn impossibly conflicted, rivalrous situations into flourishing spaces of peace.

Join the effort
to end cycles
of conflict.

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