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“Visions may be moral, political, economic, religious, or social. In these or other realms, we sacrifice for our visions and sometimes, if need be, face ruin rather than betray them. Where visions conflict irreconcilably, whole societies may be torn apart. Conflicts of interests dominate the short run, but conflicts of visions dominate history. We will do almost anything for our visions, except think about them.” Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, xii.

A conflict in visions stands at the center of major international and national crises in the Middle East, Africa, Asia , or elsewhere. Whether in mass killing, genocide, or intractable conflict, ideology is usually present and plays important role.

By ideology (political, religious, economic, social, or some other) is meant visions of social arrangements and human relations that provide meaning and hope for a group. Such ideologies can identify others as enemies who stand in the way of their fulfillment.

The real issue, therefore, is how to shift the methodology of conflict from a military standpoint to political, persuasive, and perhaps even economic standpoints that strive to find areas of cooperation rather than violence and coercion. Doing this requires a shift in philosophical perspective.

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