Damaged Peace in Too Many Other Countries

Demonstartors hurl projectiles at riot police near the Greek parliament in Athens during a nationwide strike in Greece, May 5, 2010. Greece braced for a day of demonstrations during a nationwide strike by civil servants protesting the announcement of draconian austeristy measures. REUTERS/John Kolesidis (GREECE)Europe is awash in intergroup conflict.

Every country in Europe is facing significant intergroup issues — and those countries are all having a hard time figuring out how to deal with those issues.

Europe was ethnically pure for centuries. French people lived in France. Germans lived in Germany.

Swedes lived in Sweden.

Those countries are all highly tribal. That has been true for centuries. In each setting, the people spoke the tribal language and people practiced and followed the tenants of their tribal cultures.

The French tribal leaders even had formal processes put in place to protect the purity of their tribal language.

They would not allow many words from other languages to be used in official French documents or communications.

Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes all had their own tribal cultures, tribal languages, and clear tribal identity.

The national day of celebration for Norway — much like the Fourth of July we call Independence Day — is the day when Norway gained its freedom and its independence from Sweden.

People did not immigrate very often between most of those settings.

Some countries — like Belgium and Switzerland — were multi-tribal — but the multi-tribal national identity was an umbrella over very clearly tribal geographic territory inside each country.

Inside Belgium, the Flemish and Walloons speak different languages and they each have different towns and cities for most of the country.

Likewise, multi-tribal Switzerland has three official languages, but the people who speak each language live in tribal cantons that each have their own ethnic and cultural definition and identity.

Europe dealt with ethnic diversity for centuries by keeping the tribes apart. There has been major discrimination against the gypsy populations in each country — and there have been highly tribal Basque and Catalan separatist groups in some settings — but overall, Europeans lived in the tribal settings where they were born, for most of their lives, and spoke the languages they were born to speak.

More recently — with the collapse of colonialism, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the beginning of major internal tribal battles in newly independent countries like Syria or Iraq that triggered ethnic cleansing and tribal battles in those settings — Europe has had a flood of refugees that have moved in significant numbers into every formerly ethnically pure country.

Old immigrants were rare in those settings and they all assimilated into the culture as quickly as they could. That has changed. Many of the new immigrants do not intend to give up their old cultures or beliefs to become French, or Italian, or Dutch. The new immigrants tend to live with each other in their own communities, speak their own language, and practice the religion they were born into. Old Europe tended to be populated by people with Christian ancestors. Very few of the refugees are Christian.

The people from the Middle East and Africa now living in European cities have generally faced multiple levels of instinct triggered intergroup discrimination from the original people in each community they have entered.

That discrimination has resulted in lower economic levels, lower education levels, lower employment levels, and lower levels of health care resources for the immigrant people in just about every setting.

Europeans in a number of settings have tried to officially pretend the immigration challenges they were facing did not exist. Government leaders have not led on those issues. Most of the leaders have not understood those issues or their obvious instinct-linked consequences.

Almost no one in Europe holding a government position has been able or willing to speak in clear and enlightened ways about the instinctive reactions people will inevitably have as groups and individuals when those kinds of intergroup interactions happen.

Much of the leadership of Europe has had a “politically correct” official position that does not recognize or discuss those primal instinctive realities or their logical and inevitable consequences.

Political parties that focused most recently on immigration issues have been considered to be right wing racists — and the parties in the middle and on the left have tried hard to pretend and hope that racism and intergroup stress will not be a major problem in their settings and communities.

That lack of understanding creates a real problem for those communities. Those communities will never be able to deal with those issues until they recognize them for what they are, and recognize both the legitimacy and the inevitability of people’s instinctive reactions to all of those new intergroup realities. The insights outlined in Primal Pathways, Cusp of Chaos, Peace in Our Time, and The Art of InterGroup Peace have not been part of the dialogue, though processes, or policy deliberation in any of those settings.

That creates a real problem. Leaders in multi-group settings clearly need to understand those instincts and their power to shape thinking, emotions, and behaviors.

Leaders need to understand those issues to help their own groups and leaders need to understand those issues in order to reach out to the other groups in their communities.

Knowledge is power. Leaders and communities need the power that comes from knowledge about instincts and their impact on our lives.

Good will and good hearts will not be enough to save the day in all of those conflicted settings.

We need good will coupled with good intentions, and we need them both fully armed with good and practical knowledge — anchored in the intellectual tool kit that lets us understand and manage our instincts, and very intentionally and explicitly turn our cultures into tools for intergroup Peace instead of intergroup conflict.

Europe can be saved.

That needs to happen soon, or bad things will happen. An unenlightened and well-intentioned Europe can far too easily descend into another dark age, and the consequences will be horrible for many people.

The InterGroup books can help with that enlightenment process. We need people in Europe to understand why they are at the Cusp of Chaos. We need people in Europe to understand the Primal Pathways they are on.

We need people in Europe to stop following the conflict anchored guidance(s) that are embedded in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War — and we need people in Europe to move to the Peace linked guidance(s) embedded in The Art of InterGroup Peace. We need to replace Win/Lose with Win/Win, and we need to replace tribes with values and enlightened humanity as an expectation and a commitment.

Europe is awash in intergroup conflict. The situation gets worse every day. That conflict will not go away and those settings will not somehow heal themselves.

We need intentional healing approaches and we need enlightened people to make those intentional approaches their path to Peace in European communities. We need a Peace Movement in America, and we need Europeans to build a Peace movement in each setting that will meet the needs of each situation and setting.

The Art of InterGroup Peace book explains the six triggers people can use to create Peace and alignment. Settings in Europe need to start using all six triggers if they want to move from conflict to Peace in all of those conflicted settings.

Knowledge is power. People need to be empowered by the knowledge of those processes and their consequences. That is possible to do.

If people in each of those settings recognize how influenced and affected they are by core sets of instinctive behaviors, then people in each setting can begin to take steps to liberate themselves from the thoughts, emotions, and values created by those instincts.

Peace will not be the natural and inevitable end game, or even the intuitive or generic aspirational goal of the people in all of those intergroup settings. Conflict is far too seductive and emotionally rewarding for far too many people to have it be replaced in any unintentional way by Peace.

Peace is the right goal for each setting, but achieving Peace will take enlightened people doing enlightened things with good hearts , significant wisdom, actual skill, and great intentions to move from a world of conflict to a world of Peace in each of those settings.

The InterGroup books and this InterGroup website are intended to be support tools for that process. Share all of this information with anyone you wish — to join in a real movement for Peace.

Peace in Our Time is possible, but it will take us all doing the right things in the right ways with the right motivations to make it happen.

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This post was written by Institute for InterGroup Understanding