Beyond Intractability
Hyper-Polarization Blog
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  • Fighting Today's Oppression, Not Yesterday's Oppression -- Opposing today's injustices will require cooperation across the racial divides that were a focus of many of the unrightable wrongs of the past. #mbi_cci
  • Power Strategy Mix -- Success is usually obtained by using a combination of two or three strategies, not just one--especially not just coercion! #mbi_cci
  • What does "Justice" Mean? -- The political discussions about justice this summer of 2020 are very narrow; they should take a much wider view of what encompasses "justice." #mbi_cci
  • Suzanne Ghais: Bridging the Police Community Divide -- A reflection on the dangerous escalation between police and their communities and how to address that effectively for all constituencies. #mbi_cci
  • The Blood-Boiling Trap -- Our tendency to focus on things that make us furious distorts the way we look at the world in ways that threaten rather than advance our interests. #mbi_cci
  • Hyper-Polarization, the Pandemic, and the Need for a "Lifeboat Ethic" -- We are all, in a sense, on one giant lifeboat. Surviving the storm will require us to figure out how to work together more effectively. #mbi_cci
  • Promote Escalation Awareness -- Conflict escalation is, arguably, "the most destructive force on the planet." It is what leads us into war and catastrophic acts of inhumanity. #mbi_cci
  • Where Does The Nightmare of Continuing Hyper-Polarization End? -- Social processes like hyperpolarization can't continue indefinitely without leading to catastrophe. We desperately need an exit strategy. #mbi_cci
  • Exponential Growth in Pandemics, the Economy, and Escalation -- Economic panic and/or escalating political violence threatens to upend society even more rapidly than the COVID-19 pandemic. #mbi_cci
  • U.S. Hyper-Polarization—Over the Edge? -- Hyperpolarization at the level of hateful, but entertaining, rhetoric could easily escalate into large-scale 1960s-style civil unrest and violence.
  • Confronting NIMBYs by Polling Community Interests -- By broadening their understanding of their "backyard" to include their whole community, citizens can be much more powerful in their advocacy efforts.
  • Constructive Demonstration Strategies -- Primal screams don't change policy or public opinion. Demonstrators should know their goals--and the best way to accomplish them. #mbi_cci
  • The Base-Mobilization Trap -- The inflammatory tactics that make mobilize-the-base politics so effective are tearing us apart In ways that will be very difficult to reverse #mbi_cci
  • (When) Should We Escalate? -- What determines whether escalation of the conflicts over police brutality and systemic racism is beneficial? What can be done to make it as constructive as possible? #mbi_cci
  • The Crane Brinton Effect -- The key to successful revolutionary (or evolutionary) change a broadly agreed-upon vision for a better society in which most everyone would like to live. #mbi_fundamentals
  • Conflict Styles -- Competition, collaboration, compromise, avoidance, and accommodation all have costs and benefits. Know which is best when! #mbi_fundamentals
  • Heidi Burgess and Guy Burgess: Framing the Events of Spring and Summer 2020 -- It's time "we, the people" start taking control of our frames, focusing on shared frames instead of the polarizing ones we are being fed. #mbi_fundamentals
  • Mass Media -- Everything we know about world events is filtered through the media. When those filters are flawed we can wind up fighting against our interests. #mbi_fundamentals
  • Constructive Escalation -- By choosing one's conflict strategies carefully, it is possible to build support without the destructive consequences that usually accompany escalation. #mbi_fundamentals
  • Destructive Escalation -- Destructive escalation is the most dangerous force on the planet. The "enemy" is not the other side, it's the escalation. We must learn how to control it. #mbi_fundamentals
  • Morton Deutsch on Understanding and Overcoming Oppression -- In order to win the struggle against oppression, you need to understand its multifaceted nature. This recently updated series of essays can help. #mbi_fundamentals
  • Dehumanization in Politics -- Political rhetoric has been moving toward increasingly dehumanized enemy images. If we want to save democracy we have to reverse this trend--NOW! #mbi_cci
  • Principles of Justice and Fairness -- Like, beauty, "justice" is "in they eye of the beholder. " Or is it not? Can it be objectively measured? #mbi_fundamentals
  • Civil Rights Mediation Oral History Project -- Stories from people with vast experience in de-escalating and resolving the most difficult racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation conflicts. #mbi_cci
  • The "Two Taproot (or Fuses) Theory" of Social Unrest -- To prevent violence, you need to respond to more than the immediate incident. You need to look at the structures and processes that led to it. #mbi_cci