Condemning Divisiveness and Unacceptable Behaviour

By condemning divisiveness and unacceptable behaviour, peer-group pressure can help to maintain peace in the community.

Efforts from within a community, to achieve reconciliation and keep the peace, are more effective than trying to achieve a political solution after trouble has broken out.  As an example, working in a region which has been bitterly divided for years, Combatants for Peace describes itself as:

“a grassroots movement of Israelis and Palestinians, working together to end the occupation and bring peace, equality and freedom to our homeland. Committed to joint nonviolence since our inception, we use civil resistance, education and other creative means of activism to transform systems of oppression and build a free and peaceful future from the ground up.

Launched in 2006, we are the only movement worldwide that was founded by former fighters on both sides of an active conflict. As a result, we were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 and 2018.”

Group influence ( is a potent force for driving people’s behaviour in the Moral Dimension.  Although it can be used to divisive effect (, it can equally be used for condemning divisiveness and unacceptable behaviour.

Moderate religious leaders can use their influence in defusing ethnic tension.  If charismatic leaders make themselves heard with a constructive message, they can provide a counterbalance to those who are trying to inflame tensions; they can help to resolve apparent contradictions (4.4.4) rather than try to exploit them.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/4473.htm.