We are accustomed to conflict resolution using authority models. Somebody or some small group is in charge of making the rules and deciding conflicts. Aggregation of power in authority sets up power struggles over control of the authority, and abuse of authority for power itself, including oppression of less privileged classes of society and determining economic winners and losers by fiat. Do better alternatives exist?
Some tribal societies and small communities submit conflicts to respected free-lance judges who apply prevailing norms. However, these small groups are susceptible to conquest and domination by empires and nation-states. Interpersonal mediation is rarely used because the backdrop of legal rights and obligations imposed by the state increases the risk that mediation will be unsuccessful and injects the state’s cumbersome legal framework into every conflict.
But we are now at the cusp of great change. For the first time in history, technology has provided tools to empower effective, widespread interpersonal mediation without involvement of the state. To use these tools to their full potential, we must set aside notions of conflict resolution rooted in human authority and look to more fundamental notions of right and wrong rooted in self-sovereignty.
Social promises as explained in the book “Blockchain Faith” provide a comprehensive construct for conflict resolution. We will review the fundamentals of social promising as a decentralized method for developing cultural norms, building trust and reputation, resolving conflicts and solving social problems. The instructor will use a fun and practical Socratic method to make the material accessible to all. You don’t need to be a legal philosopher to understand this session, just someone with a curious and open mind!