Nafi made this wonderful point today that, in indonesia, freedom is more available for the people in the cities than the people in villiages. In villages people are more dependent. This feels true in the US as well...I assume there are more forces as work in rural areas to keep people the same-- lots of cultural and social pressure, even if freedom is protected by law.
He also made another point that colleagues of mine have been feeling but he articulated so nicely, "paths of peace are easier to attain for those who are educated." During this research methods course in Indonesia I think many of us have felt that peace research is a tremendous luxury. To have the money to come here, consider conflict, write about it and ask questions is only because our basic needs have been met. His comment inspired me ever more to make sure that the tools of conflict resolution are shared with those who would like them..and maybe even those who don't. I wonder if some communities are as in need problem-solving skills as they are of clean water. I can hear the voices of all those telling me I'm being an arrogant westerner in saying this, but I think there are plenty of westerners who need the same education and have not had the interest or ability to acquire it. Sure all communities have their mechanisms to resolve conflict, I just wonder how much of global chaos could be sorted out with some problem-solving education. You can say it's imperialist to share this education, or one could say not sharing it would be cruel- saving peace only for the educated.