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Selling a Vision of Hope: A Refreshing Alternative to Armageddon

Look inside Nissim Dahan's book Selling a Vision of Hope with Google Books.

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Listen to an interview with Nissim Dahan on the Tom Marr Show.

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Rachel
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Dreamer
Posts: 3
 
07.14.2007 16:22
I’m really inspired by your idea of “Common Sense plus Economic Incentives equals Hope”. It is a fresh and logical concept that people on all sides can relate to. If it makes so much sense, then why hasn’t it worked before?

Rachel
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Nissim Dahan
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Admin
Posts: 20
 
07.15.2007 12:25
Hi Rachel,

Thanks for joining our forum.

You're wondering why the idea that Ideology plus Investment equals Hope, hasn't worked before.

The simplest answer is that it has never been tried before. It is true that certain aspects of Selling a Vision of Hope have been hinted at here and there, but there has never been a concerted effort to Sell a Vision of Hope in the Middle East. Let's break down the vision into its consituent parts, and see how it squares with past efforts:

Ideology: I don't recall of any effort to come up with a universal set of ideological priciples that everyone, or mostly everyone, can agree on. To the contrary, particularly in the Middle East, people believe what they want to believe, and for them, the truth is just a side issue. In this dangerous world, can we really afford to jump to false beliefs, or do we owe it to ourselves to screen our beliefs through the filter of common sense?

Investment: Our idea of investing in the Middle East has been to buy their oil, or to give money to the governments of the region. In order to sell a Vision of Hope, you have to invest in ways that create jobs for the people on the street. We're talking investment, not handouts. Thankfully, there are some high powered business people here and in the region who know how to invest, how to create jobs, and how to make sure that corruption is kept to a minimum.

Hope: We want to use Ideology and Investment to sell a Vision of Hope - a Vision of Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom. To date, we haven't seen that type of hope being marketed in the region. There has been a lot of false hope being pitched, on all sides, but not the hope that is likely to bring about a better day.

So bottom line, Rachel, I can't honestly guarantee that Selling a Vision of Hope will work. But I am relatively certain that it has never been tried before. And, considering the alternative, I think it would make a lot of sense to try it now. Particularly, because it seems to make sense to people like yourself. For me, that's as much validation as I need.
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Rachel
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Dreamer
Posts: 3
 
07.22.2007 22:00
I agree with your formula of Ideology plus Investment equals Hope. However as you point out here

Nissim Dahan wrote:
particularly in the Middle East, people believe what they want to believe, and for them, the truth is just a side issue. In this dangerous world, can we really afford to jump to false beliefs, or do we owe it to ourselves to screen our beliefs through the filter of common sense?
If people are so set in their ways and beliefs, how do you suppose to change their minds? Many may say "they're harming us so we should harm them", for example, an eye for an eye. What if their common sense is different than yours?
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Nissim Dahan
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Admin
Posts: 20
 
07.23.2007 17:37
Hi Rachel,

You pose a profound question: How do you get people to start believing in what makes sense? How do you confer ideological status to the notion of common sense? And how do you move people, who have been scarred by the injustices of the past, to give up some of their deeply held beliefs, even their belief in the need for revenge? You also ask, "What if their common sense is different than yours?"

An Ideology of Common Sense is at the heart of Selling a Vision of Hope, and is perhaps the most unique and ambitious aspect of it. Many people naturally believe that notions of common sense are very subjective. But what if they're not? What if there actually are principles of morality and ethical behavior which are universal, and which transcend the false beliefs and aspirations of certain misguided individuals?

We know that mathematical principles are universal. Two plus two equals four, here, and in China as well. What if certain moral principles are as universally applicable and as universally accepted as mathematics? And what if you could sell them as such to the man on the street, by using some well placed Investment Dollars to give your sales pitch a good measure of credibility? In short, while some among us may choose to ignore what makes sense, the priciples of common sense are still out there, like mathematical theorems, waiting in the wings to be used by us to bring order to our lives.

Can we really elevate the notion of Common Sense to the level of Ideology? Can we really convince people to believe in what makes sense? Since the dawn of human civilization, people have believed in a lot of half-baked notions. Some of these ideas have left behind millions of corpses in their wake. Our only hope is that in today's world of increasing complexity, the vast majority of people will come to believe that we have no choice but to make sense of our lives. With enough Ideological persuasion, and with enough Economic incentives, they may be moved to marginalize the extremists, and to shift the world in a slightly different direction, one that points to the possibility of peace. It will take one hell of a sales job. But it could work if enough people, either because of sheer self-interest, or because of compassion for others, feel compelled to come on board.

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