Conflict vs Unity: a guest viewpoint by Charles Hampden-Turner

China is the mirror image of much of the West. When we look in the mirror this switches any mark or spot on our faces from one side to the other. The West sees government as conflict leading to unity We say rude things about each other and then ask hearers to vote on who made the best argument. 

China starts with unity, which over time admits into it more conflict in viewpoints.  Each of us puts what we most admire in the shop window and hides the other value away behind the stage. Hence in the West we have debates, name-calling, and angry demonstrations, and hope this will lead to a new accommodation, when votes are counted. China puts consensus, agreement suggested solutions in the shop window and hides from sight the strenuous disagreements that went into forging this. Meetings are called to celebrate hard won consensus. Of course everyone agrees!         

Charles Hampden-Turner is a British management philosopher, and Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 1990. He is the co-founder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner Group, in Amsterdam.