The Clash of Civilizations

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 11/18/2013

The Clash of Civilizations is a theory that people's cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world instead if their ideologies. It was proposed by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington in response to his former student Francis Fukuyama's 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man. He divides the world into 8 major “civilizations”: sinic (China), western, orthodox Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Japanese, Latin American and African. He argues that a "Sino-Islamic connection" is emerging in which China will cooperate more closely with Iran and other states to augment its international position. The only way the West can survive is to get stronger both militarily and economically and ally with civilizations sympathetic to it to fight against the rise of Islamic and sinic countries (i.e China).

Huntington's justification of the clash is:
A West at the peak of its power confronts non-Wests that increasingly have the desire, the will and the resources to shape the world in non-Western ways.
And this is due to:
The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy. 
As if he is saying, we are good and they hate us for being good. It's as if Bernard Lewis is talking.
At times this hatred goes beyond hostility to specific interests or actions or policies or even countries and becomes a rejection of Western civilization as such, not only what it does but what it is, and the principles and values that it practices and professes. These are indeed seen as innately evil, and those who promote or accept them as the "enemies of God." ~ The Roots of Muslim Rage
 Edward Said issued a response to Huntington's thesis in his 2001 article, "The Clash of Ignorance":
Huntington is an ideologist, someone who wants to make "civilizations" and "identities" into what they are not: shut-down, sealed-off entities that have been purged of the myriad currents and counter currents that animate human history, and that over centuries have made it possible for that history not only to contain wars of religion and imperial conquest but also to be one of exchange, cross-fertilization and sharing
Noam Chomsky has criticized the concept of the clash of civilizations as just being a new justification for the United States "for any atrocities that they wanted to carry out", which was required after the Cold War as the Soviet Union was no longer a viable threat. It is always the same rule West vs. the Rest.
The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it, not a sentimental pretence but an idea: and an unselfish belief in the idea--something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to ~ Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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