Skip to comments.The Clash
Posted on 01/24/2008 12:23:54 PM PST by forkinsocket
It would have been unlike Samuel P. Huntington to say I told you so after 9/11. He is too austere and serious a man, with a legendary career as arguably the most influential and original political scientist of the last half century always swimming against the current of prevailing opinion.
In the 1990s, first in an article in the magazine Foreign Affairs, then in a book published in 1996 under the title The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, he had come forth with a thesis that ran counter to the zeitgeist of the era and its euphoria about globalization and a borderless world. After the cold war, he wrote, there would be a clash of civilizations. Soil and blood and cultural loyalties would claim, and define, the world of states.
Huntingtons cartography was drawn with a sharp pencil. It was The West and the Rest: the West standing alone, and eight civilizations dividing the rest Latin American, African, Islamic, Sinic, Hindu, Orthodox, Buddhist and Japanese. And in this post-cold-war world, Islamic civilization would re-emerge as a nemesis to the West. Huntington put the matter in stark terms: The relations between Islam and Christianity, both Orthodox and Western, have often been stormy. Each has been the others Other. The 20th-century conflict between liberal democracy and Marxist-Leninism is only a fleeting and superficial historical phenomenon compared to the continuing and deeply conflictual relation between Islam and Christianity.
Those 19 young Arabs who struck America on 9/11 were to give Huntington more of historys compliance than he could ever have imagined. He had written of a youth bulge unsettling Muslim societies, and young Arabs and Muslims were now the shock-troops of a new radicalism.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Rock the casbah
Should I stay or should I go now?
LOL. I was wondering why they would be in the news.
Degenerate the faithful, with that crazy casbah sound.
sharif don’t like it
he thinks it’s not kosher
you know he really hates it.
fundamentally he can’t take it
And I live by the river.
I live in a van down by the river — but that’s another story.
Speaking of vans,
Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
packed up and ready to go
OK, that was cool.
Thank you :)
Drop the bombs between the minarets
There was no universal civilization, Huntington had observed; this was only the pretense of what he called Davos culture, consisting of a thin layer of technocrats and academics and businessmen who gather annually at that watering hole of the global elite in Switzerland.
I hadn't heard it called that, but it fits. Huntington and Fukuyama seem to have settled in as the two poles of the historiography wing of that magazine and it may be this is the resolution that Fukuyama was originally envisioning in The End Of History. It'd be an easy mistake to make.
Huntington, for his part, was deliberately drawing with such a broad brush that a finer assessment of the splintering of the West is rather difficult. The "Davos culture," however, seems to manifest itself both in economic globalization and in an internationalist political approach - we see its practitioners in the UN and in NGO's on a regular basis. Huntington implies that this veneer is too thin to shield the West from Islamism and events seem to bear him out. Moreover, its membership is quite as easy to subvert or intimidate as any other organized group with a vested interest and a lot to lose from conflict.
One should not, therefore, hope for a resolution from that culture. Its reliance on negotiation between parties each of whom has something to lose is a false premise in the face of an opponent that intends to lose nothing and gain everything through domination.
It isn't going to come to a fight, it already has. If certain cultural figures in the West have entered the ring with a self-imposed bag over their collective head one shouldn't blame their opponent for gleefully using it as a punching bag.
That was neat!