Skip to comments.The prescient 'Clash of Civilizations'
Posted on 07/11/2008 3:02:26 PM PDT by forkinsocket
FIFTEEN YEARS have passed since Foreign Affairs published Samuel Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations?" in its summer issue. It has subsequently become the most sought after article for reprints in the magazine's history. It, and the book by the same title minus the question mark, caused a storm among political scientists, many of whom simply refused to believe that, after the end of the Cold War, future conflicts would be over something so old fashioned. Only George Kennan's article on how to contain the USSR after World War II, bylined X, can compete with Huntington's in terms of influence.
"The dominant source of conflict will be cultural," Huntington famously predicted, and "fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future."
Stroke, a failing heart, and complications from diabetes have reduced Huntington, whom Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University called "arguably the most influential and original political scientist of the last half century," to bed and a wheelchair these days. Now in his 81st year, he has good days and not so good days in the world of what has come to be called assisted living. His facility, called Windemere, is a shingled building that resembles a turn of the century summer cottage in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard.
His wife of 50 years, Nancy, lives nearby in a house built on the royalties of "Clash," as everyone calls Huntington's scoop of perception. She moved him to the Vineyard from Boston because of Windemere's friendly staff, and has built a new life on the island where they spent so many summers during the Huntingtons' Harvard years. Letters and e-mails still pour in, and the book has been translated into many languages, the latest being Albanian.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
But for those who bother, I would ask, is this along the lines of all those articles that appeared in 1984 saying "Orwell was wrong?"
Nobody was thinking about radical muslims 23 years ago. Almost.
Now we have a real threat on our hands. The worst of it is, many people won't acknowledge it.
my brothers were blue-collar prophets, both of them.
His kith and kin argument would postulate that Muslims would always side with Muslims against Christians.
It ain’t over yet guy.
1) work on wedge issues which have the potential to override the attack on civilization, and generate new allegiances: such as democratic vs autocratic/theocratic, or middle class vs peasant culture. Simply playing mullahs off against each other or exacerbating old splits such as the Sunni-Shi'ite, won't get us anywhere because that is their own playground and they know it better than we do.
2) find ways to lower the intensity of the "clash" as much as possible while raising the profile of those other rivalries.
One thing is certain: trying to cajole these savage bastards into friendship, through "negotiation" let's say, is a dead letter and always has been.
The discerning observer may note that much of the Bush strategy follows these paradigms.
Have you read Huntington’s book?