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Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations

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Submitted By blackberrymandy
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Amanda Pritchett
Dr. Kenneth Currie
ISS- 1200
3 September 2012
Clash of Civilizations
“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in utilizing organized violence. Westerners often dismiss this fact, non-Westerners never do.” Samuel P. Huntington, Eaton professor of the science of government and director of the John M. Olin Institute for strategic studies at Harvard, wrote a thought-provoking article; “The Clash of Civilizations” was published by Foreign Affairs in the summer of 1993. (Foreign Affairs). Huntington’s article given in nine topics, gives the reader a big-picture look at the world which nerved to imagine that a bi-polar rivalry between communism and capitalism was about to be reinstated by a multi-polar world of contradicting civilizations. He argues that the short-term warfare between ideologies is being replaced by the ancient warfare between civilizations. People’s cultural and religious identities will result in future conflicts. Huntington cautions that all this proposes that there will be cultural clangorings in the future. He says the troubling ones "are likely to arise from the interplay of Western arrogance, Islamic intolerance, and assertiveness." This is indeed a debated statement. Such clangoring’s are by no means an evident necessity, after all. Neither is it at all apparent that in the lack of such exterior issues, Western society would not have very uncompromising internal complications with absolutism and wars. I. The Next Pattern of Conflict: Huntington advocates his thesis and begins with an introduction describing the problem modeled by the Clash of Civilizations theory; confers the significance of the issue; and ends with a controversial statement. Stating “the people and governments of non-Western civilizations no longer abide the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but unite the West as advocators and shapers of history.” He hypothesizes that the fundamental basis of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic but cultural. Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase of the evolution of warfare in the modern world.” II. The Nature of Civilizations:
The author opens up with a rhetorical question that gets the reader thinking. That question is what do we mean by civilization? In order to grasp the full article the reader must know the basic premise and terms in order to understand what Huntington is trying to get across. He gives a simple yet detailed description of what a civilization is, and what it entails. A civilization is a cultural entity. Huntington states that it is defined both by ordinary objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people” (World Affairs). The composer then goes into an easy transition from the basics of a civilization to his next topic on why civilizations will clash. III. Why Civilizations will Clash:
Here Huntington divides civilizations between the Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization. This is where Huntington acquires a lot of criticism. Under those classifications, he does world division with minor consideration to the differences, which would make it agonizing to categorize these civilizations from one another. He considers India a Hindu civilization, although it is surely multi- religious, for example. Therefore, however India is to be accounted, it is uniquely a secular country, and that is why Hindu fundamentalism exists. Why these ambiguous civilizations will, clash according to Huntington is first, the differences among civilizations are not only real, but they are basic. Second, the world is reducing in size. Following, the method of economic growth and social change throughout the world are detaching people from their origins. Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is boosting by the dual role of the West. Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less erratic and less easily negotiated and attained than political and economic ones. Finally yet importantly, economic regionalism is increasing. (Huntington). Even though the classifications of these civilizations are useful in aiding the reader understand the various scion political phenomena in human beings, these civilizations are useful in helping the reader understand the various scion political phenomena in the world through these classifications. The clash between these civilizations transpires from two different levels: micro and macro. IV. The Fault Lines between Civilizations:
A fault line war, a war between two countries or groups from dissimilar civilizations, is the most threatening war according to Huntington. Each to back up its civilizations kin country, it will grow to an international conflict linking other countries. Huntington prognosticates two major conflicts with the west (represented by the US) in the twenty first century, the first one with Islam, the second is the sinic civilization (represented by China). These disputes are likely to arise from the relations of Western pretensions, Islamic intolerance, and Sinic assertiveness that have been going on for 1300 years. Ultimately, the world did acutely progress along the lines that Huntington anticipated, that is to say "civilizationally." However, how we got from there to here came about in a fashion divergent from what he predicted. In other words, the body politic state, while still important, was not the transport that overtly generated the latent aggression and conflict between the West and Islam. Nonetheless, the author should be given credit for the predictions that came out to be correct. V. Civilization Rallying:
Here, Huntington opens up with another defined term “kin-country syndrome” so the reader can better understand his writing. Termed by H. D. S. Greenway, kin-country syndrome is replacing political ideology and established balance of power considerations as the principal basis for cooperation and coalitions. He then gives reasons such as the Gulf War where an Arab state invaded another then fought a coalition of Arab, Western and other states. In addition, how the kin-country syndrome appeared in disputes in the aforesaid Soviet Union. Huntington concludes that civilization rallying has been confined, but growing. “The next world war, if there is one, will be a war between civilizations.” VI. The West Versus the Rest:
Huntington has been criticized for accrediting that the West is superior to other civilizations, hence the title: The West V. the Rest. He values the West civilization, worth preserving and he certainly believes that west is unique. He openly argues that multi-cultureless is cultural hara-kiri for the West. He has a self-consciously white American perspective. This causes a big dispute between a large number of liberals and most academics. VII. The Torn Countries:
Huntington coins the term "torn" countries to annotate the situations of Turkey, Russia, Mexico and Australia. For him, torn countries are the ones that are in terms of an identity crisis. These ruptured countries are separated on whether their society and culture pertains to one civilization or another. He gives the example of Turkey, in which a big part of their population is Muslim. However, Turkey has imminent relations with the United States and Western European countries. This can be confusing to the reader because I get the feeling that Huntington does not really know what he means by a torn-country. VIII. The Confucian-Islamic Connection:
Huntington explains that for notions of culture and power, countries that cannot or wish not to join the West develop their own political, military, and economical power with non-western countries. IX. Implications for the West:
Huntington concludes his article with a course of action for the west. This plan of action is to strengthen ties with other western nations, predominantly Europe and subordinate Latin America. It is also an attempt to exert ideas of western "universalism" in foreign affairs with non-western nations. It is fundamentally very non-confrontational. Huntington’s article altogether accomplishes its intention of providing the reader with an accurate view of the international connections, affiliations, interests and conflicts among the top rating economic powers of the world. As controversial and narrow as some critics argue, "The Clashes of Civilizations" is an informative and thought-provoking article that I would advise anyone interested in foreign affairs and the new world order. This article would only be found interesting to a selective audience who his interested in the topic choice otherwise, I found it to be a bit dull in certain parts.

Works Cited
Huntington, Samuel P. "The Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs 1993: n. pag. Print.…...

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