Clash Of Civilizations: Is This The Best Way To Understand The World We Live In?

in politics •  last year  (edited)


Clash of Civilizations

The Clash of Civilizations is a hypothesis that cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. The phrase has its derivation from the colonial usage "clash of cultures".

In 1926, Basil Mathews writes in his book: "Young Islam on Trek: A Study in the Clash of Civilizations" (p. 196). And in 1993, the American political scientist and theorist of cold war Samuel P. Huntington writes in a Foreign Affairs article titled The Clash of Civilizations? Three years later, in 1996, Huntington expanded the essay into a book without a question mark with title The Clash Of Civilizations And The Remaking Of World Order.

According to Huntington, for the west to remain strong it must keep his opponent weak and divided. He then gave hostile attention to Islam. Edward Said mentioned Huntington in a lecture and accused him of treating one billion Muslims as if it were just one person and the western people were just a simple declarative sentence. "He assumes the unchanging duality of us and them", Said criticized Huntington.

Hutington is not neutral, descriptive and objective in approach, while defining Islamic civilization reductively as just anti western civilization, according to Said. "Huntington writes as crisis manager not as a student of cultures and civilizations", Said continued.

It is natural, vital, and fertile to have disagreements within a culture as much as between cultures. And this is clash of definitions, not of civilizations. Said added.

Is it wise to produce a simplified map of the world, then hand to military generals and civilian law-makers? Doesn't this prolong and deepen conflict? What does it do to minimize civilizational conflict? In the name of noble ideals, aren't we proposing the enslavement of others? Self aggrandizing and unrestrained self pride such as Manifest Destiny led to the Apartheid in South Africa, the Jewish state of Israel against the Palestinians, etc. Every culture has its own rival, competitor or enemy, but this fact is missing from the argument of clash of civilizations. Said has remarked in his lecture, eloquently.


The Myth of the "Clash of Civilizations". Edward Said (YouTube)

Full text of "The Myth Of Clash of Civilization"

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This post got upvoted by @goldenwhale

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This is perhaps my favorite topic at the moment. The life of the west is the beginning stages of major upheaval, financially, culturally, militarily, ethnically, and spiritually! Such an exciting time to be alive... Thanks for turning me on to this work, can't wait to check it out. Great post @rightscomet

I love this awesome lecture by Edward Said. I listened to his lecture all over again last night. Then I thought why not blog about it... that's how I ended up writing this post. :)

Ya, you're right, it's an exciting time to be alive. Steem on, my friend.