gideon.rachman@ft.com : attempts to rehabilitate The Clash of Civilizations. Philosophical Apprentice comments

For a country of genocidal, land and mineral stealing Immigrants ,not to speak of racists, to have produced an Imperialist Operative  like Samuel P. Huntington is no surprises. The fact that he wrote ‘Clash‘ in a Post Cold War environment, that needed a New Enemy, Huntington’s paranoia writ large was made to order!

See Edward Said’s withering examination of the Clash:

 

 

The identification of Western Civilization with the Western Christianity (Catholic-Protestant) was not Huntington’s original idea, it was rather the traditional Western opinion and subdivision before the Cold War era.[15] 

Critics (for example articles in Le Monde Diplomatique) call The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order the theoretical legitimization of American-caused Western aggression against China and the world’s Islamic and Orthodox cultures. Other critics argue that Huntington’s taxonomy is simplistic and arbitrary, and does not take account of the internal dynamics and partisan tensions within civilizations. Furthermore, critics argue that Huntington neglects ideological mobilization by elites and unfulfilled socioeconomic needs of the population as the real causal factors driving conflict, that he ignores conflicts that do not fit well with the civilizational borders identified by him, and they charge that his new paradigm is nothing but realist thinking in which “states” became replaced by “civilizations”.[16] Huntington’s influence upon U.S. policy has been likened to that of British historian Arnold Toynbee’s controversial religious theories about Asian leaders during the early twentieth century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington

And his racist tract  Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity’ a polemic that sounded the alarm about the Mestizo Hordes about to engulf America’s Anglo-Protestant Virtue. But not to forget his Political Order in Changing Societies:

Huntington argues that, as societies modernize, they become more complex and disordered. If the process of social modernization that produces this disorder is not matched by a process of political and institutional modernization—a process which produces political institutions capable of managing the stress of modernization—the result may be violence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington 

The honest writer would mention Mr. Huntington’s status as ‘a valued advisor to the South African regime’

During the 1980s, he became a valued adviser to the South African regime, which used his ideas on political order to craft its “total strategy” to reform apartheid and suppress growing resistance. He assured South Africa’s rulers that increasing the repressive power of the state (which at that time included police violence, detention without trial, and torture) can be necessary to effect reform. The reform process, he told his South African audience, often requires “duplicity, deceit, faulty assumptions and purposeful blindness.” He thus gave his imprimatur to his hosts’ project of “reforming” apartheid rather than eliminating it.[11]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Huntington

The Idea that the vexing questions that Mr. Rachman raises in his essay- that are somehow answered by Huntington’s ‘Clash’, is to say the least problematic, even if the reader takes them as simply descriptive of a problem, or set of problems that are solved, explained under the rubric of the ‘Clash’! But those problems are not solved by resort to the explanatory frame of the ‘Clash’!  Like another utterly passe essay published in a Foreign Policy Journal, Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’: both in their own way seemed to answer the questions raised by the end of the Cold War, and then became bloated best selling books, Fukuyama’s a monument to Starussian historical mendacity,that have since become irrelevant museum pieces. Except to columnists in need of a rhetorical framing devises for their Political/Cultural animadversions. Edward Said’s lecture might be a beginning for Mr. Rachman’s reappraisal?  

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there were endless discussions about a “clash of civilizations” between the Muslim and the non-Muslim worlds. It is no longer quite so fashionable to discuss the concept. But something that looks strikingly like a “clash of civilizations” is emerging nonetheless.

Political Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/12cf16a0-335d-11e9-bb0c-42459962a812

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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