The Clash of Civilizations?

The Clash of Civilizations? It is Samuel Huntington’s opinion that conflict in the post-Cold War world would be caused by cultural differences, conflicts amongst nations and groups of different civilizations. In today’s time, it is more common to group countries in terms of their civilization aspects, such as religion or culture, versus that of their economic systems. Huntington explained how interaction amongst the different civilizations will shape the world we live in and any conflicts will occur amongst the differences of each civilization. Huntington gives five reasons for his beliefs. The first reason is because civilizations are basic.

The differences occur amongst traditions, culture, language, religion, etc. Secondly, civilizations are seeing increase interaction so people are becoming more aware of those differences. Third, economic transformation and social change are changing how people view certain civilizations from the way they may have been viewed before. Fourth, the West has caused an increase of more people being familiar of other civilizations. Fourth, the differences and characteristics of civilizations are less changeable; those of one civilization cannot simply become part of another civilization. Finally, there is an increase in economic regionalism.

Similar to the second point, there is an increase interaction amongst civilizations. Trade has increased, making people dependent upon other civilizations to lead to their success. Huntington uses the Cold War as the time period where the differences between civilizations would cause conflict, replacing the differences between political or ideological boundaries. Huntington breaks the world into “major civilizations”, The West, Latin America, The Orthodox, The Eastern World, The Muslim World of the greater Middle East, The civilization of sub-Saharan Africa, “Lone” countries, and “Cleft” countries.

Huntington explains how the West is a superpower compared to other civilizations and it is often reflected in global decisions, such as that of the International Monetary Fund, going in favor of the West. This allows the West to control the world, not only with their interests, but with their beliefs as well. As a result, there is conflict amongst the West and other civilizations. As we compare this article to today’s world in 2012, I believe that issues that are arising are differences in civilization beliefs.

Huntington’s hypothesis, in my opinion has been proven true. For example, The West believes in equality, freedom of speech, human rights, etc. Was that not the entire purpose for entering Iraq, to eliminate the power of Saddam Hussein, who did not have any beliefs of the Western ways? The West is truly a powerhouse who believes the world should operate as they do which I do not believe will change. Civilizations have held strong in their beliefs; especially comparing The West to other civilizations, leaving tension amongst them.

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