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Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington

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posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 10:29 AM
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Imagine you went to a speaking engagement given by one of the most distinguished and influential calculus professors. Assume for the sake of argument that you’re actually interested in calculus. You listen to him speak and there seems to be something wrong; you assume that there has to be a rational explanation; after all he is one of the most reputable calculus professors in the country. You raise your hand to ask about it but he doesn’t call on you; you wait until after he’s done speaking and he talks to the crowd but you can’t get to the front before he leaves for the evening. Undeterred you check out his books the next day to see if the answer is in them and you find something stunning which you can’t believe at first. There are numerous simple arithmetic mistakes starting very early in his book! Surely this can’t be true so you check and double check and yes it is true. How could someone like this possibly gain such an impeccable reputation? In calculus or other mathematical and engineering sciences this almost certainly doesn’t happen; however in the social sciences where the fundamentals aren’t always quite so clear cut or at least they don’t seem quite so clear cut it may be a different story.

Samuels Huntington’s work, including his book, “Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” may fall into this category to some degree. He is one of the most influential Political Sciences among some people including some of the most powerful people with connections and influence in Washington and the Corporate world yet I have no doubt that when it comes to some of the most fundamental principles that apply to his work he either gets them wrong or he doesn’t acknowledge them at all.....to read complete blog click hear

I've been away from ATS for a while and writing on another forum; however this post may appeal more to people from this forum, some of whom may be more familiar with the subject, so I decided to post it hear as well. This is a three part review of Huntington's book that ends with a review on how it applies to current events.

I have posted other blog entries if anyone is interested and links to them can be found through the table of context listed at the end of this blog entry.

I will probably be checking back to review other activities here as well as make a few other entries that may relate to subjects that have been coming out in the open lately. I suspect whatever is going on may be exposed more one way or another sooner rather than later, at least to some degree.




posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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Huntinton’s Clash of Civilizations is one of the most forward thinking and prescient books ever written. I know a lot of liberals and lefty types hate it because it really smashes their belief that class is at the center of human conflict and not any kind of ethnic/tribal affiliation, but nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, sums up the shape of today’s world better than Huntington.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by SirMike
 


Well obviously we disagree. I noticed you didn’t address one of the details that I addressed in my blog. Feel free to do so if you have a better case to make. The second part includes a list of excerpts which you’re welcome to review and refute if you’re so inclined even if you chose to ignore the basics as Huntington does.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by zacherystaylor
reply to post by SirMike
 


Well obviously we disagree. I noticed you didn’t address one of the details that I addressed in my blog. Feel free to do so if you have a better case to make. The second part includes a list of excerpts which you’re welcome to review and refute if you’re so inclined even if you chose to ignore the basics as Huntington does.


I'm sorry, and no offence, but why would I waste my time critiquing some pedantic diatribe

And details like what: Huntington is wicked because he didn’t want to see a communist takeover in Vietnam? A takeover that you claimed was popular despite the millions of Vietnamese who voted with thier feet (or rather boats) and left once Hanoi won? Or details like conflict is driven by child abuse rather than any kind of cultural friction? Or the US isnt a "real democracy: because of WTO/Oligarchy/pick your poison?

Come on, give me a break.

Huntington described the world and the trends driving events in it based on realities not on ideology or philosophy. You may see Palestinians demonstrating and their neighbors showing “solidarity” with them because they are looking for “social justice” or whatever bull$# dejour KPFA is droning on about, but it really is all about the fact that a non tribal entity has a toehold in their backyard.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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You should read his Political Order in Changing Societies if you want to get a real feel for Huntington. He spends a great deal of time discussing class with regards to stable societies, specifically the importance of the middle class.
edit on 17-2-2011 by Boreas because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:27 PM
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I have never heard of Huntington before, but reading your post and this thread he does portray a public image of American politics. The way children are raised, especially in the early years is critical to forming the people they become. Education through the later years builds on this and equips them to understand life, society and their direction so they can achieve their potential. Competition is an important driving factor through this, but conflict is a destructive limiting factor. How many sport stars would be out due to injury if conflict on the field was encouraged?

Democracy does have its issues and is more of a mask these days than how it originated in Greece. The technology is building so more of the public voice can discuss issue, understand the problems and be heard in a common voice. There is a lot of public motivation to take more responsibility in how there life managed and regulated. There are also a lot of deep complex issues to work through.

The problem is in the perception of strength and aggression. Huntington is just reflecting the life he had with his struggles and is promoting the might is right line. It is science and reason where strength and capability are. With so many lies these days there is so much inefficiency and waste with the nation on the brink of collapse from over extension and growing global pressure to grow up. The course it is on is unsustainable and a growing number of people know it.

Your critique of Huntington's ideology has a lot of quality scientific arguments for progression towards a more peaceful and capable society. There does need to be more peer review put onto the political madness going on and pull it back inline with reason over fear. This will build the socially stronger rather than the egotistical stronger governance infrastructure. There is an amazing wealth of ideas and knowledge in the community, use it or lose it.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by kwakakev
 


There in lies the meat of what I think is the essence of the debate.

Most of Huntington’s critics call him a racist/warmonger/etcetera because they misinterpreted (sometimes intentionally) his thesis. Clash of Civilizations is a view of the world as it is, not how it could/should be and the future order of the world that flows from Clash is the natural progression based on today’s realities and yesterdays trends.

But hope for what could be and anger of what should be is no substitute for recognizing what is and what will probably be. Its more a debate between realists and ideologues.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by kwakakev
I have never heard of Huntington before, but reading your post and this thread he does portray a public image of American politics. The way children are raised, especially in the early years is critical to forming the people they become. Education through the later years builds on this and equips them to understand life, society and their direction so they can achieve their potential. Competition is an important driving factor through this, but conflict is a destructive limiting factor. How many sport stars would be out due to injury if conflict on the field was encouraged?

Democracy does have its issues and is more of a mask these days than how it originated in Greece. The technology is building so more of the public voice can discuss issue, understand the problems and be heard in a common voice. There is a lot of public motivation to take more responsibility in how there life managed and regulated. There are also a lot of deep complex issues to work through.

The problem is in the perception of strength and aggression. Huntington is just reflecting the life he had with his struggles and is promoting the might is right line. It is science and reason where strength and capability are. With so many lies these days there is so much inefficiency and waste with the nation on the brink of collapse from over extension and growing global pressure to grow up. The course it is on is unsustainable and a growing number of people know it.

Your critique of Huntington's ideology has a lot of quality scientific arguments for progression towards a more peaceful and capable society. There does need to be more peer review put onto the political madness going on and pull it back inline with reason over fear. This will build the socially stronger rather than the egotistical stronger governance infrastructure. There is an amazing wealth of ideas and knowledge in the community, use it or lose it.


Huntington was one of the most influential academic sources advising on foreign policy although most people probably haven’t heard of him since the Mass Media rarely ever talks about it but you can see the result of his advice and the advice of other scholars like him in the policies the US pursues. Competition serves its purposes within reason; at times it would be as effective for people to work together and learn to cooperate to accomplish their goals.

As indicated in the description of the basics of democracy, I wouldn’t consider Greece a true democracy since it didn’t educate the public and give them equal say without coercion and they had slaves so not all were allowed to participate. Greece was a republic where one segment of society ruled the government and only those that were allowed to vote did so; some of these people based there votes on the coercion of more dominant demagogues which is part of the reason it fell apart.

Huntington was presumably raised in manner that taught him to adopt a certain ideology and maintain the current power structure which only allowed peer review from the crowd in power. This is how the might is right tactic generally develops if further investigation indicates a different upbringing than it would raise other questions.

Thanks for your reply.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by Boreas
 


I’ll have to check it when I get the chance.

BTW Sir Mike if you address the details and or accurate facts, or at least some sources, to back up your claims I’ll get back to you; the version of history you describe doesn’t agree with any of the reliable sources I know of.

Thanks all.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by zacherystaylor
reply to post by Boreas
 


I’ll have to check it when I get the chance.

BTW Sir Mike if you address the details and or accurate facts, or at least some sources, to back up your claims I’ll get back to you; the version of history you describe doesn’t agree with any of the reliable sources I know of.

Thanks all.


Howard Zinn isnt much of a reliable source.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by SirMike
 




But hope for what could be and anger of what should be is no substitute for recognizing what is and what will probably be. Its more a debate between realists and ideologues.


And therein lies the essence of the problem. This world goes with what works, if the systems are in place to support it and it worked in the past it keeps on going. Along the way it tries new stuff to see if a better solution is available, but always has a plan to fall back on if it fails as long as it is sustainable. The legal system is one of the branches to perform conflict resolution and has found its way to the highest courts in the UN. Unfortunately these courts are way under resourced with the ICC receiving about 160 petitions, yet only undertaken 6 cases so far, approximately.

National leaders are generally exempt from many laws due to the pressures of the role and the stability of the nation. In the past the head of state was the law maker, and still is in some regard but many other systems have developed to help balance and mange this power. With the rise of globalisation and multiculturalism a lot of conflict has past and is still present. As the UN continues to grow a lot of these conflicts are gradually getting addressed.

So to get to the point, America has a policy for world domination with bases in about 160 other countries. This is driven by the corporate sector and has used the tools of political manipulation, intimidation, fraud, murder and genocide to get what it wants, money and resources. Many of these organisations are now multinational and only server their own interests while continuing to influence global policy with their resources and tools.

The issue with ideology is that it is divided, there are too many branches exploring and expressing too many ideas to be heard in a cohesive and coherent manner. My solution is another ideology scientism, the rights and pursuit of science in working to understand and deal with the facts. I know the reality of this has its problems as the money and guns holds it over the universities. Things are way too complex for any one person or idea to sort this mess out. There are many intricate and technical relationships that takes a lot of research and professional debate to identify the correct problems and solutions. It is going to take a strong and wise leader to see that there is more strength in understanding and fixing society rather than waiting for the tragedy of the commons to pull it all down.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by kwakakev
 


I would certainly take an objection to your characterization of “American Empire”. I feel that after the second world war the threat of c(C)ommunism was great enough to compel American leadership, quite rightly, into taking a proactive stance against it and provide a stabilizing influence in East Asia and Europe. Leaving these nations to the machinations of the Soviets would have served no one’s interests. Most of what remains today is entropy from the cold war and desire from our allies for us to remain a stabilizing force. Nature and the status quo abhors a vacuum.

I don’t understand where you are going with “scientism” though. Are you saying that societies should be organized according to scientific principles?



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by SirMike
 




Are you saying that societies should be organized according to scientific principles?


Yes. Lets just take the economy is just one example, currently we just have one man calling the shots as public discourse is discouraged and education is wrapped up in a lot of double talk to help cloud some issues. When you do start to learn about these issues you do see why. But anyway, we have all these issues and many more with all these complex interactions and repercussions going on. I do expect he does get some advice and discussion within the economic community as for policy direction. However a lot of this does not go to the wider economic community for increased scrutiny, debate and study of the implications. When he is made to account it is in front of politicians, not economic peers. It does take longer to arrive at decisions when policy is challenged and with some decisions there is a subjective component that is harder to quantify and justify. America has a real strength in is scientific community and being more inclusive of this resource for policy direction it will strengthen the nation.

There are a lot of costs and benefits associated with war, the biggest benefit I see is the emergence of a common language to assist with international discussions. Now that has been established can we please stop fighting, pain really sucks and destruction is unproductive.



posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 09:13 AM
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reply to post by kwakakev
 


The alternative to organizing society to scientific principles has often been a lack of rational thinking and the might makes right mentality. In the case of the “threat of communism” this was a misguided perception of as threat. The real threat was the communist ideology; if that was the case they could have addressed it by discussing the issues and sorting through the details. The real threat may have been the totalitarians like Stalin; however a closer look may indicate that this may have been partly a threat of the USA’s own making. If Woodrow Wilson was more concerned about totalitarianism he could have supported the democratic aspects of the Russian Revolution before the Communists took over. Then they could have sorted out the details and we never would have had the USSR as an enemy in the first place; instead what he did was send troops to oppose the revolution and they had an enemy to unify against. Wilson was more concerned about the ideology that challenged powerful interests that made money at the expense of the majority so he didn’t wasn’t the idea of standing up for workers rights to catch on.

To put it simply if they had discussed the Communist and Capitalist ideology in a scientific manner they could have sorted out the details and kept the best aspects of each; instead they relied on demagoguery to manipulate the public during several red scares.



posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by zacherystaylor
 


Samuel Huntington had his hey days in the 90s. His thesis of Clash of Civilisations was based upon the collapse of Communist states such as Russia and China, and the rise of Islam during the era.

His corporate buddies were jubilant with his book, for it truimphs American Capitalism based upon democracy, an illusion that we only realized today, and aware of how much the shadow gov of military-industrial complex with its excesses had led to our present doom.

Today, as the upheavals in the ME as well as states as far away as Thailand had shown, it WAS NEVER about the fight pitting one civilsation against another, BUT a TYRANNY from one's civilisation to its own members in those societies.

The rise of Islam help much hope for muslims around the world, in the belief that theocracy may usher in a new theological age of benevolence, of freedom, of 'anarchy' (ideology of no gov but good faith and responsibility from each member), but it was not, as today's few rebellion in Iran had proven. Corruption was rife, and life was no better than during the Shah's if not worse. There was no representation for taxes paid, nor wealth shared to progress the nation in any degree.

Other ME states that faithfully believed that theocracy may work, were only disappointed today, for it was no better than the Ottoman monarchies that ruled over them ruthlessly, with little or nothing in social expenditure for the masses, despite even having the important middle classes whom equally suffered under corruption. Lip service was only paid by those whom claimed to be of holding divine mandate.

As China is struggling with corruptive capitalism that will soon end its rule, so too is Russia attempting today to play the 'terrorist' red flag from Islamic radicals, based upon the rise and aspiration of democracy and freedom from the arabs themselves, a fear the Russians gov that their own masses may be disatisfied with the way authoritarian rule had continued to rule in Russia.

US is no better, for the shadow gov, the Feds, and its zionist ideology partners in banks and corporations hd been uncovered during the financial crisis, with bitterness as the middle class is almost wiped out and destined for serfdom.

A bitterness because americans had long cherished capitalism, but like domocracy, it had only been an illusion played out by puppets on strings from the masters. Capitalism had long since ceased to exists with the merging of competitive companies into MNC conglomerates operating around the world with slave labour.

These are, unfortunately, facts if you look around without your blinkers on, and not opinions of mine.

Samuel H had been duped like everyone else back in the 90s. It had never been a clash of civilsations. Every civilisation is very much the same, for it is made up of humans, with very common aspirations such as justice, equality, prosperity, freedom and progress.

No matter our differences or the geological constrains, we aspire the same, and need not kill one another in order to achieve it, but absolutely possible to work together to achieve it, as a piece of pizza from an Egyptian to a Wisconsin protestor fighting for his rights in solidarity had taught me.

Clash of Civilisation and Samuel H belong to the trashcan of history, along with their bunk taught and influence or cheated the masses with.
edit on 22-2-2011 by SeekerofTruth101 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by SeekerofTruth101
 


Actually I’m not entirely inclined to agree; although a lot of what you say is true. The Clash of cultures is part of the problem, and the tyranny of their own people is also part of the problem. Huntington did actually manage to get some things right but due to his flaws everything needs to be checked and confirmed. Whether it is an ideological belief or a religious belief they should check the details and correct the mistakes if they want a good system. This isn’t something that has been done much in history especially with religions which by definition dictates the truth based on God’s will. More often than not ideologies have done the same although perhaps without God.




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