In Hungtington’s article, he argued that the post-cold war would be marked by civilizational conflict. Human beings, Huntington wrote, are divided along cultural lines — Western, Islamic, Hindu and so on. There is no universal civilization. Instead, there are these cultural blocks, each within its own distinct set of values. The Islamic civilization, he wrote, is the most troublesome. People in the Arab world do not share the general suppositions of the Western world. Their primary attachment is to their religion, not to their nation-state. Their culture is inhospitable to certain liberal ideals, like pluralism, individualism and democracy and if the United States wishes to thrive or at least survive in a world based on civilizations, it must reject multi-culturalism and reaffirm its roots and unity in European civilization.
Summary: The Clash of Ignorance
The writer disagreed with Hungtinton’s theory that the major source of conflict in the 21st century will be caused by difference in culture and civilization. He questioned its ability to generalize current international political condition and suggested that understanding international relations through institutional lens such as universal principles of justice and injustice will be more fruitful.
First of all, I respect Hungtington for his unique perspective of a post Cold-War international environment adds to academic debates a new view to consider, besides the political ideological one. Social science models and predictions are required to advance our understanding at many levels within government, education and the military sciences. However, I disagree with the Great Hungtington theory for a number of reasons. I think he has taken the complex international relation too simply by explaining it with only civilization and cultural differences, he failed to account for many other factors that must be understood when dealing with rising regional and global integration—mostly the economic incentive behind.
Secondly, I would say cultural differences are not as horrifying as Hungtington perceived it.
In some ways, each of us is like every person on earth; in some ways, each of us is like the members of our culture and group; and, in some ways, each of us is unique. Huntington minimized the power of universal political values and exaggerated the influence of distinct cultural values. Perhaps he did this out of frustration against global elites who sometimes refuse to acknowledge the power of culture at all.
A recent cultural exchange between China and the United States is a perfect rebuttal of what Hungtinton described as “differences unlikely to moderate” in areas such as human rights, trade and weapon proliferation—the visit of Obama ladies to China and Michelle Obama was given the opportunity to give a speech on human right and the importance of free flow of information on internet. Second piece of evidence that history animosity and cultural differences are less influential in contemporary politics happens in South East Asia, The Philippines which shared the same war time humiliation as China, Korea and many others from Japan, however, it has been showing an affirmative attitude towards Japan and joined the US Asian Pacific alliance, more so after the China’s claim of South China Sea territory. The world politics is primarily driven by economic benefits, be it given the name of “democracy” or “humanitarian intervention” or “holy war”.
Culture is important, but underneath cultural differences there are these universal aspirations for dignity, for political systems that listen to, respond to and respect the will of the people. I believe in the theory of complex interdependence that as the world becomes a smaller place all regions will become interconnected through commerce and communication. Societies will learn to live with one another regardless of cultural differences in order to procure commodities or