The Clash of Civilizations

The Clash of Civilizations (1996) by Samuel Huntington
provides outstanding background for understanding
the political and social world in which we live.
(It is a work much cited—
but often in contexts which suggest that
those doing the citing may not have actually read it.)

Here are first the titles of its parts and chapters,
then some excerpts;
paragraph numbers, emphasis, and some comments have been added.

The Parts and Chapters of
The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington

  1. Summary

  2. A World of Civilizations

    1. The New Era in World Politics

    2. Civilizations in History and Today

    3. A Universal Civilization? Modernization and Westernization

  3. The Shifting Balance of Civilizations

    1. The Fading of the West: Power, Culture, and Indigenization

    2. Economics, Demography, and the Challenger Civilizations

  4. The Emerging Order of Civilizations

    1. The Cultural Reconfiguration of Global Politics

    2. Core States, Concentric Circles, and Civilizational Order

  5. Clashes of Civilizations

    1. The West and the Rest: Intercivilizational Issues

    2. The Global Politics of Civilizations

    3. From Transition Wars to Fault Line Wars

    4. The Dynamics of Fault Line Wars

  6. The Future of Civilizations

    1. The West, Civilizations, and Civilization

Modernization versus Westernization
Cleft Countries
Torn Countries
Comparison of Toynbee’s and Huntington’s Lists of Civilizations


[From Section 1.1]

The central theme of this book is that

culture and cultural identities,
which at the broadest level are civilization identities,
are shaping
the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict
in the post-Cold War world.

The five parts of this book elaborate corollaries to this main proposition.

Part I: A World of Civilizations
For the first time in history
global politics is both multipolar and multicivilizational;
modernization is distinct from Westernization
and is producing neither a universal civilization in any meaningful sense
nor the Westernization of non-Western societies.

Part II: The Shifting Balance of Civilizations
The balance of power among civilizations is shifting:
the West is declining in relative influence;
Asian civilizations are expanding
their economic, military, and political strength;
Islam is exploding demographically
with destabilizing consequences for Muslim countries and their neighbors; and
non-Western civilizations generally are
reaffirming the value of their own cultures.

Part III: The Emerging Order of Civilizations
A civilization-based world order is emerging:
societies sharing cultural affinities cooperate with each other;
efforts to shift societies from one civilization to another are unsuccessful; and
countries group themselves around the head or core states of their civilization.

Part IV: Clashes of Civilizations
The West’s universalist pretensions
increasingly bring it into conflict with other civilizations,
most seriously with Islam and China;
at the local level fault line wars, largely between Muslims and non-Muslims,
generate “kin-country rallying,”
the threat of broader escalation,
and hence efforts by core states to halt these wars.

Part V: The Future of Civilizations
The survival of the West depends on
Americans reaffirming their Western identity and
Westerns accepting their civilization as unique not universal
and uniting to renew and preserve it
against challenges from non-Western societies.
Avoidance of a global war of civilizations depends on
world leaders accepting and cooperating to maintain
the multicivilizational character of global politics.

Part I
A World of Civilizations

Chapter 3
A Universal Civilization?
Modernization and Westernization

Section 3.2
Universal Civilization: Sources

The concept of a universal civilization
is a distinctive product of Western civilization.
In the nineteenth century
the idea of “the white man’s burden” helped justify
the extension of Western political and economic domination
over non-Western societies.
At the end of the twentieth century
the concept of a universal civilization helps justify
Western cultural dominance of other societies
and the need for those societies to ape Western practices and institutions.
Universalism is the ideology of the West
for confrontations with non-Western cultures.

As is often the case with marginals or converts,
among the most enthusiastic proponents of the single civilization idea
are intellectual migrants to the West,
such as [V. S.] Naipaul and Fouad Ajami,
for whom the concept provides a highly satisfying answer
to the central question: Who am I?
White man’s [stooge]
[That is the white professor Samuel Huntington quoting
the African-American Brent Staples of the New York Times quoting
the eminent late Palestinian-American professor Edward Said
referring to V. S. Naipaul.]
however, is the term one Arab intellectual applied to these migrants,
and the idea of a universal civilization
finds little support in other civilizations.

The non-Wests see as Western
what the West sees as universal.

What Westerners herald as benign global integration,
such as the proliferation of worldwide media,
non-Westerners denounce as nefarious Western imperialism.

To the extent that non-Westerners see the world as one,
they see it as a threat.

The arguments that some sort of universal civilization is emerging
rest on one or more of three assumptions as to why this should be the case.

First, there is the assumption, discussed in chapter 1, that
the collapse of Soviet communism meant the end of history
and the universal victory of liberal democracy throughout the world.

This argument suffers from the single alternative fallacy.
It is rooted in the Cold War perspective that
the only alternative to communism is liberal democracy
and that
the demise of the first produces the universality of the second.
Obviously, however,
there are many forms of
authoritarianism, nationalism, corporatism, and market communism (as in China)
that are alive and well in today’s world.
More significantly,
there are all the religious alternatives
that lie outside the world of secular ideologies.
In the modern world,
religion is a central, perhaps the central, force
that motivates and mobilizes people.
It is sheer hubris to think that because Soviet communism has collapsed,
the West has won the world for all time
and that
Muslims, Chinese, Indians, and others
are going to rush to embrace Western liberalism as the only alternative.
The Cold War division of humanity is over.
The more fundamental divisions of humanity in terms of
ethnicity, religions, and civilizations remain
and spawn new conflicts.

Second, there is the assumption that
increased interaction among peoples—
trade, investment, tourism, media, electronic communication generally—
is generating a common world culture.

Improvements in transportation and communication technology
have indeed made it easier and cheaper
to move money, goods, people, knowledge, ideas, and images around the world.
No doubt exists as to the increased international traffic in these items.
Much doubt exists, however, as to the impact of this increased traffic.
Does trade increase or decrease the likelihood of conflict?
The assumption that it reduces the probability of war between nations
is, at a minimum, not proven,
and much evidence exists to the contrary.
International trade expanded significantly in the 1960s and 1970s
and in the following decade the Cold War came to an end.
In 1913, however, international trade was at record highs
[note, e.g., Kenwood and Lougheed and remarks by Alan S. Blinder]
and in the next few years
nations slaughtered each other in unprecedented numbers.
If international commerce at that level could not prevent war, when can it?
The evidence simply does not support
the liberal, internationalist assumption that
commerce promotes peace.
One study concludes that
“increasing levels of trade may be
a highly divisive force ... for international politics”
and that
“increasing trade in the international system is, by itself,
unlikely to ease international tensions
or promote greater international stability.”
Another study argues that high levels of economic interdependence
“can be either peace-inducing or war-inducing,
depending on the expectations of future trade.”
Economic interdependence fosters peace only
“when states expect that high trade levels
will continue into the foreseeable future.”
If states do not expect high levels of interdependence to continue,
war is likely to result.

The failure of trade and communications to produce peace or common feeling
is consonant with the findings of social science.
[Huntington gives several supporting examples in this paragraph.

For the third assumption, see the next section.]

Section 3.3
The West and Modernization

[Subsection titles are added, for ease of reference.]

Subsection 3.3.1

The third and most general argument
for the emergence of a universal civilization
sees it as
the result of the broad processes of modernization
that have been going on since the eighteenth century.
[Toynbee starts the modernization process about three centuries earlier, circa 1475.]
Modernization involves
It is a product of
the tremendous expansion of scientific and engineering knowledge
beginning in the eighteenth century
that made it possible for humans to control and shape their environment
in totally unprecedented ways.
Modernization is a revolutionary process comparable only to
the shift from primitive to civilized societies, that is,
the emergence of civilization in the singular,
which began in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Nile, and the Indus
about 5000 b.c.
The attitudes, values, knowledge, and culture of people in a modern society
differ greatly from those in a traditional society.
As the first civilization to modernize,
the West leads in the acquisition of the culture of modernity.
As other societies acquire similar patterns of
education, work, wealth, and class structure, the argument runs,
this modern Western culture will become the universal culture of the world.

That significant differences exist between modern and traditional cultures
is beyond dispute.
It does not necessarily follow, however, that
societies with modern cultures resemble each other more than do
societies with traditional cultures.
a world in which some societies are highly modern and others still traditional
will be less homogeneous than
a world in which all societies are at comparable high levels of modernity.
But what about a world in which all societies were traditional?
This world existed a few hundred years ago.
Was it any less homogeneous than
a future world of universal modernity is likely to be?
Possibly not.
Ming China ... was assuredly closer to the France of the Valois,”
[Fernand] Braudel argues [on page 213 of On History],
“than the China of Mao Tse-tung is to the France of the Fifth Republic.”

modern societies could resemble each more than do traditional societies
for two reasons.

First, the increased interaction among modern societies
may not generate a common culture
but it does facilitate
the transfer of techniques, inventions, and practices
from one society to another
with a speed and to a degree
that were impossible in the traditional world.

Second, traditional society was based on agriculture;
modern society is based on industry, which may evolve
from handicrafts
to classic heavy industry
to knowledge-based industry.
Patterns of agriculture and the social structure which goes with them
are much more dependent on the natural environment
than are patterns of industry.
They vary with soil and climate and thus may give rise to
different forms of land ownership, social structure, and government.
Whatever the overall merits of Wittfogel’s hydraulic civilization thesis,
agriculture dependent on
the construction and operation of massive irrigation systems
does foster the emergence of
centralized and bureaucratic political authorities.
It could hardly be otherwise.
Rich soil and good climate are likely to encourage development of
large-scale plantation agriculture
and a consequent social structure involving
a small class of wealthy landowners and
a large class of peasants, slaves, or serfs who work the plantations.
Conditions inhospitable to large-scale agriculture
may encourage emergence of
a society of independent farmers.
In agricultural societies, in short,
social structure is shaped by geography.
Industry, in contrast,
is much less dependent on the local natural environment.
Differences in industrial organization are likely to derive from
differences in culture and social structure rather than geography,
and the former conceivably can converge while the latter cannot.

Subsection 3.3.2

Modern societies thus have much in common.
But do they necessarily merge into homogeneity?
The argument that they do rests on the assumption that

modern society must approximate a single type, the Western type,
that modern civilization is Western civilization and
that Western civilization is modern civilization.

This, however, is a totally false identification.
Western civilization emerged in the eighth and ninth centuries
and developed its distinctive characteristics in the following centuries.

It did not begin to modernize until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The West was the West long before it was modern.
The central characteristics of the West,
those which distinguish it from other civilizations,
antedate the modernization of the West.

What were these distinguishing characteristics of Western society
during the hundreds of years before it modernized?
Various scholars have produced answers to this question
which differ in some specifics
but agree on the key institutions, practices, and beliefs
that may legitimately be identified as the core of Western civilization.
These include the [eight characteristics below].

[The literature on the distinctive characteristics of Western civilization
is, of course, immense.
See, among others,
William H. McNeill, Rise of the West;
Fernand Braudel, On History and earlier works;
Immanuel Wallerstein, Geopolitics and Geoculture.
Karl W. Deutsch has produced
a comprehensive, succinct, and highly suggestive comparison
of the West and nine other civilizations
in terms of twenty-one
geographical, cultural, economic, technological, social, and political factors,
emphasizing the extent to which the West differs from the others.
Karl W. Deutsch, “On Nationalism, World Regions, and the Nature of the West”.]

Characteristics of Western Civilization

  1. The Classical legacy

  2. Catholicism and Protestantism

  3. European languages

  4. Separation of spiritual and temporal authority

  5. Rule of law

  6. Social pluralism

  7. Representative bodies

  8. Individualism

The Classical legacy
As a third generation civilization,
the West inherited much from previous civilizations,
including most notably Classical civilization [Toynbee’s “Hellenic”].
The legacies of the West from Classical civilization are many, including
Greek philosophy and rationalism,
Roman law,
Latin, and
Islamic and Orthodox civilizations also inherited from Classical civilization
but nowhere near to the same degree the West did.

Catholicism and Protestantism
Western Christianity,
first Catholicism and then Catholicism and Protestantism,
is historically the single most important characteristic of Western civilization.
During most of its first millennium, indeed,
what is now known as Western civilization was called Western Christendom;
there existed a well-developed sense of community among Western Christian peoples
that they were distinct from Turks, Moors, Byzantines, and others;
and it was for God as well as gold
that Westerners went out to conquer the world in the sixteenth century.
The Reformation and Counter-Reformation and
the division of Western Christendom into a Protestant north and a Catholic south
are also distinctive features of Western history,
totally absent from Eastern Orthodoxy
and largely removed from the Latin American experience.

European languages
Language is second only to religion
as a factor distinguishing people of one culture from those of another.
The West differs from most other civilizations
in its multiplicity of languages.
Japanese, Hindi, Mandarin, Russian, and even Arabic
are recognized as the core languages of their civilizations.
The West inherited Latin,
but a variety of nations emerged and with them national languages
grouped loosely into the broad categories of Romance and Germanic.
By the sixteenth century
these languages had generally assumed their contemporary form.

Separation of spiritual and temporal authority
Throughout Western history
first the Church and then many churches existed apart from the state.
God and Caesar,
church and state,
spiritual authority and temporal authority,
have been a prevailing dualism in Western culture.
Only in Hindu civilization
were religion and politics also so distinctly separated.
In Islam, God is Caesar;
in China and Japan, Caesar is God;
in Orthodoxy, God is Caesar’s junior partner.
The separation and recurring clashes between church and state
that typify Western civilization
have existed in no other civilization.
This division of authority contributed immeasurably
to the development of freedom in the West.

Rule of law
The concept of the centrality of law to civilized existence
was inherited from the Romans.
Medieval thinkers elaborated the idea of natural law
according to which monarchs were supposed to exercise their power,
and a common law tradition developed in England.
During the phase of absolutism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
the rule of law was observed more in the breach than in reality,
but the idea persisted of
the subordination of human power to some external restraint:
Non sub homine sed sub Deo et lege.”
[“Not under man but under God and law.”]
The tradition of the rule of law laid the basis for constitutionalism
and the protection of human rights, including property rights,
against the exercise of arbitrary power.
In most civilizations
law was a much less important factor in shaping thought and behavior.

Social pluralism
Historically Western society has been highly pluralistic.
As Deutsch notes, what is distinctive about the West
“is the rise and persistence of diverse autonomous groups
not based on blood relationship or marriage.”
Beginning in the sixth and seventh centuries,
these groups initially included monasteries, monastic orders, and guilds,
but then expanded to include in many areas of Europe
a variety of other associations and societies.
Associational pluralism was supplemented by class pluralism.
Most Western European societies included
a relatively strong and autonomous aristocracy,
a substantial peasantry, and
a small but significant class of merchants and traders.
The strength of the feudal aristocracy
was particularly significant in limiting the extent to which
absolutism was able to take firm root in most European nations.
This European pluralism contrasts sharply with
the poverty of civil society,
the weakness of the aristocracy, and
the strength of the centralized bureaucratic empires which simultaneously existed in Russia, China, the Ottoman lands, and other non-Western societies.

Representative bodies
Social pluralism early gave rise to
estates, parliaments, and other institutions
to represent the interests of
the aristocracy, clergy, merchants, and other groups.
These bodies provided forms of representation which
in the course of modernization
evolved into the institutions of modern democracy.
In some instances
these bodies were abolished or their powers were greatly limited
during the period of absolutism.
Even when that happened, however, they could, as in France, be resurrected
to provide a vehicle for expanded political participation.
No other contemporary civilization
has a comparable heritage of representative bodies
stretching back for a millennium.
At the local level also, beginning about the ninth century,
movements for self-government developed in the Italian cities
and then spread northward
“forcing bishops, local barons and other great nobles
to share power with the burghers,
and in the end often yield to them altogether.”
Representation at the national level was thus supplemented by
a measure of autonomy at the local level
not duplicated in other regions of the world.

Many of the above features of Western civilization contributed to
the emergence of a sense of individualism
and a tradition of individual rights and liberties
unique among civilized societies.
Individualism developed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
and acceptance of the right of individual choice—
what Deutsch terms “the Romeo and Juliet revolution”—
prevailed in the West by the seventeenth century.
Even claims for equal rights for all individuals—
the poorest he in England has a life to live as much as the richest he”—
were articulated if not universally accepted.
Individualism remains
a distinguishing mark of the West among twentieth-century civilizations.
In one analysis involving similar samples from fifty countries,
the top twenty countries scoring highest on the individualism index
included all the Western countries except Portugal plus Israel.
The author of another cross-cultural survey of individualism and collectivism similarly highlighted
the dominance of individualism in the West compared to
collectivism elsewhere
and concluded that
“the values that are most important in the West
are least important worldwide.”
Again and again both Westerns and non-Westerners point to individualism as
the central distinguishing mark of the West.

The above list is not meant to be an exhaustive enumeration of
the distinctive characteristics of Western civilization.
Nor is it meant to imply that
those characteristics were always and universally present
in Western society.
Obviously they were not:
the many despots in Western history
regularly ignored the rule of law and suspended representative bodies.
Nor is it mean to suggest that
none of these characteristics appeared in other civilizations.
Obviously they do:
the Koran and the shari’a constitute basic law for Islamic societies;
Japan and India had class systems paralleling that of the West
(and perhaps as a result are
the only two major non-Western societies to sustain democratic governments
for any length of time).
Individually almost none of these factors were unique to the West.
The combination of them was, however, and
this is what gave the West its distinctive quality.
These concepts, practices, and institutions
simply have been more prevalent in the West than in other civilizations.
They form at least part of the essential continuing core of Western civilization.
They are what is Western but not modern about the West.
They are also in large part
the factors which enabled the West to take the lead
in modernizing itself and the world.

Section 3.4
Responses to the West and Modernization

[This section has been slightly reformatted from Huntington’s (printed) text.
it has, for ease of reference, been divided into four subsections.
The first three subsection titles
were italicized paragraph headings in Huntington’s text;
the final one is original to this HTML document (as is the table).]

The expansion of the West
has promoted both the modernization and the Westernization
of non-Western societies.
The political and intellectual leaders of these societies
have responded to the Western impact in one or more of three ways:
  • rejecting both modernization and Westernization [§3.4.1];

  • embracing both [§3.4.2];

  • embracing the first and rejecting the second [§3.4.3].

Modernization versus Westernization
(CC 3.4.2)

(SH 33.2.b.ii)
No Rejectionism
(CC 3.4.1)

(SH 33.2.b.ii)
(CC 3.4.3)

No Yes

Subsection 3.4.1
Japan followed a substantially rejectionist course
from its first contacts with the West in 1542
until the mid-nineteenth century.
Only limited forms of modernization were permitted,
such as the acquisition of firearms,
and the import of Western culture, including most notably Christianity,
was highly restricted.
Westerners were totally expelled in the mid-seventeenth century.
This rejectionist stance came to an end with
the forcible opening of Japan by Commodore Perry in 1854
and the dramatic efforts to learn from the West
following the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
For several centuries China also attempted to bar
any significant modernization or Westernization.
Although Christian emissaries were allowed into China in 1601
they were then effectively excluded in 1722.
Unlike Japan, China’s rejectionist policy was in large part
rooted in the Chinese image of itself as the Middle Kingdom and
the firm belief in the superiority of Chinese culture
to those of all other peoples.
Chinese isolation, like Japanese isolation,
was brought to an end by Western arms,
applied to China by the British in the Opium War of 1839–42.
As these cases suggest,
during the nineteenth century Western power
made it increasingly difficult and eventually impossible
for non-Western societies to adhere to purely exclusionist strategies.

By the twentieth century
improvements in transportation and communication and global interdependence
increased tremendously the costs of exclusion.
Except for small, isolated, rural communities
willing to exist at a subsistence level,
the total rejection of modernization as well as Westernization
is hardly possible
in a world becoming overwhelmingly modern and highly interconnected.
“Only the very most extreme fundamentalists,”
Daniel Pipes writes [page 349 of Path of God] concerning Islam,
“reject modernization as well as Westernization.
They throw television sets into rivers, ban wrist watches,
and reject the internal combustion engine.
The impracticality of their program
severely limits the appeal of such groups, however;
and in several cases—
such as the Yen Izala of Kano, Sadat’s assassins,
the Mecca mosque attackers, and some Malaysian dakwah groups—
their defeats in violent encounters with the authorities
caused them then to disappear with few traces.”
Disappearance with few traces summarizes generally
the fate of purely rejectionist policies by the end of the twentieth century.
Zealotry, to use Toynbee’s term, is simply not a viable option.

Subsection 3.4.2
A second possible response to the West is Toynbee’s Herodianism,
to embrace both modernization and Westernization.
This response is based on the assumptions that
  • modernization is desirable and necessary,

  • indigenous culture is incompatible with modernization
    and must be abandoned or abolished, and

  • society must fully Westernize in order to successfully modernize.
Modernization and Westernization reinforce each other and have to go together.
This approach was epitomized in the arguments
of some late nineteenth century Japanese and Chinese intellectuals that
in order to modernize,
their societies should abandon their historic languages
and adopt English as their national language.
This view, not surprisingly,
has been even more popular among Westerners than among non-Western elites.
Its message is:
“To be successful, you must be like us; our way is the only way.”
[“My way or the highway” on a global scale.]
The argument is that
“the religious values, moral assumptions, and social structures
of these [non- Western] societies
are at best alien, and sometimes hostile,
to the values and practices of industrialism.”
Hence economic development will
“require a radical and destructive remaking of life and society,
and, often,
a reinterpretation of the meaning of existence itself
as it has been understood by the people who live in these civilizations.”
[The above quotes are from William Pfaff,
Reflections: Economic Development”.]
Pipes makes the same point with explicit reference to Islam
[pages 197–198 of Path of God]:
To escape anomy, Muslims have but one choice,
for modernization requires Westernization ....
Islam does not offer an alternative way to modernize ....
Secularism cannot be avoided.
Modern science and technology require
an absorption of the thought processes which accompany them;
so too with political institutions.
Because content must be emulated no less than form,
the predominance of Western civilization must be acknowledged
so as to be able to learn from it.
European languages and Western educational institutions cannot be avoided,
even if the latter do encourage freethinking and easy living.
Only when Muslims explicitly accept the Western model
will they be in a position to technicalize and then to develop.

Sixty years before these words were written, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
had come to similar conclusions,
had created a new Turkey out of the ruins of the Ottoman empire, and
had launched a massive effort both to Westernize it and to modernize it.
In embarking on this course, and rejecting the Islamic past,
Ataturk made Turkey a “torn country,”
a society which was
Muslim in its religion, heritage, customs, and institutions
but with a ruling elite determined to make it
modern, Western, and at one with the West.
In the late twentieth century several countries are pursuing the Kemalist option
and trying to substitute a Western for a non-Western identity.
Their efforts are analyzed in chapter 6.
[In section 6.4 Huntington discusses at considerable length in this regard
Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and Australia.]

Subsection 3.4.3
Rejection involves
the hopeless task of isolating a society from the shrinking modern world.
Kemalism involves
the difficult and traumatic task of
destroying a culture that has existed for centuries
and putting in its place
a totally new culture imported from another civilization.
A third choice is to attempt to combine modernization
with the preservation of the central values, practices, and institutions
of the society’s indigenous culture.
This choice has understandably been
the most popular one among non-Western elites
In China in the last stages of the Ch’ing dynasty, the slogan was Ti-Yong,
“Chinese learning for the fundamental principles,
Western learning for practical use.”
In Japan it was Wakon, Yōsei,
“Japanese spirit, Western technique.”
In Egypt in the 1830s Muhammad Ali
“attempted technical modernization without excessive cultural Westernization.”
This effort failed, however,
when the British forced him to abandon most of his modernizing reforms.
As a result, Ali Mazrui observes [on pages 4–5 of this],
“Egypt’s destiny was not a Japanese fate of
technical modernization without cultural Westernization,
nor was it an Ataturk fate of
technical modernization through cultural Westernization.”
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, however,
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad ’Abduh, and other reformers
attempted a new reconciliation of Islam and modernity, arguing
“the compatibility of Islam
with modern science and the best of Western thought”
and providing an
“Islamic rationale for accepting modern ideas and institutions,
whether scientific, technological, or political
(constitutionalism and representative government).”
[The above quotes are from John Esposito and Pipes again.]
This was a broad-gauged reformism, tending toward Kemalism,
which accepted not only modernity but also some Western institutions.
Reformism of this type was the dominant response to the West
on the part of Muslim elites for fifty years from the 1870s to the 1920,
when it was challenged by the rise first of Kemalism
and then of a much purer reformism in the shape of fundamentalism.

Subsection 3.4.4
Discussion and Comparison

[All but the last paragraph of this subsection, and thus of the chapter, are omitted.]

[ (conclusion of Chapter 3)]

Modernization, in short,
does not necessarily mean Westernization.

[That short sentence summarizes much of the book.]

Non-Western societies can modernize and have modernized
without abandoning their own cultures and
adopting wholesale Western values, institutions, and practices.
The latter, indeed, may be almost impossible:
whatever obstacles non-Western cultures pose to modernization
pale before those they pose to Westernization.
It would,
as [Fernand] Braudel observes [on pages 212–213 of On History],
almost “be childish” to think that
modernization or the “triumph of civilization in the singular”
would lead to the end of the plurality of historic cultures
embodied for centuries in the world’s great civilizations.
Modernization, instead,
strengthens those cultures and
reduces the relative power of the West.
In fundamental ways, the world is becoming
more modern and less Western.

[End of Chapter 3.]

Part II
The Shifting Balance of Civilizations

Chapter 4
The Fading of the West:
Power, Culture, and Indigenization

Section 4.1
Western Power: Dominance and Decline

Two pictures exist of the power of the West in relation to other civilizations.

The first is of overwhelming, triumphant, almost total Western domination.
The disintegration of the Soviet Union
removed the only serious challenger to the West
and as a result the world is and will be
shaped by the goals, priorities, and interests
of the principal Western nations,
with perhaps an occasional assist from Japan.
As the one remaining superpower,
the United States together with Britain and France
make the crucial decisions on political and security issues;
the United States together with Germany and Japan
make the crucial decisions on economic issues.
The West is the only civilization which has substantial interests
in every other civilization or region
and has the ability to affect the politics, economics, and security
of every other civilization or region.
Societies from other civilizations usually need Western help
to achieve their goals and protect their interests.
Western nations, as one author summarized it:
  1. Own and operate the international banking system

  2. Control all hard currencies

  3. Are the world’s principal customer

  4. Provide the majority of the world’s finished goods

  5. Dominate international capital markets

  6. Exert considerable moral leadership within many societies

  7. Are capable of massive military intervention

  8. Control the sea lanes

  9. Conduct most advanced technical research and development

  10. Control leading edge technical education

  11. Dominate access to space

  12. Dominate the aerospace industry

  13. Dominate international communications

  14. Dominate the high-tech weapons industry

The second picture of the West is very different.
It is of a civilization in decline,
its share of world political, economic, and military power
going down relative to that of other civilizations.
The West’s victory in the Cold War has produced not triumph but exhaustion.
The West is increasingly concerned with its internal problems and needs,
as it confronts
slow economic growth,
stagnating populations,
huge government deficits,
a declining work ethic,
low savings rates,
and in many countries, including the United States,
social disintegration, drugs, and crime.
Economic power is rapidly shifting to East Asia,
and military power and political influence are starting to follow.
India is on the verge of economic takeoff
and the Islamic world is increasingly hostile to the West.
The willingness of other societies
to accept the West’s dictates or abide its sermons
is rapidly evaporating,
and so are the West’s self-confidence and will to dominate.
The late 1980s witnessed much debate about
the declinist thesis concerning the United States.
In the mid-1990s, a balanced analysis came to a somewhat similar conclusion:
[I]n many important respects,
its [the United States’] relative power will decline at an accelerating rate.
In terms of its raw economic capabilities,
the position of the United States in relation to Japan and eventually China
is likely to erode still further.
In the military realm,
the balance of effective capabilities
between the United States and a number of growing regional powers
(including, perhaps, Iran, India, and China)
will shift from the center toward the periphery.
Some of America’s structural power will flow to other nations;
some (and some of its soft power as well) will find its way
into the hands of nonstate actors like multinational corporations.

Which of these two contrasting pictures of the place of the West in the world describes reality?
The answer, of course, is: they both do.
The West is overwhelmingly dominant now
and will remain number one in terms of power and influence
well into the twenty-first century.
Gradual, inexorable, and fundamental changes, however,
are also occurring in the balances of power among civilizations,
and the power of the West relative to that of other civilizations
will continue to decline.
As the West’s primacy erodes,
much of its power will simply evaporate
and the rest will be diffused on a regional basis
among the several major civilizations and their core states.
The most significant increases in power
are accruing and will accrue to Asian civilizations,
with China gradually emerging as
the society most likely to challenge the West for global influence.
These shifts in power among civilizations are leading and will lead to

the revival and increased cultural assertiveness
of non-Western societies

and to
their increasing rejection of Western culture.

[The section continues for eight pages, backing up the above assertions.
All that is omitted here.]

Section 4.2
The Resurgence of Non-Western Cultures

The distribution of cultures in the world reflects the distribution of power.
Trade may or may not follow the flag, but culture almost always follows power.
Throughout history
the expansion of the power of a civilization
has usually occurred simultaneously with
the flowering of its culture
and has almost always involved its using that power
to extend its values, practices, and institutions to other societies.
A universal civilization requires universal power.
Roman power created
a near-universal civilization within the limited confines of the Classical world.
Western power in the form of European colonialism in the nineteenth century and American hegemony in the twentieth century
extended Western culture throughout much of the contemporary world.
European colonialism is over; American hegemony is receding.
The erosion of Western culture follows,
as indigenous, historically rooted mores, languages, beliefs, and institutions
reassert themselves.
The growing power of non-Western societies produced by modernization
is generating the revival of non-Western cultures throughout the world.

A distinction exists, Joseph Nye has argued, between
hard power,”
which is the power to command resting on economic and military strength,
soft power,”
which is the ability of a state
to get “other countries to want what it wants”
through the appeal of its culture and ideology.
As Nye recognizes, a broad diffusion of hard power is occurring in the world
and the major nations “are
less able to use their traditional power resources to achieve their purposes
than in the past.”
Nye goes on to say that
if a state’s “culture and ideology are attractive,
others will be more willing to follow” its leadership, and hence
soft power is “just as important as hard command power.”
What, however, makes culture and ideology attractive?
They become attractive
when they are seen as rooted in material success and influence.

[Surely that is too materialistic.
What about intellectual beauty and justice, for example?
The continuing attraction of the intellectual products and culture of ancient Greece?]

Soft power is power only when it rests on a foundation of hard power.
Increases in hard economic and military power produce
enhanced self-confidence, arrogance, and belief in the superiority of one’s own culture or soft power compared to those of other peoples
and greatly increase its attractiveness to other peoples.
Decreases in economic and military power lead to
self-doubt, crises of identity, and efforts to find in other cultures
the keys to economic, military, and political success.
As non-Western societies enhance
their economic, military, and political capacity,
they increasingly trumpet the virtues of
their own values, institutions, and culture.

Communist ideology appealed to people throughout the world in the 1950s and 1960s when it was associated with
the economic success and military force of the Soviet Union.
That appeal evaporated when the Soviet economy stagnated
and was unable to maintain Soviet military strength.
Western values and institutions have appealed to people from other cultures
because they were seen as the source of Western power and wealth.
This process has been going on for centuries.
Between 1000 and 1300, as William McNeill points out,
Christianity, Roman law, and other elements of Western culture
were adopted by Hungarians, Poles, and Lithuanians, and
this “acceptance of Western civilization was stimulated by mingled fear and admiration of the military prowess of Western princes.”
As Western power declines [see §4.1], the ability of the West to impose
Western concepts of human rights, liberalism, and democracy on other civilizations also declines
and so does the attractiveness of those values to other civilizations.

It already has.
For several centuries non-western peoples envied the economic prosperity, technological sophistication, military power, and political cohesion of Western societies.
They sought the secret of this success in Western values and institutions,
and when they identified what they thought might be the key
they attempted to apply it in their own societies.
To become rich and powerful, they would have to become like the West.
Now, however, these Kemalist attitudes have disappeared in East Asia.
East Asians attribute their dramatic economic development
not to their import of Western culture
but rather to their adherence to their own culture.
They are succeeding, they argue, because they are different from the West.
Similarly, when non-Western societies felt weak in relation to the West,
they invoked Western values of
self-determination, liberalism, democracy, and independence
to justify their opposition to Western domination.
Now that they are no longer weak but increasingly powerful,
they do not hesitate to attack those same values
which they previously used to promote their interests.
The revolt against the West was originally legitimated by
asserting the universality of Western values;
it is now legitimated by
asserting the superiority of non-Western values.

The rise of these attitudes is a manifestation of what Ronald Dore has termed the
second-generation indigenization phenomenon.”
In both former Western colonies and independent countries like China and Japan,
“The first ‘modernizer’ or ‘post-independence’ generation
has often received its training
in foreign (Western) universities in a Western cosmopolitan language.
Partly because they first go abroad as impressionable teenagers,
their absorption of Western values and life-styles may well be profound.”
Most of the much larger second generation, in contrast,
gets its education at home in universities created by the first generation,
and the local rather than the colonial language
is increasingly used for instruction.
These universities
“provide a much more diluted contact with metropolitan world culture” and
“knowledge is indigenized by means of translations—
usually of limited range and of poor quality.”
The graduates of these universities resent the dominance of the earlier Western-trained generation and hence often
“succumb to the appeals of nativist opposition movements.”
As Western influence recedes,
young aspiring leaders cannot look to the West
to provide them with power and wealth.
They have to find the means of success within their own society,
and hence they have to accommodate to the values and culture of that society.

The process of indigenization need not wait for the second generation.
Able, perceptive, and adaptive first generation leaders indigenize themselves.
Three notable cases are
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Harry Lee, and Solomon Bandaranaike.
They were brilliant graduates
of Oxford, Cambridge, and Lincoln’s Inn, respectively,
superb lawyers,
and thoroughly Westernized members of the elites of their societies.
Jinnah was a committed secularist.
Lee was, in the words of one British cabinet minister,
“the best bloody Englishman east of Suez.”
Bandaranaike was raised a Christian.
Yet to lead their nations to and after independence they had to indigenize.
They reverted to their ancestral cultures,
and in the process at times changed identities, names, dress, and beliefs.
The English lawyer M.A. Jinnah
became Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azam,
Harry Lee
became Lee Kuan Yew.
The secularist Jinnah
became the fervent apostle of Islam as the basis for the Pakistani state.
The Anglofied Lee learned Mandarin
and became an articulate promoter of Confucianism.
The Christian Bandaranaike converted to Buddhism
and appealed to Sinhalese nationalism.

Indigenization has been the order of the day
throughout the non-Western world in the 1980s and 1990s.
The resurgence of Islam [see §5.2] and “re-Islamization
are the central themes in Muslim societies.
In India the prevailing trend is
the rejection of Western forms and values and
the “Hinduization” of politics and society.
In East Asia, governments are promoting Confucianism, and
political and intellectual leaders speak of
the “Asianization” of their countries.
In the mid-1980s Japan became obsessed with
Nihonjinron or the theory of Japan and the Japanese.”
Subsequently a leading Japanese intellectual argued that historically
Japan has gone through “cycles of importation of external cultures” and
“ ‘indigenization’ of those cultures through replication and refinement,
inevitable turmoil resulting from
exhausting the imported and creative impulse, and
eventual reopening to the outside world.”
At present Japan is “embarking on the second phase of this cycle.”
With the end of the Cold War,
Russia again became a “torn” country with
the reemergence of the classic struggle between Westernizers and Slavophiles.
For a decade, however, the trend was from the former to the latter,
as the Westernized Gorbachev gave way to
Yeltsin, Russian in style, Western in articulated beliefs, who, in turn,
was threatened by nationalists epitomizing Russian Orthodox indigenization.

Indigenization is furthered by the democracy paradox:
adoption by non-Western societies of Western democratic institutions
encourages and gives access to power
to nativist and anti-Western political movements.
In the 1960s and 1970s
Westernized and pro-Western governments in developing countries
were threatened by coups and revolutions;
in the 1980s and 1990s
they are increasingly in danger of being ousted by elections.
Democratization conflicts with Westernization, and
democracy is inherently a parochializing not a cosmopolitanizing process.
Politicians in non-Western societies do not win elections
by demonstrating how Western they are.
Electoral competition instead stimulates them to fashion
what they believe will be the most popular appeals,
and those are usually ethnic, nationalist, and religious in character.

World on Fire by Amy Chua and
Electing to Fight by Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder
for some reasons why democracy isn’t the panacea some make it out to be.]

The result is popular mobilization
against Western-educated and Western-oriented elites.
Islamic fundamentalist groups have done well
in the few elections that have occurred in Muslim countries,
and [one such, the FIS,] would have come to national power in Algeria
if the military had not canceled the 1992 election.
Prior to 1949 both South African and Western elites
viewed South Africa as a Western state.
After the apartheid regime took shape,
Western elites gradually read South Africa out of the Western camp,
while white South Africans continued to think of themselves as Westerners.
In order to resume their place in the Western international order, however,
they had to introduce Western democratic institutions,
which resulted in the coming to power of a highly Westernized black elite.
If the second generation indigenization factor operates, however,
their successors will be much more Xhosa, Zulu, and African in outlook
and South Africa will increasingly define itself as an African state.

At various times before the nineteenth century,
Byzantines, Arabs, Chinese, Ottomans, Moguls, and Russians
were highly confident of their strength
and contemptuous of the cultural inferiority, institutional backwardness, corruption, and decadence of the West.
As the success of the West fades relatively, such attitudes reappear.
People feel “they don’t have to take it anymore.”
Iran is an extreme case, but, as one observer [Graham E. Fuller] noted,
“Western values are rejected in different ways, but no less firmly,
in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, and Japan.”
We are witnessing
“the end of the progressive era” dominated by Western ideologies
and are moving into
an era in which multiple and diverse civilizations
will interact, compete, coexist, and accommodate each other.
This global process of indigenization is manifest broadly in the
revivals of religion occurring in so many parts of the world
and most notably in the
cultural resurgence in Asian and Islamic countries
generated in large part by
their economic and demographic dynamism.

Chapter 5
Economics, Demography,
and the Challenger Civilizations

Indigenization [§4.2] and the revival of religion [§4.3] are global phenomena.
They have been most evident, however, in
the cultural assertiveness and challenges to the West
that have come from Asia and from Islam.
These have been
the dynamic civilizations of the last quarter of the twentieth century.
The Islamic challenge is manifest in
the pervasive cultural, social, and political
resurgence of Islam in the Muslim world
the accompanying rejection of Western values and institutions.
The Asian challenge is manifest in all the East Asian civilizations—
Sinic, Japanese, Buddhist, and Muslim—
and emphasizes their cultural differences from the West
and, at times, the commonalities they share,
often identified with Confucianism.
Both Asians and Muslims stress
the superiority of their cultures to Western culture.
In contrast, people in other non-Western civilizations—
Hindu, Orthodox, Latin American, African—
may affirm the distinctive character of their cultures,
but as of the mid-1990s had been hesitant about
proclaiming their superiority to Western culture.
Asia and Islam stand alone and at times together,
in their increasingly confident assertiveness with respect to the West.

Related but different causes lie behind these challenges.
Asian assertiveness is rooted in economic growth;
Muslim assertiveness stems in considerable measure from
social mobilization and population growth.
Each of these challenges
is having and will continue to have into the twenty-first century
a highly destabilizing impact on global politics.
The nature of those impacts, however, differs significantly.
The economic development of China and other Asian societies
provides their governments with both the incentives and the resources
to become more demanding in their dealing with other countries.
Population growth in Muslim countries,
and particularly the expansion of
the fifteen- to twenty-four-year-old age cohort,
provides recruits for
fundamentalism, terrorism, insurgency, and migration.
Economic growth strengthens Asian governments,
demographic growth threatens Muslim governments and non-Muslim societies.

[Sections 5.1 and 5.2 are located elsewhere in this blog:
5.1: The Asian Affirmation
5.2: The Islamic Resurgence.]

Section 5.3
Changing Challenges

No society can sustain double digit economic growth indefinitely,
and the Asian economic boom will level off
sometime in the early twenty-first century.
The rates of Japanese economic growth dropped substantially in the mid-1970s
and afterwards were not significantly higher
than those of the United States and European countries.
One by one other Asian “economic miracle” states
will see their growth rates decline
and approximate the “normal” levels maintained in complex economies.
Similarly, no religious revival or cultural movement lasts indefinitely,
and at some point the Islamic Resurgence will subside and fade into history.
That is most likely to happen when the demographic impulse powering it
weakens in the second and third decades of the twenty-first century.
At that time, the ranks of militants, warriors, and migrants will diminish,
and the high levels of conflict within Islam and between Muslims and others
(see chapter 10) are likely to decline.
The relations between Islam and the West will not become close
but they will become less conflicted,
and quasi war (see chapter 9) is likely to give way to cold war
or perhaps even cold peace.

Economic development in Asia will leave
a legacy of wealthier, more complex economies,
with substantial international involvement, prosperous bourgeoisies,
and well-off middle classes.
These are likely to lead towards
more pluralistic and possibly more democratic politics,
which will not necessarily, however, be more pro-Western.
Enhanced power will instead promote
continued Asian assertiveness in international affairs and
efforts to direct global trends in ways uncongenial to the West
and to reshape international institutions away from Western models and norms.
The Islamic Resurgence [§5.2],
like comparable movements including the Reformation,
will also leave important legacies.
Muslims will have a much greater awareness of what they have in common
and what distinguishes them from non-Muslims.
The new generation of leaders that takes over as the youth bulge ages
will not necessarily be fundamentalist
but will be much more committed to Islam than their predecessors.
Indigenization will be reinforced.
The Resurgence will leave
a network of Islamist social, cultural, economic, and political organizations
within societies and transcending societies.
The Resurgence will also have shown that
“Islam is the solution” to
the problems of morality, identity, meaning, and faith,
but not to
the problems of social injustice, political repression,
economic backwardness, and military weakness.
These failures could generate widespread disillusionment with political Islam,
a reaction against it,
and a search for alternative “solutions” to these problems.
Conceivably even more intensely anti-Western nationalisms could emerge,
blaming the West for the failures of Islam.
Alternatively, if Malaysia and Indonesia continue their economic progress,
they might provide an “Islamic model” for development
to compete with the Western and Asian models.

In any event, during the coming decades
Asian economic growth will have deeply destabilizing effects
on the Western-dominated established international order,
with the development of China, if it continues,
producing a massive shift in power among civilizations.
In addition,
India could move into rapid economic development
and emerge as a major contender for influence in world affairs.
Meanwhile Muslim population growth will be a destabilizing force
for both Muslim societies and their neighbors.
The large numbers of young people with secondary educations
will continue to power the Islamic Resurgence and
promote Muslim militancy, militarism, and migration.
As a result, the early years of the twenty-first century are likely to see
an ongoing resurgence of non-Western power and culture and
the clash of the peoples of non-Western civilizations
with the West and with each other.

Part III
The Emerging Order of Civilizations

Chapter 6
The Cultural Reconfiguration of Global Politics

Section 6.3
The Structure of Civilizations

In the Cold War, countries related to the two superpowers as
allies, satellites, clients, neutrals, and nonaligned.
In the post-Cold War world, countries relate to civilizations as
member states, core states, lone countries, cleft countries, and torn countries.
Like tribes and nations, civilizations have political structures.
A member state is
a country full identified culturally with one civilization,
as Egypt is with Arab-Islamic civilization and
Italy is with European-Western civilization.
Civilizations usually have one or more places viewed by their members as
the principal source or sources of the civilization’s culture.
These sources are often located within
the core state or states of the civilization,
that is, its most powerful and culturally central state or states.

The number and role of core states vary from civilization to civilization
and may change over time.
Japanese civilization is virtually identical with
the single Japanese core state.
Sinic, Orthodox, and Hindu civilizations each have
one overwhelmingly dominant core state,
other member states, and
people affiliated with their civilization
in states dominated by people of a different civilization
(Overseas Chinese, “near abroad” Russians, Sri Lankan Tamils).
Historically the West has usually had several core states;
it has now two cores, the United States and a Franco-German core in Europe,
with Britain an additional center of power adrift between them.
Islam, Latin America, and Africa lack core states.
This is in part due to the imperialism of the Western powers,
which divided among themselves Africa, the Middle East,
and in earlier centuries and less decisively, Latin America.

The absence of an Islamic core state
poses major problems for both Muslim and non-Muslim societies,
which are discussed in [section 7.5].
With respect to Latin America,
conceivably Spain could have become the core state
of a Spanish-speaking or even Iberian civilization
but its leaders consciously chose
to become a member state in European civilization,
while at the same time maintaining cultural links with its former colonies.
Size, resources, population, military and economic capacity
qualify Brazil to be the leader of Latin America,
and conceivably it could become that.
Brazil, however, is to Latin America what Iran is to Islam.
Otherwise well-qualified to be a core state,
subcivilizational differences (religious with Iran, linguistic with Brazil)
make it difficult for it to assume that role.
Latin America thus has several states,
Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina,
which cooperate in and compete for leadership.
The Latin America situation is also complicated by the fact that
Mexico has attempted to redefine itself
from a Latin America to a North American identity
and Chile and other states may follow.
In the end,
Latin American civilization could merge into and become one subvariant of
a three-pronged Western civilization.

The ability of any potential core state
to provide leadership to sub-Saharan Africa
is limited by
its division into French-speaking and English-speaking countries.
For a while Côte d’Ivoire was the core state of French-speaking Africa.
In considerable measure, however,
the core state of French Africa has been France,
which after independence maintained
intimate economic, military, and political connections
with its former colonies.
The two African countries that are most qualified to become core states
are both English-speaking.
Size, resources, and location make Nigeria a potential core state,
but its inter-civilizational disunity, massive corruption,
political instability, repressive government, and economic problems
have severely limited its ability to perform this role,
although it has done so on occasion.
South Africa’s peaceful and negotiated transition from apartheid,
its industrial strength,
its higher level of economic development compared to other African countries,
its military capability, its natural resources, and
its sophisticated black and white political leadership
all mark South Africa as
clearly the leader of southern Africa,
probably the leader of English Africa, and
possibly the leader of all sub-Saharan Africa.

A lone country lacks cultural commonality with other societies.
Ethiopia, for example, is culturally isolated by
its predominant language, Amharic, written in the Ethiopic script;
its predominant religion Coptic Orthodoxy;
its imperial history; and
its religious differentiation from the largely Muslim surrounding peoples.
[Haiti is Huntington’s next example.]

The most important lone country is Japan.
No other country shares its distinct culture,
and Japanese migrants are either
not numerically significant in other countries or
have assimilated to the cultures of those countries (e.g., Japanese-Americans).
Japan’s loneliness is further enhanced by the fact that
its culture is highly particularistic
and does not involve a potentially universal religion (Christianity, Islam)
or ideology (liberalism, communism)
that could be exported to other societies and
thus establish a cultural connection with people in those societies.

Almost all countries are heterogeneous in that
they include two or more ethnic, racial, and religious groups.
Many countries are divided in that
the differences and conflicts among these groups
play an important role in the politics of the country.
The depth of this division usually varies over time.
Deep divisions within a country can lead to massive violence
or threaten the country’s existence.
This latter threat and movements for autonomy or separation
are most likely to arise when
cultural differences coincide with differences in geographic location.
If culture and geography do not coincide,
they may be made to coincide thorough either genocide or forced migration.

Countries with distinct cultural groupings belonging to the same civilization
may become deeply divided
with separation either occurring (Czechoslovakia)
or becoming a possibility (Canada).
[After 2000 he might add
Belgium (Flanders, Walloonia) and
Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales).]

Deep divisions are, however, much more likely to emerge within
a cleft country
where large groups belong to different civilizations.
Such divisions and the tensions that go with them often develop when
a majority group belonging to one civilization
attempts to define the state as its political instrument and
to make its language, religion, and symbols those of the state,
as Hindus, Sinhalese, and Muslims have attempted to do
in India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia.

Cleft countries that territorially bestride the fault lines between civilizations
face particular problems maintaining their unity.
In Sudan, civil war has gone on for decades
between the Muslim north and the largely Christian south.
The same civilizational division
has bedeviled Nigerian politics for a similar length of time and
stimulated one major war of secession plus coups, rioting, and other violence.
In Tanzania, the Christian animist mainland and Arab Muslim Zanzibar
have drifted apart and in many respects become two separate countries,
with Zanzibar in 1992 secretly joining the Organization of the Islamic Conference and then being induced by Tanzania to withdraw from it the following year.
The same Christian-Muslim division
has generated tensions and conflicts in Kenya.
On the horn of Africa,
largely Christian Ethiopia and overwhelmingly Muslim Eritrea
separated from each other in 1993.
Ethiopia was left, however,
with a substantial Muslim minority among its Oromo people.
Other countries divided by civilizational fault lines include:
India (Muslims and Hindus),
Sri Lanka (Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus),
Malaysia and Singapore (Chinese and Malay Muslims),
China (Han Chinese, Tibetan Buddhists, Turkic Muslims),
Philippines (Christians and Muslims), and
Indonesia (Muslims and Timorese Christians).

Cleft Countries
Country Factions
Sudan, Ethiopia,
Kenya, Tanzania,
Christians, Muslims
India Hindus, Muslims
Sri Lanka Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil Hindus
Malaysia, Singapore Chinese, Malay Muslims
China Han Chinese, Tibetan Buddhists,
Turkic Muslims
Indonesia Muslims, Timorese Christians

The divisive effect of civilizational fault lines
has been most notable in those cleft countries
held together during the Cold War by authoritarian communist regimes,
legitimated by Marxist-Leninist ideology.
With the collapse of communism,
culture replaced ideology as the magnet of attraction and repulsion,
and Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union
came apart and divided into new entities grouped along civilizational lines:
Baltic (Protestant and Catholic), Orthodox, and Muslim republics
in the former Soviet Union;
Catholic Slovenia and Croatia,
partially Muslim Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
Orthodox Serbia-Montenegro and Macedonia
in the former Yugoslavia.
Where these successor entities still encompassed multi-civilizational groups,
second-stage divisions manifested themselves.
Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided by war
into Serbian, Muslim, and Croatian sections,
and Serbs and Croats fought each other in Croatia.
The sustained peaceful position of Albanian Muslim Kosovo
within Slavic Orthodox Serbia is highly uncertain
[it later fought a bitter war of independence from Serbia],
and tensions rose between the Albanian Muslim minority
and the Slavic Orthodox majority in Macedonia.
Many former Soviet republics also bestride civilizational fault lines,
in part because the Soviet government shaped boundaries
so as to create divided republics,
Russian Crimea going to Ukraine,
Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan.
Russia has several, relatively small, Muslim minorities,
most notably in the North Caucasus and the Volga region.
Estonia, Latvia, and Kazakhstan have substantial Russian minorities,
also produced in considerable measure by Soviet policy.
Ukraine is divided between the Uniate nationalist Ukrainian-speaking west
and the Orthodox Russian-speaking east.

In a cleft country major groups from two or more civilizations say, in effect,
“We are different peoples and belong in different places.”
The forces of repulsion drive them apart
and they gravitate toward civilizational magnets in other societies.
A torn country, in contrast,
has a single predominant culture which places it in one civilization
but its leaders want to shift it to another civilization.
They say, in effect,
“We are one people and belong together in one place
but we want to change that place.”
Unlike the people of cleft countries,
the people of torn countries agree on who they are
but disagree on which civilization is properly their civilization.
a significant portion of the leaders embrace a Kemalist strategy and
decide their society should reject its non-Western culture and institutions,
should join the West, and
should both modernize and Westernize.
  • Russia has been a torn country since Peter the Great,
    divided over the issue of whether it is part of Western civilization
    or is the core of a distinct Eurasian Orthodox civilization.

  • Mustafa Kemal’s country [Turkey] is, of course, the classic torn country
    which since the 1920s has been trying to modernize, to Westernize,
    and to become part of the West.

  • After almost two centuries of Mexico defining itself
    as a Latin American country in opposition to the United States,
    its leaders in the 1980s made their country a torn country
    by attempting to redefine it as a North American society.

  • Australia’s leaders in the 1990s, in contrast,
    are trying to delink their country from the West
    and make it a part of Asia,
    thereby creating a torn-country-in-reverse.
Torn countries are identifiable by two phenomena.
Their leaders refer to them as a “bridge” between two cultures,
and observers describe them as Janus-faced.
“Russia looks West—and East”,
“Turkey: East, West, which is best?”,
“Australian nationalism: Divided loyalties”
are typical headlines highlighting torn country identity problems.

Torn Countries
Country Civilization
From To
Russia Orthodox Western
Turkey Islamic Western
Mexico Latin Western
Australia Western Asian

Section 6.4
Torn Countries:
The Failure of Civilization Shifting

For a torn country successfully to redefine its civilizational identity,
at least three requirements must be met.
  1. The political and economic elite of the country
    has to be generally supportive of and enthusiastic about this move.

  2. The public has to be at least
    willing to acquiesce in the redefinition of identity.

  3. The dominant elements in the host civilization, in most cases the West,
    have to be willing to embrace the convert.
The process of identity redefinition will be
prolonged, interrupted, and painful,
politically, socially, institutionally, and culturally.
It also to date has failed.

[Huntington proceeds to spend fifteen pages describing the extent to which
Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and Australia are torn countries.
We skip to the final subsection.]

Subsection 6.4.5
The Western Virus and Cultural Schizophrenia

While Australia’s leaders embarked on a quest for Asia,
those of other torn countries—Turkey, Mexico, Russia—
attempted to incorporate the West into their societies
and to incorporate their societies into the West.
Their experience strongly demonstrates, however,
the strength, resilience, and viscosity of indigenous cultures
and their ability to renew themselves
and to resist, contain, and adapt Western imports.
While the rejectionist response to the West is impossible,
the Kemalist response has been unsuccessful.
If non-Western societies are to modernize,
they must do it their own way not the Western way
and, emulating Japan, build upon and employ
their own traditions, institutions, and values.

Political leaders imbued with the hubris to think
they can fundamentally reshape the culture of their societies
are destined to fail.
While they can introduce elements of Western culture,
they are unable permanently to suppress or to eliminate
the core elements of their indigenous culture.
Conversely, the Western virus, once it is lodged in another society,
is difficult to expunge.
The virus persists but is not fatal;
the patient survives but is never whole.
Political leaders can make history but they cannot escape history.
They produce torn countries; they do not create Western societies.
They infect their country with a cultural schizophrenia
which becomes its continuing and defining characteristic.

[For a similar analysis by Arnold Toynbee,
see his description of intelligentsias in torn countries.]

Chapter 7
Core States, Concentric Circles,
and Civilizational Order

Section 7.1
Civilizations and Order

In the emerging global politics,
the core states of the major civilizations
are supplanting the two Cold War superpowers as
the principal poles of attraction and repulsion for other countries.
These changes are most clearly visible with respect to
Western, Orthodox, and Sinic civilizations.
In these cases civilizational groupings are emerging involving
core states, member states,
culturally similar minority populations in adjoining states,
and, most controversially,
peoples of other cultures in neighboring states.
States in these civilizational blocs often tend to be
distributed in concentric circles around the core state or states,
reflecting their degree of identification with and integration into that bloc.
Lacking a recognized core state,
Islam is intensifying its common consciousness
but so far has developed only a rudimentary common political structure.

Countries tend to
bandwagon with countries of similar culture and to
balance against countries with which they lack cultural commonality.
This is particularly true with respect to the core states.
Their power attracts those who are culturally similar
and repels those who are culturally different.
For security reasons core states may attempt
to incorporate or to dominate some peoples of other civilizations,
who, in turn, attempt to resist or to escape such control
(Chinese vs. Tibetans and Uighurs;
Russia vs. Tatars, Chechens, Central Asian Muslims).
Historical relationships and balance of power considerations
also lead some countries to resist the influence of their core state.
Both Georgia and Russia are Orthodox countries,
but the Georgians historically have resisted Russian domination
and close association with Russia.
Vietnam and China are both Confucian countries,
yet a comparable pattern of historical enmity has existed between them.
Over time, however, cultural commonality and
development of a broader and stronger civilizational consciousness
could bring these countries together,
as Western European countries have come together.

During the Cold War, what order there was
was the product of superpower dominance of their two blocs
and superpower influence in the Third World.
In the emerging world, global power is obsolete,
global community a distant dream.
No country, including the United States,
has significant global security interests.
The components of order in today’s more complex and heterogeneous world
are found
within and between civilizations or not at all.
In this world
the core states of civilizations are sources of order within civilizations
and, through negotiations with other core states,
between civilizations.

A world in which core states play a leading or dominating role
is a spheres-of-influence world.
But it is also a world in which
the exercise of influence by the core state
is tempered and moderated by
the common culture it shares with member states of its civilization.
Cultural commonality
legitimates the leadership and order-imposing role of the core state
for both member states and for the external powers and institutions.
It is thus futile to do as U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali did in 1994 and promulgate a rule of “spheres of influence keeping” that
no more than one-third of the U.N. peacekeeping force
should be provided by the dominant regional power.
Such a requirement defies the geopolitical reality that

in any given region where there is a dominant state
peace can be achieved and maintained
only through the leadership of that state.

The United Nations is no alternative to regional power,
and regional power becomes responsible and legitimate
when exercised by core states in relation to
other members of their civilization.

A core state can perform its ordering function
because member states perceive it as cultural kin.
A civilization is an extended family and, like older members of a family,
core states provide their relatives with both support and discipline.
In the absence of that kinship,
the ability of a more powerful state
to resolve conflicts in and impose order on its region
is limited.
Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even Sri Lanka
will not accept India as the order provider in South Asia
and no other East Asian state will accept Japan in that role in East Asia.

When civilizations lack core states
the problems of creating order within civilizations
or negotiating order between civilizations
become more difficult.
The absence of an Islamic core state
which could legitimately and authoritatively relate to the Bosnians,
as Russia did to the Serbs and Germany to the Croats,
impelled the United States to attempt that role.
Its ineffectiveness in doing so derived from
the lack of American strategic interest in
where state boundaries were drawn in the former Yugoslavia,
the absence of any cultural connection between the United States and Bosnia,
and European opposition to the creation of a Muslim state in Europe.
The absence of core states in both Africa and the Arab world
has greatly complicated efforts to resolve the ongoing civil war in Sudan.
Where core states exist, on the other hand,
they are the central elements of
the new international order based on civilizations.

Section 7.2
Bounding the West

During the Cold War the United States was at the center of
a large, diverse, multicivilizational grouping of countries
who shared the goal of preventing further expansion by the Soviet Union.
This grouping variously known as
the “Free World,” the “West,” or the “Allies,”
included many but not all Western societies,
Turkey, Greece, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Israel,
and, more loosely, other countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, and Pakistan.
It was opposed by a grouping of countries only slightly less heterogeneous,
which included all the Orthodox countries except Greece,
several countries that were historically Western,
Vietnam, Cuba, to a lesser degree India,
and at times one or more African countries.
With the end of the Cold War
these multicivilizational cross-cultural groupings fragmented.
The dissolution of the Soviet system, particularly the Warsaw Pact,
was dramatic.
More slowly but similarly
the multicivilizational “Free World” of the Cold War
is being reconfigured into
a new grouping more or less coextensive with Western civilization.
A bounding process is underway involving
the definition of the membership of Western international organizations.

The core states of the European Union, France and Germany,
are circled first by an inner grouping of
Belgium, Netherland, and Luxembourg [Benelux],
all of which have agreed
to eliminate all barriers to the transit of goods and persons;
then other member countries such as
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Britain, Ireland, and Greece;
states which became members in 1995 (Austria, Finland, Sweden);
and those countries which as of that date were associate members
(Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania).
Reflecting this reality, in the fall of 1994
both the governing party in Germany and top French officials
advanced proposals for a differentiated Union.
The German plan proposed that the “hard core” consist of
the original members minus Italy and that
“Germany and France form the core of the hard core.”
The hard core countries would rapidly attempt to establish a monetary union
and to integrate their foreign and defense policies.
Almost simultaneously French Prime Minister Édouard Balladur
suggested a three-tier Union with
the five pro-integrationist states forming the core,
the other current member states forming a second circle,
and the new states on the way to becoming members constituting an outer circle.
Subsequently French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé elaborated this concept,
“an outer circle of ‘partner’ states, including Eastern and Central Europe;
a middle circle of member states
that would be required to accept common disciplines in certain fields
(single market, customs union, etc.);
and several inner circles of ‘reinforced solidarities’
incorporating those willing and able to move faster than others
in such areas as defense, monetary integration, foreign policy and so on.”
Other political leaders proposed other types of arrangements,
all of which, however,
involved an inner grouping of more closely associated states
and then outer groupings of states less full integrated with the core state
until the line is reached separating members from nonmembers.

Establishing that line in Europe has been
one of the principal challenges confronting the West in the post-Cold War world.
During the Cold War Europe as a whole did not exist.
With the collapse of communism, however,
it became necessary to confront and answer the question:
What is Europe?
Europe’s boundaries on the north, west, and south
are delimited by substantial bodies of water,
which to the south coincide with clear differences in culture.
But where is Europe’s eastern boundary?
Who should be thought of as European and hence as
potential members of the European Union, NATO, and comparable organizations?

The most compelling and pervasive answer to these questions is provided by

the great historical line that has existed for centuries
separating Western Christian peoples
from Muslim and Orthodox peoples.

The line dates back to the division of the Roman Empire in the fourth century
and to the creation of the Holy Roman Empire in the tenth century.
It has been in roughly its current place for at least five hundred years.
Beginning in the north, it runs along
what are now the borders between Finland and Russia,
through western Belarus,
through Ukraine separating the Uniate west from the Orthodox east,
through Romania between Transylvania with its Catholic Hungarian population
and the rest of the country, and
through the former Yugoslavia along
the border separating Slovenia and Croatia from the other republics.
In the Balkans, of course, this line coincides with
the historical division between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

It is the cultural border of Europe, and in the post-Cold War world
it is also the political and economic border of Europe and the West.

The civilizational paradigm thus provides
a clear-cut and compelling answer to the question confronting West Europeans:
Where does Europe end?

Europe ends
where Western Christianity ends
and Islam and Orthodoxy begin.

[Not all people, of course, agree with that answer (e.g.).]
This is the answer which West Europeans want to hear,
which they overwhelmingly support sotto voce,
and which various intellectuals and political leaders have explicitly endorsed.
It is necessary, as Michael Howard argued,
to recognize the distinction, blurred during the Soviet years,
between Central Europe or Mitteleuropa and Eastern Europe proper.
Central Europe includes
“those lands which once formed part of Western Christendom;
the old lands of the Hapsburg Empire, Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia,
together with Poland and the eastern marches of Germany.
The term ‘Eastern Europe’ should be reserved for
those regions which developed under the aegis of the Orthodox Church:
the Black Sea communities of Bulgaria and Romania
which only emerged from Ottoman domination in the nineteenth century,
and the ‘European’ parts of the Soviet Union.”
Western Europe’s first task, he argued, must
“be to reabsorb the peoples of Central Europe
into our cultural and economic community where they properly belong:
to reknit the ties between London, Paris, Rome, Munich,
and Leipzig, Warsaw, Prague and Budapest.”
A “new fault line” is emerging, Pierre Behar commented two years later,
“a basically cultural divide between
a Europe marked by western Christianity (Roman Catholic or Protestant),
on the one hand,
and a Europe marked by eastern Christianity and Islamic traditions,
on the other.”
A leading Finn [Max Jakobson] similarly
saw the crucial division in Europe replacing the Iron Curtain as
“the ancient cultural fault line between East and West” which places
“the lands of the former Austro-Hungarian empire
as well as Poland and the Baltic states” within the Europe of the West
and the other East European and Balkan countries outside it.
This was, a prominent Englishman [Max Beloff] agreed, the
“great religious divide … between the Eastern and Western churches:
broadly speaking, between
those peoples who received their Christianity from Rome directly
or through Celtic or German intermediaries,
and those in the East and Southeast to whom it came through Constantinople (Byzantium).”

People in Central Europe also emphasize the significance of this dividing line.
The countries that have made significant progress
in divesting themselves of the Communist legacies
and moving toward democratic politics and market economies
are separated from those which have not by
“the line dividing Catholicism and Protestantism, on the one hand,
from Orthodoxy, on the other.”
Centuries ago, the president of Lithuania [Vytautas Landsbergis] argued,
Lithuanians had to choose between “two civilizations” and
“opted for the Latin world, converted to Roman Catholicism
and chose a form of state organization founded on law.”
In similar terms,
Poles say they have been part of the West
since their choice in the tenth century of Latin Christianity against Byzantium.
People from Eastern European countries, in contrast, view with ambivalence
the new emphasis on this cultural fault line.
Bulgarians and Romanians see the great advantages of being part of the West
and being incorporated into its institutions;
but they also identify with their own Orthodox tradition and,
on the part of the Bulgarians,
their historically close association with Russia and Byzantium.

[CC was published in 1996.
To bring this document somewhat up to date,
the actual dates of accession of the states which were admitted after 1996
are shown in square brackets.]

The identification of Europe with Western Christendom
provides a clear criterion
for the admission of new members to Western organizations.
The European Union is the West’s primary entity in Europe and
the expansion of its membership resumed in 1994
with the admission of culturally Western Austria, Finland, and Sweden.
In the spring of 1994 the Union provisionally decided to
exclude from membership all former Soviet republics except the Baltic states.
It also signed “association agreements”
with the four Central European states
(Poland [2004], Hungary [2004], Czech Republic [2004], and Slovakia [2004])
and two Eastern European ones (Romania [2007], Bulgaria [2007]).
None of these states, however,
is likely to become a full member of the EU
until sometime in the twenty-first century,
and the Central European states
will undoubtedly achieve that status before Romania and Bulgaria,
if indeed, the latter ever do.
eventual membership for the Baltic states and Slovenia looks promising,
while the applications of
Muslim Turkey, too-small Malta [2004], and Orthodox Cyprus [2004]
were still pending in 1995.
In the expansion of EU membership,
preference clearly goes to those states which are culturally Western
and which also tend to be economically more developed.
If this criterion were applied,
the Visegrad states
(Poland [2004], Czech Republic [2004], Slovakia [2004], Hungary [2004]),
the Baltic republics [2004], Slovenia [2004], Croatia, and Malta [2004]
would eventually become EU members and
the Union would be coextensive with Western civilization
as it has historically existed in Europe.

[All the current EU member states.
As of 2008, all of Huntington’s list have made it except for Croatia.]

The logic of civilizations dictates a similar outcome
concerning the expansion of NATO.
The Cold War began with
the extension of Soviet political and military control into Central Europe.
The United States and Western European countries formed NATO
to deter and, if necessary, defeat further Soviet aggression.
In the post-Cold War world,
NATO is the security organization of Western civilization.
With the Cold War over,
NATO has one central and compelling purpose:

to insure that it remains over
by preventing
the reimposition of Russian political and military control
in Central Europe.

As the West’s security organization
NATO is appropriately open to membership by Western countries
which wish to join and
which meet basic requirements in terms of
military competence, political democracy, and civilian control of the military.

American policy toward post-Cold War European security arrangements
initially embodied a more universalistic approach,
embodied in the Partnership for Peace,
which would be open generally to European and indeed, Eurasian countries.
This approach also emphasized the role of
the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
It was reflected in
the remarks of President Clinton when he visited Europe in January 1994:
“Freedom’s boundaries now should be defined by new behavior,
not by old history.
I say to all … who would draw a new line in Europe
we should not foreclose the possibility of the best future for Europe—
democracy everywhere, market economies everywhere,
countries cooperating for mutual security everywhere.
We must guard against a lesser outcome.”
A year later, however, the administration
had come to recognize the significance of boundaries defined by “old history”
and had come to accept a “lesser outcome”
reflecting the realities of civilizational differences.
The administration moved actively to develop the criteria and a schedule
for the expansion of NATO membership,
first to Poland [1999], Hungary [1999],
the Czech Republic [1999], and Slovakia [2004],
then to Slovenia [2004], and later probably to the Baltic republics [2004].

Russia vigorously opposed any NATO expansion,
with those Russians who were presumably more liberal and pro-Western
arguing that expansion would greatly strengthen
nationalist and anti-Western political forces in Russia.
NATO expansion limited to countries historically part of Western Christendom, however, also guarantees to Russia
that it would exclude
Serbia, Bulgaria [2004], Romania [2004], Moldova, Belarus,
and Ukraine as long as Ukraine remained united.
NATO expansion limited to Western states would also underline
Russia’s role as the core state of a separate, Orthodox civilization,
and hence a country which should be responsible for order
within and along the boundaries of Orthodoxy.

[All the current NATO member states.]

The usefulness of differentiating among countries in terms of civilization
is manifest with respect to the Baltic republics.
They are the only former Soviet republics which are clearly Western
in terms of their history, culture, and religion,
and their fate has consistently been a major concern of the West.
The United States
never formally recognized their incorporation into the Soviet Union,
supported their move to independence as the Soviet Union was collapsing, and
insisted that the Russians adhere to the agreed-on schedule
for the removal of their troops from the republics.
The message to the Russians has been that
they must recognize that the Baltics are outside
whatever sphere of influence they may wish to establish
with respect to other former Soviet republics.
This achievement by the Clinton administration was,
as Sweden’s prime minister [Carl Bildt] said,
“one of its most important contributions to European security and stability”
and helped Russian democrats by establishing that
any revanchist designs by extreme Russian nationalists were futile
in the face of the explicit Western commitment to the republics.

While much attention
has been devoted to the expansion of the European Union and NATO,
the cultural reconfiguration of these organizations
also raises the issue of their possible contraction.
One non-Western country, Greece is a member of both organizations,
and another, Turkey is a member of NATO and an applicant for Union membership.
These relationships were products of the Cold War.
Do they have any place in the post-Cold War world of civilizations?

Turkey’s full membership in the European Union is problematic
and its membership in NATO has been attacked by the Welfare Party.
Turkey is, however, likely to remain in NATO
unless the Welfare Party scores a resounding electoral victory
or Turkey otherwise consciously rejects its Ataturk heritage
and redefines itself as a leader of Islam.
This is conceivable and might be desirable for Turkey
but also is highly unlikely in the near future.
Whatever its role in NATO,
Turkey will increasingly pursue its own distinctive interests
with respect to the Balkans, the Arab world, and Central Asia.

Greece is not part of Western civilization,
but it was the home of Classical civilization
which was an important source of Western civilization.
In their opposition to the Turks,
Greeks historically have considered themselves spear-carriers of Christianity.
Unlike Serbs, Romanians, or Bulgarians,
their history has been intimately entwined with that of the West.
Yet Greece is also an anomaly, the Orthodox outsider in Western organizations.
It has never been an easy member of either the EU or NATO
and has had difficulty adapting itself to the principles and mores of both.
From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s it was ruled by a military junta,
and could not join the European Community until it shifted to democracy.
Its leaders often seemed to go out of their way to deviate from Western norms
and to antagonize Western governments.
It was poorer than other Community and NATO members
and often pursued economic policies
that seemed to flout the standards prevailing in Brussels.
Its behavior as president of the EU’s Council in 1994 exasperated other members,
and Western European officials privately label its membership a mistake.

In the post-Cold War world,
Greece’s policies have increasingly deviated from those of the West.
Its blockade of Macedonia was strenuously opposed by Western governments
and resulted in the European Commission seeking an injunction against Greece
in the European Court of Justice.
With respect to the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia,
separated itself from the policies pursued by the principal Western powers,
actively supported the Serbs,
and blatantly violated the U.N. sanctions levied against them.
With the end of the Soviet Union and the communist threat,
Greece has mutual interests with Russia
in opposition to their common enemy, Turkey.
It has permitted Russia to establish a significant presence in Greek Cyprus,
and as a result of “their shared Eastern Orthodox religion,”
the Greek Cypriots have welcomed both Russians and Serbs to the island.
In 1995 some two thousand Russian-owned businesses were operating in Cyprus;
Russian and Serbo-Croatian newspapers were published there;
and the Greek Cypriot government was purchasing major supplies of arms from Russia.
Greece also explored with Russia the possibility of
bringing oil from the Caucasus and Central Asia to the Mediterranean
through a Bulgarian-Greek pipeline
bypassing Turkey and other Muslim countries.
Overall Greek foreign policies have assumed a heavily Orthodox orientation.
Greece will undoubtedly remain a formal member of NATO and the European Union.
As the process of cultural reconfiguration intensifies, however,
these memberships also undoubtedly will become
more tenuous, less meaningful, and more difficult for the parties involved.
The Cold War antagonist of the Soviet Union is evolving into
the post-Cold War ally of Russia.

Section 7.3
Russia and Its Near Abroad

The successor to the tsarist and communist empires is a civilizational bloc, paralleling in many respects that of the West in Europe.
At the core, Russia, the equivalent of France and Germany,
is closely linked to an inner circle including
the two predominantly Slavic Orthodox republics of Belarus and Moldova,
Kazakhstan, 40 percent of whose population is Russian, and
Armenia, historically a close ally of Russia.
In the mid-1990s
all these countries had pro-Russian governments
which had generally come to power through elections.
Close but more tenuous relations exist between
Russia and Georgia (overwhelmingly Orthodox)
and Ukraine (in large part Orthodox);
but both of which also have
strong senses of national identity and past independence.
In the Orthodox Balkans,
Russia has close relations with Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Cyprus,
and somewhat less close ones with Romania.
The Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union remain
highly dependent on Russia both economically and in the security area.
The Baltic republics, in contrast,
responding to the gravitational pull of Europe
effectively removed themselves from the Russian sphere of influence.

Russia is creating a bloc with an Orthodox heartland under its leadership
and a surrounding buffer of relatively weak Islamic states
which it will in varying degrees dominate
and from which it will attempt to exclude the influence of other powers.
Russia also expects the world to accept and to approve this system.
Foreign governments and international organizations,
as [Boris] Yeltsin said in February 1993, need to
“grant Russia special powers as
a guarantor of peace and stability in the former regions of the USSR.”
While the Soviet Union was a superpower with global interests,
Russia is a major power with regional and civilizational interests.

The Orthodox countries of the former Soviet Union are central to
the development of a coherent Russian bloc in Eurasian and world affairs.
During the breakup of the Soviet Union,
all five of these countries initially moved in a highly nationalist direction,
emphasizing their new independence and distance from Moscow.
recognition of economic, geopolitical, and cultural realities
led the voters in four of them
to elect pro-Russian governments and to back pro-Russian policies.
The people in these countries look to Russia for support and protection.
In the fifth, Georgia, Russian military intervention
compelled a similar shift in the stance of the government.

Armenia has historically identified its interests with Russia
and Russia has prided itself as Armenia’s defender against its Muslim neighbors.
This relationship has been reinvigorated in the post-Soviet years.
The Armenians
have been dependent upon Russian economic and military support and
have backed Russia
on issues concerning relations among the former Soviet republics.
The two countries have converging strategic interests.

Unlike Armenia,
Belarus has little sense of national identity [“History of Belarus”].
It is also even more dependent on Russian support.
Many of its residents
seem to identify as much with Russia as with their own country.
In January 1994 the legislature replaced
the centrist and moderate nationalist who was head of state
with a conservative pro-Russian.
In July 1994, 80 percent of the voters elected as president
an extreme pro-Russian ally [Alexander Lukashenko]
of Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Belarus early joined the Commonwealth of Independent States,
was a charter member
of the economic union created in 1993 with Russia and Ukraine,
agreed to a monetary union with Russia,
surrendered its nuclear weapons to Russia, and
agreed to
the stationing of Russian troops on its soil for the rest of this century.
In 1995 Belarus was, in effect, part of Russia in all but name.

After Moldova became independent with the collapse of the Soviet Union,
many looked forward to its eventual reintegration with Romania.
The fear that this would happen, in turn,
stimulated a secessionist movement in the Russified east,
which had the tacit support of Moscow
and the active support of the Russian 14th Army
and led to the creation of the Trans-Dniester Republic.
Moldovan sentiment for union with Romania, however,
declined in response to the economic problems of both countries
and Russian economic pressure.
Moldova joined the CIS and trade with Russia expanded.
In February 1994 pro-Russian parties were overwhelmingly successful
in the parliamentary elections.

In these three states public opinion
responding to some combination of strategic and economic interests
produced governments favoring close alignment with Russia.
A somewhat similar pattern eventually occurred in Ukraine.
In Georgia the course of events was different.
Georgia was an independent country until 1801
when its ruler, King George XIII, asked for Russian protection against the Turks
[Wikipedia suggests it was the Persians].
For three years after the Russian Revolution, 1918–21,
Georgia was again independent,
but the Bolsheviks forcibly incorporated it into the Soviet Union.
When the Soviet Union ended, Georgia once again declared independence.
A nationalist coalition won the elections,
but its leader [Zviad Gamsakhurdia] engaged in self-destructive repression
and was violently overthrown.
Eduard A. Shevardnadze, who had been foreign minister of the Soviet Union,
returned to lead the country
and was confirmed in power by presidential elections in 1992 and 1995.
He was, however, confronted by a separatist movement in Abkhazia,
which became the recipient of substantial Russian support,
and also by an insurrection led by the ousted Gamsakhurdia.
Emulating King George, he concluded that
“We do not have a great choice,”
and turned to Moscow for help.
Russian troops intervened to support him at the price of Georgia joining the CIS.
In 1994 the Georgians agreed to
let the Russians keep three military bases in Georgia
for an indefinite period of time.
Russian military intervention
first to weaken the Georgian government and then to sustain it
thus brought independence-minded Georgia into the Russian camp.

[In 2003 the Rose Revolution ousted Shevardnadze
and replaced him with Mikheil Saakashvili.
In 2008 the 2008 Russo-Georgia war began.]

[Huntington discusses the Ukraine in the next six paragraphs and two pages,
which are omitted.]

Section 7.4
Greater China and Its Co-Prosperity Sphere

Section 7.5
Islam: Consciousness Without Cohesion

Part IV
Clashes of Civilizations

Chapter 8
The West and the Rest:
Intercivilizational Issues

Section 8.1
Western Universalism

In the emerging world,
the relations between states and groups from different civilizations
will not be close and will often be antagonistic.
Yet some intercivilization relations are more conflict-prone than others.
At the micro level,
the most violent fault lines are
between Islam and
its Orthodox, Hindu, African, and Western Christian neighbors.
At the macro level,
the dominant division is between “the West and the rest,”
with the most intense conflicts occurring between
Muslim and Asian societies on the one hand,
and the West on the other.
The dangerous clashes of the future are likely to arise from the interaction of
Western arrogance,
Islamic intolerance, and
Sinic assertiveness.

Alone among civilizations the West has had
a major and at times devastating impact on every other civilization.
The relation between the power and culture of the West
and the power and cultures of other civilizations is, as a result,
the most pervasive characteristic of the world of civilizations.
As the relative power of other civilizations increases,
the appeal of Western culture fades and
non-Western peoples have increasing confidence in and commitment to
their indigenous cultures.
The central problem in the relations between the West and the rest
is, consequently, the discordance between
the West’s—particularly America’s—efforts
to promote a universal Western culture
its declining ability to do so.

The collapse of communism exacerbated this discordance
by reinforcing in the West the view that
its ideology of democratic liberalism had triumphed globally
and hence was universally valid.
The West, and especially the United States,
which has always been a missionary nation,
believe that the non-Western peoples
should commit themselves to the Western values of
democracy, free markets, limited government,
human rights, individualism, the rule of law,
and should embody these values in their institutions.
Minorities in other civilizations embrace and promote these values,
but the dominant attitudes toward them in non-Western cultures
range from widespread skepticism to intense opposition.

What is universalism to the West
is imperialism to the rest.


The West is attempting and will continue to attempt
to sustain its preeminent position and defend its interests
by defining those interests as the interests of the “world community.”
That phrase has become the euphemistic collective noun
(replacing “the Free World”)
to give global legitimacy to actions
reflecting the interests of the United States and other Western powers.
The West is, for instance,
attempting to integrate the economies of non-Western societies
into a global economic system which it dominates.
Through the IMF and other international economic institutions,
the West promotes its economic interests and
imposes on other nations the economic policies it thinks appropriate.
In any poll of non-Western peoples, however,
the IMF undoubtedly would win the support of finance ministers and a few others
but get an overwhelmingly unfavorable rating from almost everyone else....

Non-Westerners also do not hesitate to point to
the gaps between Western principle and Western action.
Hypocrisy, double standards, and “but nots”
are the price of universalist pretensions.
  1. Democracy is promoted
    but not if it brings Islamic fundamentalists to power;

  2. nonproliferation is preached for Iran and Iraq but not for Israel;

  3. free trade is the elixir of economic growth but not for agriculture;

  4. human rights are an issue with China but not with Saudi Arabia;

  5. aggression against oil-owning Kuwaitis is massively repulsed
    but not against non-oil-owning Bosnians.
Double standards in practice
are the unavoidable price of universal standards of principle.

[Note that the similarity of this list, published in 1996,
to bin Laden and al Qaeda’s list of anti-Western grievances.]

Having achieved political independence,
non-Western societies wish to free themselves from
Western economic, military, and cultural domination.

East Asian societies
are well on their way to equaling the West economically.
Asian and Islamic countries
are looking for shortcuts to balance the West militarily.
The universal aspirations of Western civilization,
the declining relative power of the West, and
the increasing cultural assertiveness of other civilizations
ensure generally difficult relations between the West and the rest.
The nature of those relations and the extent to which they are antagonistic,
however, vary considerably and fall into three categories.
  • With the challenger civilizations, Islam and China,
    the West is likely to have consistently strained
    and often highly antagonistic relations.

  • Its relations with Latin America and Africa,
    weaker civilizations which have in some measure
    been dependent on the West,
    will involve much lower levels of conflict,
    particularly with Latin America.

  • The relations of Russia, Japan, and India to the West
    are likely to fall between those of the other two groups,
    involving elements of cooperation and conflict,
    as these three core states
    at times line up with the challenger civilizations and
    at times side with the West.
    They are the “swing” civilizations
    between the West, on the one hand,
    and Islamic and Sinic civilizations, on the other.

Islam and China embody great cultural traditions
very different from and in their eyes infinitely superior to
that of the West.
The power and assertiveness of both in relation to the West are increasing,
and the conflicts between their values and interests and those of the West
are multiplying and becoming more intense.
Because Islam lacks a core state,
its relations with the West vary greatly from country to country.
Since the 1970s, however,
a fairly consistent anti-Western trend has existed, marked by
the rise of fundamentalism,
shifts in power within Muslim countries
from more pro-Western to more anti-Western governments,
the emergence of a quasi war between some Islamic groups and the West, and
the weakening of the Cold War security ties that existed
between some Muslim states and the United States.
Underlying the differences on specific issues is the fundamental question of
the role these civilizations will play relative to the West
in shaping the future of the world.
Will the global institutions, the distribution of power,
and the politics and economies of nations in the twenty-first century
primarily reflect Western values and interests
or will they be shaped primarily by those of Islam and China?

The realist theory of international relations predicts that
the core states of non-Western civilizations
should coalesce together to balance the dominant power of the West.
In some areas this has happened.
A general anti-Western coalition, however,
seems unlikely in the immediate future.
Islamic and Sinic civilizations differ fundamentally in terms of
religion, culture, social structure, traditions, politics,
and basic assumptions at the root of their way of life.
Inherently each probably has less in common with the other
than it has in common with Western civilization.
Yet in politics a common enemy creates a common interest.
Islamic and Sinic societies which see the West as their antagonist
thus have reason to cooperate with each other against the West,
even as the Allies and Stalin did against Hitler.
This cooperation occurs on a variety of issues,
including human rights, economics,
and most notably the efforts by societies in both civilizations
to develop their military capabilities,
particularly weapons of mass destruction and the missiles for delivering them,
so as to counter the conventional military superiority of the West.
By the early 1990s a “Confucian-Islamic connection” was in place between
China and North Korea on the one hand,
and in varying degrees Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Algeria
[The usual suspects. Note that it is a superset of the “Axis of Evil”.], on the other,
to confront the West on these issues.

The issues that divide the West and these other societies
are increasingly important on the international agenda.
Three such issues involve the efforts of the West:
  1. to maintain its military superiority
    through policies of nonproliferation and counterproliferation
    with respect to
    nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons
    and the means to deliver them [§8.2];

  2. to promote Western political values and institutions
    by pressing other societies
    to respect human rights as conceived by the West and
    to adopt democracy on Western lines [§8.3];

  3. to protect the cultural, social, and ethnic integrity of Western societies
    by restricting the number of non-Westerners
    admitted as immigrants or refugees [§8.4].
In all three areas the West has had and is likely to continue to have
difficulties defending its interests against those of non-Western societies.

Section 8.3
Human Rights and Democracy

[Most of this section covers rather familiar ground:
the arguments between the West and the rest over what the West calls human rights.
In the final paragraph Huntington limns
the double-edged sword that democracy represents in the Third World.]

[T]he paradox of democracy
weakens Western will to promote democracy in the post-Cold War world.
During the Cold War the West and the United States in particular
confronted the “friendly tyrant” problem:
the dilemmas of cooperating with military juntas and dictators
who were anti-communist and hence useful partners in the Cold War.
Such cooperation produced uneasiness and at times embarrassment
when these regimes engaged in outrageous violations of human rights.
Cooperation could, however, be justified as the lesser evil:
these governments
were usually less thoroughly repressive than communist regimes
and could be expected to be less durable as well as
more susceptible to American and other outside influences.
Why not work with a less brutal friendly tyrant
if the alternative was a more brutal unfriendly one?
In the post-Cold War world the choice can be the more difficult one
between a friendly tyrant and an unfriendly democracy.
The West’s easy assumption that
democratically elected governments will be cooperative and pro-Western
need not hold true in non-Western societies where electoral competition
can bring anti-Western nationalists and fundamentalists to power.
The West was relieved
when the Algerian military intervened in 1992 and
canceled the election which the fundamentalist FIS clearly was going to win.
Western governments also were reassured
when the fundamentalist Welfare Party in Turkey and the nationalist BJP in India
were excluded from power
after scoring electoral victories in 1995 and 1996.
On the other hand,
within the context of its revolution Iran in some respects
has one of the more democratic regimes in the Islamic world,

and competitive elections in many Arab countries,
including Saudi Arabia and Egypt,
would almost surely produce governments
far less sympathetic to Western interests than their undemocratic predecessors.
A popularly elected government in China
could well be a highly nationalistic one.
As Western leaders realize that
democratic processes in non-Western societies
often produce governments unfriendly to the West,

they both attempt to influence those elections
and also lose their enthusiasm for promoting democracy in those societies.

[Well, maybe not all Western leaders.]

Part V
The Future of Civilizations

Chapter 12
The West, Civilizations, and Civilization

Section 12.1
The Renewal of the West?

History ends at least once and occasionally more often
in the history of every civilization.
As the civilization’s universal state emerges,
its people become blinded by what Toynbee called
“the mirage of immortality” [Chapter XXIV of A Study of History]
and convinced that theirs is the final form of human society.
So it was with
the Roman Empire, the ’Abbasid Caliphate,
the Mughal Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.
The citizens of such universal states
“in defiance of apparently plain facts ... are prone to regard it,
not as a night’s shelter in the wilderness,
but as the Promised Land, the goal of human endeavors.”
The same was true at the peak of the Pax Britannica.
For the English middle class in 1897,
“as they saw it, history for them was over….
And they had every reason to congratulate themselves
on the permanent state of felicity
which this ending of history had conferred on them.”
Societies that assume that their history has ended, however,
are usually societies whose history is about to decline.

Is the West an exception to this pattern?
The two key questions were well formulated by [Matthew] Melko:

First, is Western civilization a new species,
in a class by itself,
incomparably different from all other civilizations that have ever existed?

Second, does its worldwide expansion threaten (or promise)
to end the possibility of development of all other civilizations?

The inclination of most Westerners is, quite naturally,
to answer both questions in the affirmative.
And perhaps they are right.
In the past, however, the peoples of other civilizations thought similarly
and thought wrong.

The West obviously differs from all other civilizations that have ever existed
in that
it has had an overwhelming impact
on all other civilizations that have existed since 1500.
It also inaugurated the processes of modernization and industrialization
that have become worldwide,
and as a result societies in all other civilizations
have been attempting to catch up with the West in wealth and modernity.
Do these characteristics of the West, however, mean that
its evolution and dynamics as a civilization
are fundamentally different from
the patterns that have prevailed in all other civilizations?
The evidence of history and
the judgments of the scholars of the comparative history of civilizations
suggest otherwise.
The development of the West to date has not deviated significantly from
the evolutionary patterns common to civilizations throughout history.
The Islamic Resurgence and the economic dynamism of Asia demonstrate that
other civilizations are alive and well
and at least potentially threatening to the West.
A major war involving the West and the core states of other civilizations
is not inevitable, but it could happen.
Alternatively the gradual and irregular decline of the West
which started in the early twentieth century
could continue for decades and perhaps centuries to come.
Or the West could go through a period of revival,
reverse its declining influence in world affairs, and
reconfirm its position as the leader
whom other civilizations follow and imitate.

In what is probably
the most useful periodization of the evolution of historical civilizations,
Carroll Quigley sees a common pattern of seven phases:
  1. mixture,

  2. gestation,

  3. expansion,

  4. age of conflict,

  5. universal empire,

  6. decay, and

  7. invasion.
In his argument,
Western civilization gradually began to take shape
between a.d. 370 and 750
through the [1] mixing of
elements of Classical, Semitic, Saracen, and barbarian cultures.
[The numbers in brackets, referring to Quigley’s seven phases, are added.]
Its [2] period of gestation lasting from
the middle of the eighth century to the end of the tenth century
was followed by
movement, unusual among civilizations, back and forth between
[3] phases of expansion and [4] phases of conflict.
In his terms, as well as those of other civilization scholars,
the West now appears to be moving out of its phase of conflict.
Western civilization has become a security zone;
intra-West wars, apart from an occasional Cold War,
are virtually unthinkable.
The West is developing, as was argued in chapter 2, its equivalent of a
[5] universal empire in the form of a complex system of
confederations, federations, regimes, and other types of cooperative institutions
that embody at the civilizational level
its commitment to democratic and pluralistic politics.
The West has, in short,
become a mature society entering into what future generations,
in the recurring pattern of civilizations,
will look back to as a “golden age,”
a period of peace resulting, in Quigley’s terms, from
“the absence of any competing units within the area of the civilization itself,
and from the remoteness or even absence of struggles
with other societies outside.”
It is also a period of prosperity which arises from
“the ending of internal belligerent destruction,
the reduction of internal trade barriers,
the establishment of a common system of weights, measures, and coinage,
and from
the extensive system of government spending
associated with the establishment of a universal empire.”

In previous civilizations
this phase of blissful golden age with its visions of immortality
has ended either
dramatically and quickly with the victory of an external society or
slowly and equally painfully by internal disintegration.
What happens within a civilization is as crucial to
its ability to resist destruction from external sources
as it is to holding off decay from within.
Civilizations grow, Quigley argued in 1961,
because they have an “instrument of expansion,” that is,
a military, religious, political, or economic organization
that accumulates surplus and invests it in productive innovations.
Civilizations decline when they stop
the “application of surplus to new ways of doing things.
In modern terms we say that the rate of investment decreases.”
This happens because the social groups controlling the surplus
have a vested interest in using it for
“nonproductive but ego-satisfying purposes...
which distribute the surpluses to consumption
but do not provide more effective methods of production.”
People live off their capital and
the civilization moves from the stage of the universal state to
the stage of [6] decay.
This is a period of
acute economic depression, declining standards of living,
civil wars between the various vested interests, and growing illiteracy.
The society grows weaker and weaker.
Vain efforts are made to stop the wastage by legislation.
But the decline continues.
The religious, intellectual, social, and political levels of the society
began to lose the allegiance of the masses of the people on a large scale.
New religious movements begin to sweep over the society.
There is a growing reluctance to fight for the society
or even to support it by paying taxes.
[Well, America in the twenty-first century
certainly has nothing to worry about there.]

Decay then leads to the stage of [7] invasion
“when the civilization, no longer able to defend itself
because it is no longer willing to defend itself,
lies wide open to ‘barbarian invaders,’ ”
who often come from “another, younger, more powerful civilization.”
[Original emphasis.]

The overriding lesson of the history of civilizations, however, is that
many things are probable but none is inevitable.
Civilizations can and have reformed and renewed themselves.
The central issue for the West is whether,
quite apart from any external challenges,
it is capable of stopping and reversing the internal processes of decay.
Can the West renew itself or
will sustained internal rot simply accelerate its end and/or
subordination to other
economically [e.g., Asia] and demographically [e.g., Islam]
more dynamic civilizations?

[In a prediction which may be right
but is not really supported by his theoretical and empirical analysis,
Quigley concludes:
“Western civilization did not exist about A.D. 500,
it did not exist in full flower about A.D. 1500, and
it will surely pass out of existence at some time in the future,
perhaps before A.D. 2500.”
New civilizations in China and India, replacing those destroyed by the West,
he says,
will then move into their stages of expansion
and threaten both Western and Orthodox civilizations.
Carroll Quigley, The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis,
pp. 127, 164–66.]

In the mid-1990s the West had many characteristics Quigley identified
as those of a mature civilization on the brink of decay.
Economically the West was far richer than any other civilization,
but it also had low economic growth rates, saving rates, and investment rates,
particularly as compared with the societies of East Asia.
Individual and collective consumption had priority over
the creation of the capabilities for future economic and military power.
Natural population growth was low,
particularly compared with that of Islamic countries.
Western economies were still growing;
by and large Western peoples were becoming better off; and
the West was still the leader in scientific research and technological innovation.
Low birth rates were unlikely to be cured by governments
(whose efforts to do so are generally even less successful
than their efforts to reduce population growth).
Immigration, however, was a potential source of new vigor and human capital
provided two conditions were met:
  1. if priority were given to
    able, qualified, energetic people
    with the talents and expertise needed by the host country;

  2. if the new migrants and their children
    were assimilated into the cultures of the country and the West.
The United States was likely to have problems meeting the first condition and
European countries problems meeting the second.
Yet setting policies governing the
levels, sources, characteristics, and assimilation of immigrants
is well within the experience and competence of Western governments.

Far more significant than economics and demography are
problems of moral decline, cultural suicide, and political disunity
in the West.
Oft-pointed-to manifestations of moral decline include:
  1. increases in antisocial behavior,
    such as crime, drug use, and violence generally;

  2. family decay, including
    rates of divorce, illegitimacy, teen-age pregnancy,
    and single-parent families;

  3. at least in the United States, a decline in “social capital,”
    that is, membership in voluntary associations
    and the interpersonal trust associated with such membership;

  4. general weakening of the “work ethic” and
    rise of a cult of personal indulgence;

  5. decreasing commitment to learning and intellectual activity,
    manifested in the United States in lower levels of scholastic achievement.
The future health of the West and its influence on other societies
depends in considerable measure on
its success in coping with those trends,
which, of, course, give rise to
the assertions of moral superiority by Muslims and Asians.

Western culture is challenged by groups within Western societies.
One such challenge comes from
immigrants from other civilizations who reject assimilation
and continue to adhere to and to propagate
the values, customs, and cultures of their home societies.
This phenomenon is most notable among Muslims in Europe, who are, however,
a small minority.
[That may, arguably, have been true in 1996,
but in the 2000s it is becoming far less so.]

It is also manifest, in lesser degree, among Hispanics in the United States,
who are a large minority.
If assimilation fails in this case,
the United States will become a cleft country,
with all the potentials for internal strife and disunion that entails.
In Europe, Western civilization could also be undermined by
the weakening of its central component, Christianity.
Declining proportions of Europeans profess
religious beliefs,
observe religious practices, and
participate in religious activities.
This trend reflects not so much hostility to religion as indifference to it.
Christian concepts, values, and practices
nonetheless pervade European civilization.
“Swedes are probably the most unreligious people in Europe,”
one of them commented,
“but you cannot understand this country at all unless you realize that
our institutions, social practices, families, politics, and way of life
are fundamentally shaped by our Lutheran heritage.”
Americans, in contrast to Europeans, overwhelmingly believe in God,
think themselves to be religious people,
and attend church in large numbers.
While evidence of a resurgence of religion in America was lacking as of the mid-1980s
the following decade seemed to witness intensified religious activity.
The erosion of Christianity among Westerners is likely to be at worst
only a very long term threat to the health of Western civilization.

A more immediate and dangerous challenge exists in the United States.
Historically American national identity has been defined
culturally by the heritage of Western civilization and
politically by
the principles of the American Creed on which Americans overwhelmingly agree:
liberty, democracy, individualism,
equality before the law, constitutionalism, private property.
In the late twentieth century
both components of American identity
have come under concentrated and sustained onslaught
from a small but influential number of intellectuals and publicists.
In the name of multiculturalism they have
attacked the identification of the United States with Western civilization,
denied the existence of a common American culture, and
promoted racial, ethnic, and other subnational cultural identities and groupings.
They have denounced, in the words of one of their reports,
the “systematic bias toward European culture and its derivatives” in education and “the dominance of the Europena-American monocultural perspective.”
The multiculturalists are, as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., said,
“very often ethnocentric separatists
who see little in the Western heritage other than Western crimes.”
Their “mood is one of divesting Americans of the sinful European inheritance
and seeking redemptive infusions from non-Western cultures.”

The multicultural trend was also manifested in a variety of legislation
that followed the civil rights acts of the 1960s,
and in the 1990s the Clinton administration made the encouragement of diversity
one of its major goals.
The contrast with the past is striking.
The Founding Fathers saw diversity as a reality and as a problem:
hence the national motto, e pluribus unum,
chosen by a committee of the Continental Congress consisting of
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams.
Later political leaders who also were fearful of the dangers of
racial, sectional, ethnic, economic, and cultural diversity
(which, indeed, produced the largest war of the century between 1815 and 1914), responded to the call of “bring us together,” and
made the promotion of national unity their central responsibility.
[Theodore Roosevelt warned]

“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin,
of preventing all possibility of its continuing as a nation at all,
would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”

In the 1990s, however,
the leaders of the United States have not only permitted that
assiduously promoted the diversity rather than the unity
of the people they govern.

The leaders of other countries have, as we have seen,
at times attempted to disavow their cultural heritage and
shift the identity of their country from one civilization to another.
In no case to date have they succeeded and they have instead created
schizophrenic torn countries.
The American multiculturalists similarly reject
their country’s cultural heritage.
Instead of attempting to identify the United States with another civilization, however,
they wish to create a country of many civilizations,
which is to say a country not belonging to any civilization
and lacking a cultural core.
History shows that
no country so constituted can long endure as a coherent society.

A multicivilizational United States will not be the United States;
it will be the United Nations.

The multiculturalists also challenged a central element of the American Creed
by substituting for the rights of individuals the rights of groups,
defined largely in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, and sexual preference.
The Creed, Gunnar Myrdal said in the 1940s,
reinforcing the comments of foreign observers
dating from Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur and Alexis de Tocqueville,
has been
“the cement in the structure of this great and disparate nation.”
“It has been our fate as a nation,” Richard Hofstader agreed,
“not to have ideologies but to be one.”
What happens then to the United States
if that ideology is disavowed by a significant portion of its citizens?
The fate of the Soviet Union,
the other major country whose unity, even more than that of the United States,
was defined in ideological terms
is a sobering example for Americans.
“[T]he total failure of Marxism ... and
the dramatic breakup of the Soviet Union,”
the Japanese philosopher Takeshi Umehara has suggested,
“are only the precursors to
the collapse of Western liberalism, the main current of modernity.
Far from being the alternative to Marxism
and the reigning ideology at the end of history,
liberalism will be the next domino to fall.”
In an era in which peoples everywhere define themselves in cultural terms
what place is there for
a society without a cultural core and defined only by a political creed?

Political principles are a fickle base on which to build a lasting community.

In a multicivilizational world where culture counts,
the United States could be simply
the last anomalous holdover from
a fading Western world where ideology counted.

Rejection of the Creed and of Western civilization means
the end of the United States of America as we have known it.
It also means effectively the end of Western civilization.
If the United States is de-Westernized,
the West is reduced to Europe and
a few lightly populated overseas European settler countries.
Without the United States the West becomes
a minuscule and declining part of the world’s population
on a small and inconsequential peninsula
at the extremity of the Eurasian land mass.

The clash between the multiculturalists and
the defenders of Western civilization and the American Creed
is, in James Kurth’s phrase,
“the real clash” within the American segment of Western civilization.
[Original, unauthorized copy.]
Americans cannot avoid the issue:
Are we a Western people or are we something else? [cf.]
The futures of the United States and of the West depend upon
Americans reaffirming their commitment to Western civilization.
Domestically this means
rejecting the divisive siren calls of multiculturalism.
Internationally it means
rejecting the elusive and illusory calls
to identify the United States with Asia.
Whatever economic connections may exist between them,
the fundamental cultural gap between Asian and American societies
precludes their joining together in a common home.
Americans are culturally part of the Western family;
multiculturalists may damage and even destroy that relationship but
they cannot replace it.
When Americans look for their cultural roots, they find them in Europe.

[It is well worth taking a look at a fuller version of the abstract to Kurth’s 1994 article
(emphasis is added:]

I [Kurth] will ... review Huntington’s central argument bearing on
potential conflicts between Western civilization and other ones,
particularly between
the West and a grand alliance of the Islamic and the Confucian civilizations.
I will conclude, however, by arguing that the real clash of civilizations,
the one most pregnant with significance,
will not be between the West and the rest,
but one that is already underway within the West itself,
particularly within its central power, the United States.

[This echoes Toynbee’s analysis of what led to the breakdowns of past civilizations,
that it was invariably due to internal decay.]

This is a clash between Western civilization and a different grand alliance,
one composed of the multicultural and the feminist movements.
It is, in short,
a clash between Western and post-Western civilizations.

[End of quotation from Kurth]

[12.1.16 is omitted]

The West, as was argued in chapter 2, went through
a first European phase of development and expansion
that lasted several centuries
and then a second American phase in the twentieth century.
If North America and Europe
renew their moral life,
build on their cultural commonality, and
develop close forms of economic and political integration
to supplement their security collaboration in NATO,
they could generate a third Euroamerican phase
of Western economic affluence and political influence.
Meaningful political integration would in some measure
counter the relative decline in the West’s share
of the world’s people, economic product, and military capabilities
and revive the power of the West
in the eyes of the leaders of other civilizations.
“With their trading clout,” Prime Minister Mahathir warned Asians,
“the EU-NAFTA confederation could dictate terms to the rest of the world.”
Whether the West comes together politically and economically, however,
depends overwhelmingly on whether the United States
reaffirms its identity as a Western nation and
defines its global role as the leader of Western civilization.

Section 12.2
The West in the World

A world in which
cultural identities—ethnic, national, religious, civilizational—
are central,

cultural affinities and differences
shape the alliances, antagonisms, and policies of states

has three broad implications for the West generally
and for the United States in particular.

statesmen can constructively alter reality only if
they recognize and understand it.

The emerging politics of culture,
the rising power of non-Western civilizations, and
the increasing cultural assertiveness of these societies
have been widely recognized in the non-Western world.
European leaders have pointed to
the cultural forces drawing people together and driving them apart.
American elites, in contrast,
have been slow to accept and to come to grips with
these emerging realities.

The Bush[-41] and Clinton administrations supported
the unity of the multicivilizational Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Russia,
in vain efforts to halt
the powerful ethnic and cultural forces pushing for disunion.
They promoted multicivilizational economic integration plans
which are either meaningless, as with APEC,
or involve major unanticipated economic and political costs,
as with NAFTA and Mexico.
[Again, recall this was published in 1996.]
They attempted to develop close relationships
with the core states of other civilizations
in the form of a
“global partnership” with Russia or “constructive engagement” with China,
in the face of the natural conflicts of interest
between the United States and those countries.
At the same time,
the Clinton administration failed to involve Russia wholeheartedly
in the search for peace in Bosnia,
despite Russia’s major interest in that war as Orthodoxy’s core state.
Pursuing the chimera of a multicivilizational country,
the Clinton administration
denied self-determination to the Serbian and Croatian minorities and
helped to bring into being a Balkan one-party Islamist partner of Iran.
In similar fashion,
the U.S. government also supported the subjection of Muslims to Orthodox rule,
maintaining that
“Without question Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation.”
[Someone living in Afghanistan (or perhaps Pakistan) has also noted that.]

Although Europeans universally acknowledge the fundamental significance of
the dividing line between Western Christendom, on the one hand,
and Orthodoxy and Islam, on the other,
the United States, its secretary of state said,
would “not recognize any fundamental divide among
the Catholic, Orthodox, and Islamic parts of Europe.”
Those who do not recognize fundamental divides,
however, are doomed to be frustrated by them.

The Clinton administration initially appeared oblivious to
the shifting balance of power between the United States and East Asian societies
and hence time and again
proclaimed goals with respect to
trade, human rights, nuclear proliferation, and other issues
which it was incapable of realizing.
Overall the U.S. government
has had extraordinary difficulty adapting to an era in which
global politics is shaped by cultural and civilizational tides.

Second, American foreign policy thinking also suffered from
a reluctance to abandon, alter, or at times even reconsider
policies adopted to meet Cold War needs.

With some this took the form
of still seeing a resurrected Soviet Union as a potential threat.
More generally
people tended to sanctify Cold War alliances and arms control agreements.
NATO must be maintained as it was in the Cold War.
The Japanese-American Security Treaty is central to East Asian security.
The ABM treaty is inviolate.
The CFE treaty must be observed.
none of these or other Cold War legacies should be lightly cast aside.
Neither, however,
is it necessarily in the interests of the United States or the West
for them to be continued in their Cold War form.
The realities of a multicivilizational world suggest that
NATO should be expanded to include other Western societies that wish to join
and should recognize the essential meaninglessness of having as members
two states each of which is the other’s worst enemy
and both of which lack cultural affinity with the other members.
An ABM treaty designed to meet the Cold War need
to insure the mutual vulnerability of Soviet and American societies
and thus to deter Soviet-American nuclear war
may well obstruct the ability of the United States and other societies
to protect themselves against unpredictable nuclear threats
or attacks by terrorist movements and irrational dictators.
The U.S.-Japan security treaty helped deter Soviet aggression against Japan.
What purpose is it meant to serve in the post-Cold War era?
To contain and deter China?
To slow Japanese accommodation with a rising China?
To prevent further Japanese militarization?
Increasingly doubts are being raised in Japan
about the American military presence there
and in the United States about the need for
an unreciprocated commitment to defend Japan.
The Conventional Forces in Europe agreement
was designed to moderate
the NATO-Warsaw Pact confrontation in Central Europe,
which has disappeared.
The principal impact of the agreement now is to
create difficulties for Russia in dealing with what it perceives to be
security threats from Muslim peoples to its south.

cultural and civilizational diversity
challenges the Western and particularly American belief in
the universal relevance of Western culture.

This belief is expressed both descriptively and normatively.

Descriptively it holds that
peoples in all societies
want to adopt Western values, institutions, and practices.

If they seem not to have that desire
and to be committed to their own traditional cultures,
they are victims of a “false consciousness” comparable to
that which Marxists found among proletarians who supported capitalism.

Normatively the Western universalist belief posits that
people throughout the world
should embrace Western values, institutions, and culture
because they embody
the highest, most enlightened, most liberal,
most rational, most modern, and most civilized thinking of humankind.

[There is a third possible belief:
that Westernization is necessary for modernization.

descriptive = “wants to”
normative = “should”
necessity = “needs to”

Perceived necessity
is usually the reason why non-Western cultures adopt the Kemalist strategy.]

In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash,
Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems:
it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.

That it is false has been the central thesis of this book,
a thesis well summed up by Michael Howard:
the “common Western assumption that
cultural diversity is a historical curiosity
being rapidly eroded by the growth of
a common, western-oriented, Anglophone world-culture,
shaping our basic values ...
is simply not true.”
A reader not by now convinced of the wisdom of Sir Michael’s remark
exists in a world far removed from that described in this book.

The belief that non-Western peoples
should adopt Western values, institutions, and culture
is immoral
because of what would be necessary to bring it about.
The almost-universal reach of European power in the late nineteenth century and
the global dominance of European power in the late twentieth century
have spread much of Western civilization across the world.
European globalism, however, is no more.
American hegemony is receding if only because
it is no longer needed to protect the United States
against a Cold War-style Soviet military threat.
[Huntington would likely revise that 1996 sentence in the post-2001 world.]
Culture, as we have argued, follows power.
If non-Western societies are once again to be shaped by Western culture,
it will happen only as a result of
the expansion, deployment, and impact of Western power.
Imperialism is the necessary logical consequence of universalism.
In addition, as a maturing civilization,
the West no longer has the economic or demographic dynamism required
to impose its will on other societies

any effort to do so is also contrary to
the Western values of self-determination and democracy.

As Asian and Muslim civilizations begin more and more
to assert the universal relevance of their cultures,
Westerners will come to appreciate more and more
the connection between universalism and imperialism.

[Unfortunately not all Westerners seem to acknowledge that connection.
Why doesn’t somebody ask Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice
if they acknowledge that connection,
and in any case,
do they think that professor Huntington’s assertion of it
indicates that he “hates America”?]

Western universalism is dangerous to the world because
it could lead to a major intercivilizational war between core states and
it is dangerous to the West because
it could lead to the defeat of the West. [!]
With the collapse of the Soviet Union,
Westerners see their civilization in a position of unparalleled dominance,
while at the same time
weaker Asian, Muslim, and other societies are beginning to gain strength.
Hence they could be led to apply the familiar and powerful logic of Brutus:

Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe.
The enemy increaseth every day;
We at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

This logic, however, produced Brutus’s defeat at Philippi,
and the prudent course for the West is
not to attempt to stop the shift in power but to learn to
navigate the shallows, endure the miseries,
moderate its ventures, and safeguard its culture.

All civilizations go through similar processes of emergence, rise, and decline.
The West differs from other civilizations not in the way it has developed
but in the distinctive character of its values and institutions.
These include most notably
its Christianity, pluralism, individualism, and rule of law,
which made it possible for the West to
invent modernity,
expand throughout the world, and
become the envy of other societies.
In their ensemble these characteristics are peculiar to the West.
Europe, as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., has said, is
“the source—the unique source” of the
“ideas of individual liberty, political democracy,
the rule of law, human rights, and cultural freedom….
These are European ideas,
not Asian, nor African, nor Middle Eastern ideas, except by adoption.”
[That’s quite a claim.]
They make Western civilization unique,
and Western civilization is valuable not because it is universal
but because it is unique.

The principal responsibility of Western leaders, consequently, is
not to attempt to reshape other civilizations
in the image of the West,

which is beyond their declining power, but
to preserve, protect, and renew
the unique qualities of Western civilization.

Because it is the most powerful Western country,
that responsibility falls overwhelmingly on the United States of America.

To preserve Western civilization in the face of declining Western power,
it is in the interest of the United States and European countries:
  1. to achieve greater political, economic, and military integration and
    to coordinate their policies
    so as to preclude
    states from other civilizations exploiting differences among them;

  2. to incorporate into the European Union and NATO
    the Western states of Central Europe, that is,
    the Visegrad countries, the Baltic republics, Slovenia, and Croatia;

  3. to encourage the “Westernization” of Latin America
    and, as far as possible,
    the close alignment of Latin American countries with the West;

  4. to restrain the development of
    the conventional and unconventional military power
    of Islamic and Sinic countries;

  5. to slow the drift of Japan
    away from the West and toward accommodation with China;

  6. to accept Russia as
    the core state of Orthodoxy and
    a major regional power
    with legitimate interests in the security of its southern borders;

  7. to maintain Western technological and military superiority
    over other civilizations;

  8. and, most important,
    to recognize that
    Western intervention in the affairs of other civilizations
    is probably
    the single most dangerous source
    of instability and potential global conflict

    in a multicivilizational world.

In the aftermath of the Cold War the United States became consumed with
massive debates over the proper course of American foreign policy.
In this era, however,
the United States can neither dominate nor escape the world.
Neither internationalism nor isolationism,
neither multilateralism nor unilateralism,
will best serve its interests.
Those will best be advanced by
eschewing these opposing extremes and instead
adopting an Atlanticist policy of
close cooperation with its European partners
to protect and advance the interests and values
of the unique civilization they share.

[Note that Huntington’s key final point above
comes close to being a special case of
a more general historical observation of Arnold Toynbee.]

Section 12.3
Civilizational War and Order

[Huntington develops in some detail
a scenario for a twenty-first century world war,
starting from a spat between Vietnam and China over oil rights in the South China Sea
(as opposed to the assassination of an archduke).
The details really aren’t important;
here are the conclusions he draws.]

If this scenario seems a wildly implausible fantasy to the reader,
that is all to the good.
Let us hope that no other scenarios of global civilizational war
have greater plausibility.
What is most plausible and hence most disturbing about this scenario, however,
is the cause of war:

intervention by
the core state of one civilization (the United States)
in a dispute between
the core state of another civilization (China) and
a member state of that civilization (Vietnam).

To the United States such intervention was necessary to
  1. uphold international law,

  2. repel aggression,

  3. protect freedom of the seas,

  4. maintain its access to South China Sea oil, and

  5. prevent the domination of East Asia by a single power.
To China that intervention was
a totally intolerable but typically arrogant attempt
by the leading Western state to
  1. humiliate and browbeat China,

  2. provoke opposition to China within its legitimate sphere of influence, and

  3. deny China its appropriate role in world affairs.
[As an exercise, change China/Vietnam to Russia/Georgia
and make the minor other changes as appropriate
(South China Sea to Caspian basin,
East Asia to Caucasus region and Eastern Europe, etc.).
Evaluate for plausibility.]

In the coming era, in short,

the avoidance of major intercivilizational wars
requires core states to refrain from
intervening in conflicts in other civilizations.

This is a truth which some states, particularly the United States,
will undoubtedly find difficult to accept.

This abstention rule
that core states abstain from
intervention in conflicts in other civilizations
is the first requirement of peace
in a multicivilizational, multipolar world.

The second requirement is the joint mediation rule
that core states negotiate with each other
to contain or to halt
fault line wars between states or groups from other civilizations.

The third rule for peace in a multicivilizational world
is the commonalities rule:
peoples in all civilizations should
search for and attempt to expand
the values institutions, and practices they have in common
with peoples of other civilizations.

[The last rule actually appears in section 12.4,
but I moved it up so it could be adjacent to Huntington’s other two rules.

Note that Huntington likes civilizational commonalities
but not the West’s universalism;
evidently the difference is that
the commonalities would be negotiated,
whereas the values the West (or at least the United States)
seeks to impose on other civilizations are not. ]

Acceptance of these rules
and of a world with greater equality among civilizations
will not be easy for the West....

Most of the principal international institutions
date from shortly after World War II
and are shaped according to Western interests, values and practices.
As Western power declines relative to that of other civilizations,
pressures will develop to reshape these institutions
to accommodate the interests of those civilizations.
The most obvious, most important, and probably most controversial issue
concerns permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council.

Section 12.4
The Commonalities of Civilization


Some Americans have promoted multiculturalism at home;
some have promoted universalism abroad; and
some have done both.
Multiculturalism at home threatens the United States and the West;
universalism abroad threatens the West and the world.

Both deny the uniqueness of Western culture.

The global monoculturalists want to make the world like America.
The domestic multiculturalists want to make America like the world.
A multicultural America is impossible because
a non-Western America is not American.
A multicultural world is unavoidable because
global empire is impossible.

The preservation of the United States and the West requires
the renewal of Western identity.
The security of the world requires
acceptance of global multiculturality.

Arnold Toynbee and Samuel Huntington have similar, but not identical,
lists of the civilizations current in the world.
Here is a comparison.

A Comparison of
Toynbee’s and Huntington’s
Lists of Present-day Civilizations
Latin American
Orthodox ChristianOrthodox
Russian [1]
South-East Asian [2]
Nestorian Christian
Monophysite Christian
African (possibly)

  1. Toynbee considers Russian Civ. a satellite
    first of Orthodox Christian,
    then of Western.

  2. Likewise, he considers South-East Asian Civ. a satellite
    first of Indic,
    then, in Indonesia and Malaya only, of Islamic.

  3. Toynbee distinguishes between “independent” and “satellite” civilizations;
    those that he considers independent are shown in bold,
    while their satellites are grouped with them;
    Huntington does not distinguish between civilizations,
    so all of his are shown in bold.

  4. To see Toynbee’s full list of civilizations, past and present,
    click here.

  5. The last “group” is just a collection of miscellaneous cases.
    Huntington observes that there is not a scholarly consensus
    on a possible African Civilization, so he lists it provisionally.
    For those listed by Toynbee, see his full list for details.

Huntington on 9/11, etc.

An Interview with Samuel Huntington
by Amina R. Chaudary
Islamica Magazine, Issue 17


[Emphasis is added.]

For 13 years, three words have dominated
the discourse on cultural, international, and religious affairs
as they relate to foreign policy in our times.
The “clash of civilizations,”
as argued by Harvard University Professor Samuel Huntington,
has stirred heated debate across the globe,
but particularly among many Muslim nations.
His theory is often interpreted to proclaim
a fundamental incompatibility between
the “Christian West” and the “Muslim World.”
The scale of impact it has had on global politics
is sometimes difficult to comprehend.
A Google search of “clash of civilizations,” for example,
produced 2.62 million hits,
and to this day, this famous phrase is quoted in newspapers, books, journals, and articles from around the world.
One of the most recent global acknowledgements of Huntington’s theory
is from the United Nations, which under the patronage of Kofi Annan,
launched an initiative called the “The Alliance of Civilizations” —
presumably as a means of countering this “clash.”
The influence of Huntington’s ideas is readily apparent,
and will most likely continue to remain at the forefront of international relations for decades.

I had the opportunity to sit with Professor Huntington
and ask him to elaborate on this controversial theory.
His home is small and quaint, a historic relic tucked away on
a quiet brick-lined street in downtown Boston.
One wouldn’t imagine that behind such a controversial and combative theory
is someone so quiet and soft-spoken.
He introduced me to his wife, kindly offered something to drink,
and asked me about the weather.
We then began to discuss politics of the day.

[Dear Islamica: How about providing the date of this interview?]

After about an hour of discussion and questions,
I came to better understand not only his famous theory,
but also arguments from his more recent works.
I left with a better sense of his views and began to consider that
the idea we know popularly to be the “clash of civilizations”
may not be the thesis that Huntington originally conceived.

Many use the “clash” as a way of supporting a line of reasoning that
combines the Muslim world into one monolithic entity,
something he explicitly denies.

I was not sure what to expect before we began our discussion.
Nonetheless, I had a few questions that I dove right in to.
I also decided to use “the Muslim World” as opposed to
Muslim majority countries or any other simplified title,
just to be consistent with his thesis and to facilitate the flow
of our, what I hoped to be, engaging discussion.

[Question numbers and emphasis are added.]

I’d like to begin with a general question on your book
The Clash of Civilizations.
Your theory on the clash of civilizations argues that
“current global politics should be understood as the result of
deep-seated conflicts between the great cultures and religions of the world.”
This thesis gained momentum as a result of Sept. 11,
and now the war against terrorism
is often defined in terms of the West against Islam
as a fundamental clash between these two civilizations.
Do you feel that your thesis is accurately used
when describing the war against terrorism as
a war of the West against Islam?
If not, what modifications to that application of your theory would you make?

The argument in my book on the clash of civilization
was well reflected in that short quote saying that
the relations between countries in the coming decade
are most likely to reflect
their cultural commitments, their cultural ties and antagonism with other countries.
Quite obviously power will continue to play a central role in global politics
as it always does.
But usually there is something else.
In the 18th century in Europe,
the issues to a large extent involved questions of monarchy and
monarchy versus the emerging republican movements,
first in America and then in France.
In the 19th century it was basically nationality and
people trying to define their nationalism
and create states which would reflect their nationalism.
In the 20th century, ideology came to the fore,
largely, but not exclusively, as a result of the Russian Revolution
and we have fascism, communism and liberal democracy competing with each other.
Well that’s pretty much over.

The other two (fascism and communism) have not entirely disappeared
but have been sidelined certainly,
and liberal democracy has come to be accepted,
in theory at least, around the world, if not always in practice.
So the question really is
what will be the central focus of global politics in the coming decades
and my argument is that
cultural identities and cultural antagonisms and affiliations
will play not the only role but a major role.
Countries will cooperate with each other,
and are more likely to cooperate with each other
when they share a common culture,
as is most dramatically illustrated in the European Union.
But other groupings of countries are emerging in East Asia and in South America.
Basically, as I said, these politics will be oriented around, in large part,
cultural similarities and cultural antagonism.

So, if your thesis entirely explains relations between states post 9/11,
then how do you situate the alliance between, for example,
Pakistan and the United States against Afghanistan for example,
or similar types of relationships?

Well, obviously Pakistan and the U.S. are very different countries,
but we have common geopolitical interests
in preventing communist [?? That ended in 1992.] take over in Afghanistan
and hence,
now that Pakistan has a government that we can cooperate with,
even though it is a military government,
we are working together with them in order to promote our common interests.
But obviously we also differ with Pakistan on a number of issues.

You said in your book,
“For 45 years, the Iron Curtain was the central dividing line in Europe.
That line has moved several hundred miles east.
It is now the line separating the peoples of Western Christianity, on the one hand, from Muslim and Orthodox peoples on the other.”
Some scholars have reacted to such an analysis by stating that
making such a dichotomous distinction between the West and Islam
implies that there is a great uniformity within those two categories.
Additionally some argue that such a distinction
implies that Islam does not exist within the Western world.
I understand that this is a criticism you have often received.
In general, how do you react to such an analysis?

The implication, which you say some people draw, is totally wrong.
I don’t say that the West is united, I don’t suggest that.
Obviously there are divisions within the West and divisions within Islam —
there are different sects, different communities, different countries.
So neither one is homogenous at all.
But they do have things in common.
People everywhere talk about Islam and the West.
Presumably that has some relationship to reality,
that these are entities that have some meaning and they do.
Of course the core of that reality is differences in religion.

Is there any reconciliation or point of convergence between,
as is often described, both sides of this “Iron Curtain”?

First, you say “both sides,” but as I said, both sides are divided and
Western countries collaborate with Muslim countries and vice versa.
I think it’s a mistake, let me just repeat,
to think in terms of two homogeneous sides starkly confronting each other.
Global politics remains extremely complex and countries have different interests,
which will also lead them to make what might seem as rather bizarre friends and allies.
The U.S. has and still is cooperating with
various military dictatorships around the world.
Obviously we would prefer to see them democratized,
but we are doing it because we have national interests,
whether it’s working with Pakistan on Afghanistan or whatever.

You have also recently said that communism disintegrated because
it relied on ideology as opposed to religion and culture
as a means of binding a society together.
So as a result, when people became disillusioned by that ideology,
as they always do, the countries fell apart.
Similarly, you have argued that as civilization changes in America,
it has moved toward focusing on democratic liberalism as an ideology.

That always has been the American ideology.

Right. So how do you see this trend developing in America,
in terms of the relation to the fall of the Soviet Union
as they focused on communism as an ideology
and what lessons do you think America should learn from that experience?

That’s a very interesting question.
As I said, since the revolution of the 18th century,
America has basically had an ideology of
liberal democracy and constitutionalism.
Generally, in my other writings, however,
I try to avoid the use of the term ideology to describe this.
I talk of American beliefs and values.
When you mention the word ideology,
everyone has communism in the back of their minds,
which was an entirely well formulated ideology and statement of belief.
You read the Communist Manifesto and you know what the core of it is.
What we have, however, is a looser set of values and beliefs,
which have remained fairly constant for two and a half centuries or so.

And that’s really rather striking.
Obviously changes and adaptations in it have occurred as a result of
economic development, industrialization,
the huge wave of immigrants that have come to this country,
economic crisis, depression, and world wars —
all of these have had an effect.
But the core of the American set of beliefs has remained pretty constant.
If one of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence came back today,
he would not be surprised about
what Americans were saying and believing and articulating
in their public statements.
It would all sound rather familiar.

Other countries have gone through rather dramatic changes in outlook,
from the clash of the monarchies and
their replacement by republican regimes or communist regimes
in various parts of Eurasia.
Nationalism is a central ideology
for people who are trying to establish their own states
in which they can play a dominant role.
So as far as ideology or political beliefs are concerned,
countries are very different.
In addition, of course,
two significant developments in the past several decades have been
the collapse of communism as an ideology and
the general acceptance, as you said, in rhetoric, if not practice,
of liberal democracy.

So how do you think the Muslim world fares in this regard?

I think what I mentioned has all had an impact on the Muslim world
and I think we’ve seen at least the beginnings of
rather significant social and economic change in the Muslim world,
which I think will in due course lead to more political change.
Obviously Muslim societies, like societies elsewhere,
are becoming increasingly urban, many are becoming industrial,
but since so many have oil and gas, they don’t have a great impetus.
But again,
the revenue that natural resources produce gives them the capability
and so countries like Iran are beginning to develop an industrial component.

Okay, so given the interconnected world of our day,
how do you feel that the Western and Muslim worlds can coexist in a mutually cooperative environment?
You state in your book that
some Westerners have argued that
the Western opposition is not to Islam but to Islamic extremists.
But you then say,
“1,400 years of history demonstrate otherwise.
The relations between Islam and Christianity, both Orthodox and Western,
have often been stormy.
Each has been the other’s Other.”
Do you believe that the “Muslim World” and the “Christian West”
will come to a point of partnership?

I think it’s hard to talk about the Muslim world and Christian world as blocks.
There will be associations and partnerships between
some Muslim countries and some Christian countries.
Those already exist.
And they may shift as different regimes come and go and interests change.
I don’t think it is all that useful to think in terms of those two solid blocks.

Do you think that the “Islamic civilization”
will become increasingly coherent in the future?

[Strange she asks a Westerner that question!]

Again, that is an interesting question.
Certainly we’ve seen movements in that direction and
certainly there are various trans-Islamic political movements,
which try to appeal to Muslims in all societies.
I am doubtful that there will be any sort of real coherence of Muslim societies into a single political system run by an elected or non-elected group of leaders.
But I think we can expect leaders of Muslim societies to cooperate with each other on many issues just as Western societies cooperate with each other.
I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Muslim or at least Arab countries developing some form of organization comparable to the European Union.
I don’t think that’s very likely, but it conceivably could happen.

So moving on from the clash of civilizations,
I’d like to talk on a broader level about the “Western-Muslim” world relations.
You say in your book,
“Islamic culture explains, in large part,
the failure of democracy to emerge in much of the Muslim world.”
It is not uncommon to hear some scholars argue that
Islam is antithetical to democracy.
Others counter this argument by stating that
the majority of the Muslim world is, it seems, east of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Given that a large part of the Muslim world is participating in democracies —
Indonesia, Mali, Senegal, and even India are very strong democracies —
do you then think that Islam plays a role in
the lack of democracy that we see in parts of the Muslim world?
Do you think that this is in stark contrast to their Islamic heritage
or can it be somehow connected to it?

I don’t know what the answer to that question is
because I’m not an expert on Islam,
but it is striking the relative slowness
with which Muslim countries, particularly Arab countries,
have moved toward democracy.
Their cultural heritage and their ideologies may be in part responsible.
The colonial experience they all went through
may be a factor in the fight against Western domination,
British, French or whatever.
They were until recently largely rural societies
with land owning governing elites in most of them.
I think they are certainly moving toward urbanization
and much more pluralistic political systems.
In almost every Muslim country, that is occurring.
Obviously they are increasing their involvement with non-Muslim societies.
One peak aspect of this, of course, is the migration of Muslims into Europe.

Right, I’ll have a question about that in a bit,
but let me ask you another one first.
Your colleagues Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer
have recently produced
a controversial thesis about the Israeli lobby and international relations,
arguing that
U.S. foreign policy is disproportionately affected by pro-Israeli groups
and ultimately not in the best interest of America.
How do you evaluate their argument and do you think it has any merit?

They are both extremely knowledgeable and serious scholars
so I think it’s an argument that other people have to take seriously.
They are not polemicists by any means.
I am not entirely persuaded by their argument,
but I guess the word that caught my attention is “disproportionately.”
I don’t know how you judge that.
I mean U.S. foreign policy is in every area
impacted by ethnic groups of one sort or another
as well as economic groups and regional groups.
There has been
an Irish lobby that has impacted U.S. foreign policy for a century and a half,
and at times made our relations with Great Britain very difficult.
Other comparable lobbies exist.
So I don’t think that the Israeli lobby is unique.
It may differ from the others
in the extent by which it is focused on just one issue,
which is the survival of Israel, which is understandable,
and promoting Israeli development and aid to Israel,
and so forth and so on.

There have been many diplomats, scholars, and even human rights activists
who all argue that
if the tension between Israel and Palestine were resolved,
there would be a more stable and peaceful Middle East.
Do you believe that the reason for instability
is directly and primarily linked to
this tension between Israelis and Palestinians?

I don’t know what they are referring to when they talk of instability.
Obviously there have been and still are
fault lines of conflict in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians,
but most of them, of course,
have previously been between Israel and Egypt,
the struggles between various religious factions in Lebanon,
differences between Baathist regimes that exist and opposition movements
and so forth.
There are lots of conflicts going on in the Middle East.
It is unclear as to which country will emerge, if any,
as the dominant or hegemonic power in the Middle East.

In South America we have Brazil;
in Africa we have South Africa;
in Central Africa we have Nigeria;
in East Asia we have China and Japan;
South Asia, India.
Now what is the comparable power in the Middle East?
Israel has military capabilities including nuclear weapons,
far surpassing any other power in the Middle East, but it’s a small country.
The rest of the Middle Eastern peoples are Muslim and Israelis are not,
so it is hardly in any position to become the leading power.
I mentioned Iran as a possibility.
Iran of course is Shiite, while the bulk of the Arabs are Sunni,
that is a problem or could be a problem.

Also, there is the simple fact that Iran is non-Arab
and most of the Muslims in the Middle East are Arab.
Then there is the question of Turkey, which is an important state,
but again it’s not Arab
and it has very concrete interests in the oil and gas in northern Iraq
and in securing borders against secessionist movements.
What are the prospects for an Arab state serving a leading role
comparable to the role that other states place in other regions?
There is no obvious candidate.
Saudi Arabia has the money but a relatively small population.
Iraq was a great potential leader,
as a sizable country with great oil resources and a highly educated population,
but it went off in the wrong direction.
Maybe Iraq will come back and become the dominant power among Arab countries.
That seems to me as conceivable.

How about Turkey?
As you mentioned, they see themselves
as a bridge between the Western world and the Muslim world.

I wouldn’t put a great deal of emphasis on that.
Turkey has its own interests and historically,
Turkey conquered most of the Arab world,
and the Arabs had to fight wars of liberation
to free themselves from the Turks.
That’s in the past and that doesn’t necessarily shape what is going on
but it’s there and it’s there in people’s memories.
The Turks, as I said, seem to have very specific interests,
particularly in those portions of those Arab countries that border Turkey.

Do you think it’s in the interest of U.S. foreign policy
to ensure that no hegemonic, at least regionally hegemonic, leader
does arise in that region?

That all depends on who that hegemonic leader is.
I think in theory, the United States finds it much easier to deal with
situations where there is a leading country.
You can go to the leaders of that country and say, for example, to India,
“There are all these problems in Bangladesh,
we really have to do something about it,
what do you suggest we can do to work out a common policy?”
But when you don’t have the equivalent of India,
you have to go capital to capital trying to put together a coalition,
which is extraordinarily difficult, especially in the Arab world,
because of the historic rivalries and branches of Islam.

If you were to write this thesis 100 years from now,
would you still argue that there is a clash of civilizations
between the Western and Islamic world?

I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen 100 years from now.

do you think that this thesis is historically specific to contemporary times?

Well, I wrote that book in the 1980s.
I was studying global politics and teaching courses on global politics
and became convinced that
the ideas I set forth in my “Clash of Civilizations” article in 1993
were ideas that deserved attention and many elaboration.
They obviously got a lot of attention, much of it critical,
but that showed they had a certain bite.
So when I went on to elaborate them in the book,
I did so in a more systematic way.

In this final part of the interview,
I would like to address identity and its relation to global politics.
Your colleague Amartya Sen at Harvard recently published a book,
Identity and Violence: the Illusion of Destiny,
in which he criticizes your argument along the lines that
“identity is not destiny” and that
each individual can construct and reconstruct chosen identities.
He argues that
the clash of civilizations theory comes from “miniaturization of human beings,”
meaning that all human beings are reduced to
“unique and choiceless identity made to fit into the boxes of civilization.”
In other words, Sen argues that
humans have the ability to define themselves in numerous other ways.
What is your perspective on citizens who have multiple identities?

I think that statement by Amartya Sen is totally wrong.
I never argue that and I realize that people have multiple identities.
What I argue in my book, as I indicated earlier, is that
the basis of association and antagonism among countries has changed over time.
In the coming decades, questions of identity,
meaning cultural heritage, language, and religion,
will play a central role in politics.
I first elaborated this idea over 10 years ago,
and much of what I said has been validated during that time.

How do you negotiate people with multiple identities, say,
a Muslim or a Jewish person
who lives in America and who may have these two identities.
How do they negotiate that?

They work out accommodations
and that’s been done for the past two or three centuries at least.
When you have increased migration of peoples and ethnic and religious minorities,
you develop a set of rules and language the larger society can accept
and the minority community can accept.
The larger society has to recognize some degree of autonomy for the minority:
the right to practice their own religion and way of life and to some extent their language.
Many of the most difficult questions concerning the role of ethnic minorities
centers on language.
To what extent are they educated in their own language
or in the national language?
To what extent does the society formally or informally
become a country of two national languages?
Or is only one language used in
the public proceedings, courts, legislatures, executive branch, and politics?
These, as we know, can become very tricky issues.

Your argument focuses on identity as one of the core movers in global politics.
How do you think that fundamentalism
the radical idea that one’s own identity is superior to all others —
influences global politics today?
[I think that is a radically inaccurate definition of fundamentalism
(even if Huntington seems to accept it).]

Do you think there is a particular radicalism that is only associated with Islam
or do you think it exists in all faiths?

I think fundamentalism is what you said:
this radical attitude toward one’s own identity and civilization
as compared to other people’s identities and cultures.
Fundamentalist tendencies and movements existed, so far as I know,
in all societies and civilizations.
Certainly here in the U.S.,
we’ve had fundamentalist movements
that have taken very critical and hostile attitudes toward immigration
and the assimilation of immigrants into our society and culture.
[I am mystified by the identification of fundamentalism with anti-immigrationism.]
So these tendencies are fairly universal.
The problem is what if they get out of hand
and become the dominant factor in a society,
which can only lead to the oppression of minorities
or even to war with neighboring societies with differing cultures.
That’s why it seems to me it’s important
to try to keep these tendencies toward extremism under control.

In considering your most recent book,
why are there more tensions among Muslims and other groups in European societies as opposed to America, where Muslims seem to be better adjusted?
How would this relate to your thesis about identity and culture in regard to Hispanic communities in the United States?

First of all,
the biggest difference as far as Muslims in Europe and America are concerned
is that
the number of Muslims in America is small compared to the number in Europe.
those that are here have come across several thousands of miles of oceans,
not just walking across the border
or taking a short boat ride across the Mediterranean.
We don’t border on Muslim countries.
European countries do and that seems to be a fundamental difference.

As you might have suggested,
how does the position of Muslims compare to
the position of Hispanics in the United States.
That’s an interesting question.
I think that again there are fundamental differences, however,
because the United States has been an immigrant country.
The Hispanics who come here are largely from Mexico and South America.
They are Catholics, but that is an American religion.
One-third of our population is Catholic
so that does not have the same impact as Muslims coming into Europe.
They speak Spanish or Portuguese, which are languages we are familiar with,
so it doesn’t seem to pose the same types of problems as
Arabic-speaking Muslims do in Europe.
The major difference for us with respect to Hispanic immigration is that
it is so large and that
it is coming from neighboring countries
rather than those countries off the Atlantic or Pacific.
That creates different issues and different problems for us
as compared to the past.
It is still very different, however, from the situation in Europe
where we see people with a very different non-European religion
coming from neighboring countries.

As a final thought, do you think your thesis,
particularly the clash of civilizations theory,
is used by people for their own agendas?

Oh absolutely, all the time. There isn’t much I can do about that.
In the past, some of my other writings have also set forth
ideas and arguments that people have found controversial and have criticized.
Initially, with respect to these past writings,
I would try to respond to them,
but by doing so, I would call attention to their arguments.
Instead of having one article in one magazine,
we would have two or three articles in separate magazines
and the whole thing would be blown out of proportion.
So, except under rare circumstances, I don’t write responses to criticism.

What is one place that you’ve traveled to that you most enjoyed?
Have you ever traveled to any parts of the Muslim world?

When I think of countries that I enjoyed visiting,
that I would want to go back to,
Italy would be one, Japan would be another.
I’ve only been to Indonesia once or twice
and it seems like such a fascinating country.
I guess India certainly.
I’ve been to
Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait for brief visits at conferences,
and they are very interesting countries.

What is one thing about you that most people would be surprised to know?

A lot of people tend to think I’m a dogmatic ideologue, which I’m not.

In general, we hope that this will give people a better idea of what you think
as opposed to what everyone else thinks you think.

I understand that and I am very grateful to you for trying to do that.

Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University
and author of many renowned books including
<The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (1991),
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996), and
Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity (2004).
He is a graduate from Yale and Harvard universities.


Amina R. Chaudary is a graduate student at Columbia University
earning a master’s degree in human rights policy
as well as a master’s in liberal arts in government from Harvard University.
She has worked in the field of human rights for over five years
at organizations such as Oxfam, Women Waging Peace, and others

Other Articles

Drilling in Afghanistan
New York Times, 2008-07-30

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

The truth is that
Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Pakistan
are just different fronts in the same war.
The core problem is that
the Arab-Muslim world in too many places
has been failing at modernity,

and were it not for $120-a-barrel oil,
that failure would be even more obvious.
For far too long, this region has been dominated by
authoritarian politics,
massive youth unemployment,
outdated education systems,
a religious establishment resisting reform and now
a death cult that glorifies young people committing suicide,
often against other Muslims.

[This is, of course, the “failed civilization” paradigm,
mentioned by Michael Scheuer here.
It is discussed and challenged by Stephen Walt
in section 2.1.3 of Taming American Power;
note especially the issue raised in ¶ et seq..
For better understanding of “why they hate us”,
read all of the excerpt from chapter 2 of TAP.
Useful background is provided by Huntington
in chapter 4 and sections 5.2 and 9.2 (note especially ¶9.2.7)
of Clash.]

The humiliation this cocktail produces is the real source of terrorism.
Saddam exploited it.
Al Qaeda exploits it.
Pakistan’s intelligence services exploit it.
Hezbollah exploits it.
The Taliban exploit it.

[Friedman is leading his readers astray.
He cannot comprehend that
“the real source” of Hezbollah’s terrorism is
Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.

How on earth can such a misleading person be taken seriously
by so much of our “elite”?]

The only way to address it is by changing the politics.
Producing islands of decent and consensual government
in Baghdad or Kabul or Islamabad
would be a much more meaningful and lasting contribution
to the war on terrorism
than even killing bin Laden in his cave.
But it needs local partners.
The reason the surge helped in Iraq
is because Iraqis took the lead in confronting their own extremists —
the Shiites in their areas, the Sunnis in theirs.
That is very good news — although it is still not clear
that they can come together in a single functioning government.

The main reason we are losing in Afghanistan is
not because there are too few American soldiers,
but because
there are not enough Afghans ready to fight and die
for the kind of government we want.

[He’s right about that.
Why should Afghans fight and die for
for the kind of government Americans want?]

Take 20 minutes and read the stunning article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine by Thomas Schweich,
a former top Bush counternarcotics official focused on Afghanistan,
and dwell on his paragraph on Afghan President Hamid Karzai:

“Karzai was playing us like a fiddle:
The U.S. would spend billions of dollars on infrastructure improvement;
the U.S. and its allies would fight the Taliban;
Karzai’s friends could get rich off the drug trade;
he could blame the West for his problems;
and in 2009, he would be elected to a new term.”

Then read the Afghan expert Rory Stewart’s July 17 Time magazine cover story from Kabul:
“A troop increase is likely to inflame Afghan nationalism because
Afghans are more anti-foreign than we acknowledge,
and the support for our presence in the insurgency areas is declining ...
The more responsibility we take in Afghanistan,
the more we undermine the credibility and responsibility of the Afghan government
and encourage it to act irresponsibly.
Our claims that Afghanistan is the ‘front line in the war on terror’
and that ‘failure is not an option’
have convinced the Afghan government that
we need it more than it needs us.
The worse things become, the more assistance it seems to receive.
This is not an incentive to reform.”

[“Afghans are more anti-foreign than we acknowledge”.
To anyone who has read Michael Scheuer,
especially paragraph 2.7.3 of Imperial Hubris,
or this:
“The Afghans Who Matter Are Muslim Tribal Xenophobes”,
this is an astounding commentary on the ignorance/incompetence
of those formulating our foreign policies vis-à-vis the Muslim world.]

Before Democrats adopt “More Troops to Afghanistan” as their bumper sticker,
they need to make sure it’s a strategy for winning a war — not an election.


Huntington, Prescient and Principled
by Fareed Zakaria
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2009-01-05

[A memorial reminisce of Huntington.
Its beginning, highly relevant in 2009 (emphasis is added).]

If there is one central, recurring mistake the United States makes
when dealing with the rest of the world, it is
to assume that creating political stability is easy.
We overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and then
dismantled the structure of the Iraqi state,
sure that we could simply set up a new one.
We toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan and were confident that
with foreign aid, elections and American know-how,
we would build a new, modern nation.
After all, the governments we were helping to establish --
democratic, secular and inclusive --
were so much better than those they followed.
But we should have heeded the wise man’s declaration that
“the most important political distinction among countries
concerns not their form of government
but their degree of government.”


So many of the world’s problems
from terrorists in Waziristan to the AIDS epidemic to piracy in Somalia—
are made worse by
governments that are
unable to exercise real authority over their lands or people.

That was the central insight of Samuel P. Huntington,
the greatest political scientist of the past half-century,
who died on Christmas Eve.

Huntington is most famous for The Clash of Civilizations,
but his scholarly reputation properly rests on his earlier work.
His analysis of political order had immediate, real-world applications.
While studying the topic,
he was asked by the Johnson administration
to assess the progress of the Vietnam War.
After a tour of that country, he argued, in 1967 and 1968,
that America’s strategy in South Vietnam was fatally flawed.
The United States was trying to buy the support of the population
through aid and development.
But money wasn’t the key, in Huntington’s view.
The South Vietnamese who resisted the Viet Cong’s efforts did so because
they were secure within
effective communities
structured around religious or ethnic ties.

The United States, though,
wanted to create a modern Vietnamese nation,
and it refused to reinforce these “backward” sources of authority.
this 40-year-old analysis describes our dilemma in Afghanistan today.

Huntington noticed a troubling trend.
Sometimes, American-style progress --
more political participation or faster economic growth --
actually created more problems than it solved.
If a country had more people
who were economically, politically and socially active
yet lacked effective political institutions,
such as political parties, civic organizations or credible courts,
the result was greater instability.
Think of Pakistan,
whose population has skyrocketed from 68 million in 1975
to more than 165 million today,
while its government has proved ill-equipped to tackle
the basic tasks of education, security and social welfare.

Living through change,
people have often stuck with
their oldest and most durable source of security:
That was the most important message of The Clash of Civilizations.
While others were celebrating
the fall of communism and the rise of globalization,
Huntington saw that
with ideology disappearing as a source of human identity,
religion was returning to the fore.


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