Jeffery Ewener, writing in the Toronto Star, Actually we can all just get along says the world view view promoted by Samuel P. Huntington is history. Bad History.
Huntington is perhaps best known for his 1993 article The Clash of Civilizations and the book that followed: The Clash of Civilizations and the Re-making of World Order
... the one thing that has gone largely unchallenged is the political world view that gave rise to the Iraq War in the first place, and which continues to push the United States and its Western allies into a confrontational posture against the Islamic world, against China, and potentially against every other major global player.
Crossposted at: The Next Agenda
... According to Huntington, the troops, naval exercises, space weapons and everything else are all vital to the defence of Western civilization (meaning the United States, Europe and the rest of us). We must stand on guard against a resurgence of our historic rivals — the civilizations of Islam and China and, down the road, maybe the Hindu and other worlds as well.
The late Edward Said put Huntington's thesis in a nutshell: the West versus the rest.
Ewener has interviewed the Singaporean author of The Dialogue of Civilizations in the Birth of Modern Science , Arun Bala. From 1300 to 1500...
"Medieval Europe was sandwiched between the Islamic west and the Chinese east," he says. "It could hardly avoid having contact and mutual influences, exchanging ideas. And when you trace the leading-edge ideas of the day, you see they were moving around all the time, from person to person, place to place. That's a dialogue of civilizations. At the deepest level, they were not clashing, they were co-operating."
That dialogue of civilizations explains the end of the European Dark Ages, the beginning of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution better than political history as it has been taught in the West.
In the mainstream history of science, the Scientific Revolution is as European as lederhosen and baguettes. After about 1,500 years of mysterious ignorance, the story goes, European thinkers suddenly snapped out of their stupor, picked up where the ancient Greeks had left off, and finished their work for them. Voilà — modern science, with a big "Made in Europe" stamped on it.
Bala, a physicist and philosopher, argues it couldn't have happened that way. Crucial theoretical and scientific discoveries had to be made, in order to build upon the work of the Greeks, before the ideas of the Scientific Revolution became possible.
Many of those scientific building blocks came from Islam, China and India.
The article notes that the modern western world as we know it, rational, scientific, individualistic, and one of legal rights is the result. It was a revolution that would not be possible without dialogue of civilizations.
Politicians have a natural tendency to look at political history and think that that's the way the world works. Yet politics is just the froth on the surface of our history and of our civilizations. At a deeper level, the currents of our cultures and values run more closely together.
"In a real sense," says Bala, "the modern world is the joint creation of many of the world's civilizations. We all had a hand in creating it, through mutual dialogue. And that same dialogue holds the hope of creating a better world, of solving the problems of today, together."
It seems the end of PNAC's New American century came after only six years. The End of Fukuyama came before the End of History and the Last Man
Time to move on.