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The Clash Of Civilizations Essay

2194 words - 9 pages

Ernest Hemingway stated that, “In modern war … you will die like a dog for no good reason”! Even though that is true, experts have gone further by trying to find the “roots” and explain why conflicts emerge in the first place. Two experts, Samuel P. Huntington and John R. Bowen, present two different approaches towards the cause of conflicts in 21st century. Although there is a difference between their approaches, both of them share the common believe that a conflict may occur when one puts pressure on the other; but the reason why this pressure takes place, varies among the two theories.
In his article, “The Clash of Civilizations”, Huntington points out that in the 21st century, conflicts will not occur based on ideology of a state or civilization, neither on economic power; but they will take place because the differences in cultural and religious identity between civilizations. As the first key point that lies under this theory, is the Western civilization approach towards the Eastern civilization. According to him, the Western Civilization promotes their “political and economic values, maintain their predominance and protect their interest” through economic and political pressure via Western Institution such as UN and IMF. This Western approach increases the cultural division between Western and Eastern civilization, but also within Western Civilization; between Western Christianity and Orthodox Christianity. This approach can be easily understandable if we take a look at the historical events where Western and Eastern civilization confronted each other such as in the Gulf War and Bosnian war, where Western used their power to protect countries from a same culture, same civilization. This leads to a reaction from Eastern countries or the countries with the same civilization, with the victims such as Muslims vis-à-vis Bosnian Muslims. When it comes to this case, according to Huntington, the Western are accused by the Eastern for double standard, “one standard to their kin-countries and a different standard to others” (373).

The second key point that Huntington makes, is that the over-pressure of a Western towards the non-Western creates allies between different cultures on the Eastern civilization. As he stated, “the divine line is not always sharp”, hence civilizations may go through a cultural meltdown and states may overpass their traditional and religion values. But this overlap creates even deeper division in the foreign affairs where there are only two sides: The Western and the Rest. This was clearly evident with Arabian countries in the post Gulf War period, when they switched sides and adapted a Western policy against Sadam, who preferred an Anti-Western policy. Moreover, the obstacles that are created by the Western towards the non-Western, brings the non-Western civilization to a cross-road, where they either join the Western civilization, or create alliances among other non-Western, thus “competing with the West by...

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