HUNTINGTON, AD ABSURDUM
"Civilization identity will be increasingly
important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure
by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. These
include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox,
Latin American and possibly African civilization. The most important
conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines
separating these civilizations from another.
Why will this be the case?
First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are
are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture,
tradition and, the most important, religion."
Samuel P. Huntington, Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993, p. 25.
Most important? Ergo:
Orthodox Greece is a part of Western civilization, as well as Islamic
Turkey; Orthodox Ethiopia is a part of African civilization; Orthodox
Copts are a part of Arabic Islamic civilization, and Orthodox Slavs are
a part of Slavic-Orthodox civilization. Catholic Slavs (Poles, Czechs,
Slovaks, Croats and Slovenes) are a part of Western civilization, while
Islamic Slavs (Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin Muslims) are a part of
Islamic civilization. Black Islamic African people are a part of Islamic
civilization, together with black African Catholics, but African Arabs
are a part of Islamic civilization, as are Far Eastern Malaysians. South
African Wiljoen is a part of Western civilization, and South African
Buthelezi is a part of African civilization. Buddhist Tibet is
destroyed, so there can be no Buddhist civilization. Christian bishop
Desmond Tutu is a part of African civilization, but Muslims Roger Garodi
and Cat Stevens are a part of Western civilization. Christian Samuel P.
Huntington and Muslim Louis Farakhan are part of Western civilization.
The first step in a clash of civilizations will be the extermination of
all those entities which spoil the division lines.
The Serb and Hutus did their homework.
"The interactions among peoples of different civilizations enhance the
civilization-consciousness of people that, in turn, invigorates
differences and animosities stretching or thought to stretch back deep.
into history." (p.26) The examples of these interactions are "North
African immigration to France" and "Japanese investment" in America
(p.26). But the French and Americans are hostile to these interactions.
There were other interactions "back deep into history", but Samuel P.
Huntington does not know about them. Nevertheless, he used the results
of those interactions when he wrote about the "proportions of total
trade", using Arabic figures in an English language phrase - "51 percent
to 59 percent in Europe" - in order to be able to explain to us what all
that trade is about. These Arabic numbers are common feature of Western
civilization, as well as Greek mathematics (which was preserved and
developed in Arabic Islamic civilization), and even more, the number 0,
which was invented by Hindu mystics.
"In the past, the elites of non-Western societies were usually the
people who were most involved with the West, had been educated at
Oxfot;d, the Sorbonne or Sandhurst, and had absorbed Western attitudes
and values." (p.27).
If this past is to be represented by the last five decades, we will look
at two characteristic examples. Ali Bhutto was educated at Oxford where
he gained an appreciation for Benito Mussolini.
Pol Pot was educated at the Sorbonne, and what he gained an appreciation
of there, three million killed Cambodians will never be able to tell
"Cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence
less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones.
In the former Soviet Union communists can become democrats, the rich can
become poor and the poor rich., but Russians cannot become Armenians."
Georgian Sergei Paradjanov had no need to become Russian to film one of
the best Russian movies - "Forgotten Ancestor's Shadows". Nor to become
an Azeri to film the best Azeri movie ever - "Ashug Qerib". Igor
Stravinsky, according to Huntington's thesis, should have become a Jew
to compose the "Symphony of the Psalms", a black American to compose
jazz-influenced "Piano Rag Music", English to recreate Hogarth's 18th
century's England in the "Rake's Progress", a Latin-speaking Ancient
Roman conveying Old Greek tragic feelings through the medium of French
and Russian in "Oedipus Rex", or some Neapolitan from 18th century Italy
in order to recompose Pergolesi's "Pulcinella". Picasso would have had
to biologically convert into a black Mrican to make his primitive
sculptures. Alan Watts should first have become a Japanese to be a
Buddhist teacher, in Japan or anywhere else.
There is no transcendence, everything is just biology.
"Islam has bloody borders." (p.35)
Borders include two entities between which they are drawn. So, we can
say: "Christianity has bloody borders", "Hinduism has bloody borders",
or "Samuel P. Huntington's thought has bloody borders".
"In the Balkans this line, of course, coincides with the historic
boundary between the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. The peoples to the
north and west of this line are Protestant or Catholic; they shared the
common experiences of European history - feudalism, the Renaissance, the
Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial
Karl Marx, a German Jew, discovered and defined some principles of
bourgeois ideology. His ideology of communism, born to the north and
west of Huntington's dividing line, among Protestant and Catholic
peoples, was embraced and put into practice to the east of Huntington's
line, among the Orthodox Slavs and Confucians, but also among some black
Africans and, even, at the border of U.S.A., that is the West. Maybe
Samuel P. Huntington thinks, as Spengler did, that Karl Marx and his
theory do not belong to the Western Protestant and Catholic
civilization, as defined by Samuel P. Huntington, but, because he was a
Jew, to Arabic civilization - Pre-Christians, Jews, Copts, Byzantine,
Arabs, as in Spengler's formula. But what does he think about Benito
Mussolini, Charles Maurras and Adolf Hitler? Were they Oriental, Slavic
Orthodox, Confucian or Muslim theoreticians, despots and killers of
millions of Jews and Slavic Orthodox people, or were they a part of
Western, Protestant and Catholic, civilizational experience?
"A West at the peak of its power confronts non-Wests that increasingly
have the desire, the will and the resources to shape the world in
non-Western ways." (p.26)
Serbia (Slav Orthodox), Croatia and Slovenia (Slav Catholic),
increasingly have the desire, the will and the resources to shape the
Balkans in Western ways, forming nation states through war and genocide
and destroying multireligious and multinational states. This is a
process of Europeanization of the Balkans, rather than the Balkanization
My reply to Samuel P. Huntington is: The only important clash will be a
clash between archaic and modern people, between fundamentalists and
democrats. And this will happen in all civilizations, with specific
differences, of course. Huntington and those whose policies he defines
and advocates cannot be anything but the fundamentalists in that clash.