After quoting "The Clash of Civilization's" thesis as a part of my own approach, my intent was to find a web page which would present Clash of of Civilization's message on it's own terms. Instead, I found this. This author's reveiw does go into more detail on CoC itself, but also raises some interesting and valid concerns.
Copyright 1997 by the Institute for International Policy Studies and OKAMOTO INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS SRESEARCH INSTITUTE: Preferred Citation:Seizaburo Sato, "Clash of Civilizations or Self-Renovation through Mutual Learning," Special Column on Huntington's treatise "Clash of Civilizations" : First of the Series (July 1997)
The most salient characteristic of the international relations during the second half of the 20th century was the Cold War between the Eastern and Western camps. While not a few countries stayed away from joining either camp and maintained neutrality, none of them, with the exception of China after the Sino-Soviet rift, was a power capable of exercising major influence over the international relations. Besides, even these countries, as long as their neutrality was from the East-West confrontation, they were nevertheless drawn, if in a passive form, into the magnetic field of the Cold War. In this respect, even China was no exception. After World War II, a number of conflicts arose which were not caused directly by the Cold War, but most of them were built into the structural framework of the East-West confrontation. Therefore, in these day when the Cold War had come to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellite countries, it is only natural that most scholars have tried to understand the future landscape of the world from a "post-Cold War" standpoint.
Especially noteworthy among these attempts which has attracted the attention of the world's intellectual community are predictably Francis Fukuyama's "The End of History and the Last Man" (New York, Free Press, 1992) and Samuel P. Huntington's "The Clash of the Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1996). Particularly interesting is the fact that they stand in a dire contrast in terms of the authors' standpoints when it comes to the understanding of liberal democracy, or the Western Civilization in general. Fukuyama thought liberal democracy had finally won over all other ideologies, literally putting an end to the history seen as a process of confrontations between ideologies. But, it did not at all mean that he himself without qualifications welcomed the West's victory in the Cold War. He was not so optimistic about the world coming after the "End of History," as indicated by his use in his book title of the expression "the Last Man," an expression once used by the Western thinker Friedrich Wilhelm Nitzsche who was among the first to lose faith in the future of the Western Modern Age. It is also true, however, that he had the perspective that liberal democracy, which was first born from the womb of the Western civilization, was a universally acceptable concept, and the world was now fundamentally to move toward embracing it.
In contrast, Huntington argued that it was not only wrong, but also conceited and dangerous to think that the Western Civilization had a universalistic nature. His new book has more than 300 pages in text alone, and, frankly speaking, the lack of consistency in this author's analysis makes it difficult to follow the train of his thought. The essence of his contention, however, can be summed up as follows.
The dominant type of confrontation in the world during the several hundred years leading up to the 19th century was that which occurred between major powers within the Western civilization, and then came the ideological confrontation of the 20th century, which is now shifting to the confrontation between civilizations in the post-Cold War era (the 21st century). The identities and loyalties of people have been shifting from state and ideology to civilization defined as the "broadest cultural entity." As a result, the world order began changing at its foundations, and, for the first time in the history of mankind, one is witnessing the emergence of a new world of multipolar and multicivilizational global politics, each civilization with its own member countries clustered around a core state functioning as an independent pole. In this context, the Western civilization is just one of the major civilizations, and, since matured civilizations strongly tend to reject the influence of others, it is not likely to become a universal civilization. Therefore, the Western countries should suspend their fruitless and dangerous effort of propagating their civilization to the rest of the world, and join forces to defend themselves against the challenges posed by other civilizations. With respect to the conflicts arising within each civilizational sphere, the best thing to do for the West is to leave everything to its core state' own control and management.
According to Huntington, the major existing civilizations can be grouped into six poles: the Western civilization built upon Catholicism and Protestantism (Western Europe and North America), the civilization built upon the Orthodox Church (Russia and Eastern Europe), the Islamic civilization, the Hindu civilization, the Chinese civilization, and the Japanese civilization, while South America and the sub-Sahara Africa exist as "candidates for civilization," with implications that they do have a potential to become distinct civilizations of their own. There are five civilizations among them in which there exist respective core states, i.e., the Western civilization ( the EU and North America), the Orthodox civilization (Russia), the Hindu civilization (India), the Chinese civilization (China), and the Japanese civilization (Japan), while there is no such core state in the Islamic civilization, not to mention South America and the sub-Sahara Africa which do not yet possess the conditions necessary for being major civilizations. Huntington regards the Chinese and the Islamic civilizations as most dangerous challengers to the Western civilization, and goes on to postulate that the Chinese civilization constitutes a threat to the West when China becomes too powerful a state, and the Western countries decide to get involved in an intracivilizational conflict such as a dispute between Vietnam and China, and the Islamic civilization can pose a threatening problem when intracivilizational conflicts continue to deepen without a core state playing the role of an effective mediator.
In his analysis as described above, Huntington is not only inaccurate or wrong in recognizing some of the historical facts, but also presents a hazardous problem when it is taken as a policy proposal. If the leadership of a major power, especially that of the United States which is the only superpower left alive, should come to accept a world image such as this, and systematically adopts and implements policies based upon it, other countries belonging to other civilizational spheres will be forced to take measures to counter such a move, producing a process of interactions which will self-fulfillingly turn Huntington's analysis into a reality. Of course, as far as I have known, judging from the largely critical reactions from the rest of the world, including those from the United States and Western Europe, it seems quite unlikely that his assertion will exert a powerful worldwide influence.
*Among the critical reactions to Huntington's treatise, the following papers are of especially excellent quality, from which I have been particularly benefited: Stephen M. Walt, "Building Up New Bogeyman," Foreign Policy, Spring 1997, Donald J. Puchala, "International Encounters of Another Kind," Global Society, January 1997, and John Ikenberry, "Just Like the Rest," Foreign Affairs, March-April 1997.
II.Diverse Types of Contacts between Classical Civilizations
Huntington defined culture as the "overall way of life of a people," and civilization as the "broadest cultural entity." With respect to both culture and civilization, there are as many divergent definitions as there are cultural anthropologists and cultural sociologists, and Huntington's own definition is nothing out of what is accepted as common sense by the academic community, staying largely within the limits of what are generally considered acceptable.
The concept of Huntington's six major civilizations is based upon the definition of the Classic Imperial Civilizations built on the major world religions with the only exception of Japan. After the passage of a considerable time since the revolutionary change brought about by the introduction of agriculture, in several parts of the Eurasian Continent where especially intense contacts took place among diverse cultures, great religions emerged like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neo-Confucianism, all of which have differentiated themselves from the tribal religions of the past by their vastly superior universality and transcendency, and came to integrate the peoples living in vast geographical regions by common values and social orders. The Classic Empires arose from nothing but the combination of these great religions and specific political authorities of the times. And, it was through becoming entwined with secular political authorities that the great religions' capacity to survive came to be greatly enhanced.
The pre-modern empires which were not closely combined with great religions collapsed relatively easily as it was the case with the Yuan dynasty of China and the West Roman Empire, while major religions which had lost the protection of secular authorities also tended to suffer the fate of waning influence as Persia's Zoroastrianism did. Also, this is the reason why Buddhism, which has the longest history among the great religions and once established overwhelming positions in India and China, lost ground in both countries, only surviving until today in the regions such as Japan, the Indochinese peninsula, Tibet, Mongol, Bhutan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, all in the peripheries of the Chinese and Indian civilizations. In China and India, neo-Confucianism and Hinduism developed intimate ties with the respective countries' ruling authorities, and Buddhism had lost the needed political protection in the central parts of this civilizational sphere. Hinduism, while not quite as thorough either in transcendency or universality when compared with other great religions, nevertheless had a vast capacity to tolerate alien elements, and thus proved capable of integrating different cultures and producing a unified life-style and social order. Outside the Eurasian Continent, there were signs of germinating civilizations in South America and the sub-Sahara Africa, but these incipient civilizations were too isolated from the rest of the world and fell into a sterile stagnation of self-contained perfection before attaining a sufficient degree of universality.
The serious fault with Huntington's analysis lies, first of all, in his neglect of the fact that different civilizations can not only come in contact and clash against each other, but also do learn from each other thereby succeeding in revitalizing themselves. Even in the case of the encounters between the pre-modern Classic Civilizations, there have been divergent forms and consequences in history depending on the levels of maturity of civilizations in question as well as the intensity of encounters.
Generally speaking, of what happens at such a historic event the first type is the case of incipient cultures. What happens when they come in contact with a matured Classic Civilization is that they will either be fully absorbed, or be wiped out, by the civilization with an overwhelming superiority. In either case, a rapid process of extinction is the rule. In contrast to this, the second type is the encounters between matured Classic Civilization and other cultures which had already reached a considerable level of development of its own. While the former remain unchanged, the latter not infrequently get stimuli from the former and launch a spectacular process of change. Especially when such encounters are not accompanied by military conquest, that is, when the intensity of the encounter remains relatively low, it is quite likely to spur the advent of a new civilization quite different from the former. The rise of the Japanese civilization, known for its salient characteristics, is a typical case in point. The insular Japan, severed from the Eurasian Continent by sea water, was able to nurture and develop its own unique culture absorbing the Chinese civilization over an extended period of time. Even in the case of the Chinese civilization, neither the resurgence of Confucianism as the Orthodox Learning, nor the literary exaltations of the Tang and Sung cultural renaissance would not have been possible without the external influence of the Indian and Hellenistic civilizations. The very Renaissance which built the initial stage of the modern Western civilization would not have been born if it were not for the West's contact with the Islamic civilization.
The third type is the contact between matured Classic Civilizations themselves, which ordinarily resulted either in a deadly confrontation, or a mutual repulse. The most typical example of the former is found in the encounter between the Islamic civilization during the era of the Ottoman Empire and the Western Christian civilization rallying around Catholicism, while that of the latter in the relationships between the post-Sung Chinese civilization and the Indian civilization, and the encounters between the Western civilization and China during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Korea during the Yi dynasty, and Japan during the Tokugawa period. Thus, it can not be said that the encounters between different civilizations inevitably result in a head-on clash.
III.Classic Civilization and Modern Industrial Civilization
Another of Huntington's failures is that his definition of civilization totally neglects the differences that exist between the pre-modern Classic Civilization and the modern industrial civilization. Further, Huntington has contradicted himself by interpreting the industrial civilization by the framework of the Classic Civilization by means of equating the modern industrial civilization with the Western civilization as a Classic Civilization through, while he has in fact limited the concept of civilizational encounter only to the kinds between modern industrial civilizations and pre-modern Classic Civilizations. This confusion is closely related to that fact that he has grossly overestimated the meaning of the end of the Cold War, and in so doing, lost sight of the more fundamental change that had taken place behind this historic event.
Huntington has asserted that such things as democratic political system, check and balance of power, and rule of law, are all the products as well as the components of the Western civilization. Indeed, it is true that these things were first born in Western Europe, but on the other hand, many of these values and institutions have taken roots in a number of non-Western regions of the world today, while many of the Western countries have not until recently incorporated these "fruits of the Western civilization" into their societies. This is to say that these things are rather the products of the modern industrial civilization rather than those of the Western civilization as a Classic Civilization. It might also be footnoted here that, if the birth origin is the issue to be resolved, one ought to remember that Christianity was not born in the West, nor can the Classic Greek civilization be said to be purely of the Western origin.
Ever since the era of the Classic Civilization, human beings (at least those inhabiting the Eurasian Continent) have lived inside, or in the peripheries of the Imperial Order. But in the West, an entirely new political system composed of sovereign states emerged by the 17th century. And, as the popular sense of identity with the sovereign state increased, sovereign states have transformed themselves into nation states. The ideology of a nation state (or, as it is called nationalism) found the most eloquent expression in the French Revolution, and, as is well known, the ideology was spread across entire Europe by the Napoleonic Wars. The emergence of the sovereign states-nation states in turn prompted the global expansion of the Western world. The West's expansion became explosive greatly aided by the Industrial Revolution, which was brought about for the first time in history during the second half of the 18th century in England roughly paralleling the times of the French Revolution. As a result, industrialization markedly extended man's capacity to systematically control his environment including the ability to move himself and his supplies, not only making the world smaller than ever, but also giving rise to a rapidly growing gap in national strength between the countries which had succeeded in industrialization and those others which failed.
The modern industrial civilization surpasses the Classic Civilization in universality, and is in a dire contrast to the latter in basic thinking and behavior patterns. The fundamental role of the mature Classic Civilization was to maintain and preserve the established forms of life from thinking pattern to social order. The caste system erected by the Hindu civilization has survived for the last several thousand years and the Chinese family system has persisted from the days of the Tang dynasty to the era of the building of the communist China. These are two outstanding examples of the form-sustaining capability of the Classic Civilization. In contrast to this, the fundamental characteristic of the modern industrial civilization is its ability to make progress, i.e., a process of constant changes, in terms of man's ability to control his environment. Thus, when it comes to the clash of civilizations, the encounter between the modern industrial civilization and the Classic Civilization takes on the most violent form as it was the case with the Opium War. In this sense, it was during that period in history called the Era of Imperialism, that is, from the time Europe's conquest of the world was completed in the 19th century through the beginning of the 20th century, contrary to Huntington's assertion, that the clash of civilizations did reach the highest peak. Whatever the level of violence, the outcome was obvious from the beginning when the modern industrial civilization clashed with the Classic Civilization. As a result, most of the regions belonging to the spheres of the Classic Civilizations, which could not launch the process of industrialization soon enough, fell victim to the colonization drive of the Western powers as well as those late-coming industrial states like Russia and Japan.
The modern industrial civilization possesses irresistible attractions on several levels, and in that sense, can be very fairly called a universal civilization. First, in the non-Western regions which faced the threat posed by the Western colonial powers, there arose an inevitable nationalist response to the inroads of the alien intruders called the West. And, since it was obvious that the failure to industrialize for the countries of these regions would leave them with only one option of remaining weak countries destined to become colonies of the West, emulating the industrial civilization was an inescapable goal for all aroused nationalists. Japan which had pursued the proclaimed national goal of "Wealthy Nation, Strong Army" since the beginning of the Meiji era became the earliest case of successful industrialization and formation of a nation state in a Non-Western region. Thus, the fast-spreading wave of industrialization originating in the West became the trend of the day, and the flame of nationalism flared up throughout the rest of the world. Second, the affluent consumer life-style brought about by successful industrialization naturally became the subject to be talked about with envy among all peoples of the poor developing countries. This is the very reason why whether a country can succeed in launching a sustainable economic development became the common new criteria of political legitimacy among not only the developed countries but also the developing countries.
The modern industrial civilization is built upon the faith in man's rational capacity, and aims at improving his ability to control the environment. Therefore, its character is fundamentally secular, lacking an ideology of its own to give spiritual meaning to life. And this is the reason why the values nurtured under the Classic Civilization still live on tenaciously, even if in fragmented forms, and continue to function as the fundamental framework of thought in today's world despite the fact that the industrial civilization predominates everywhere and relentlessly continues to encroach upon the form-sustaining Classic Civilization. The fact that, with the exception of the Western Europe, we are witnessing a revival of religions today in North America, East Asia and the sphere of the Orthodox civilization can also be explained plausibly in the same context. With this in the background, therefore, it is not difficult to understand the reason why Huntington, who lives in America where there is an especially visible revival of the Evangelical Protestantism, chose to use a definition of civilization modeled after the Classic Civilization, inclusive of the modern industrial civilization.
IV. The Post-Cold War World
The fundamental idea of this writer is that the world order of the 21st century should be talked about and understood in terms of the more fundamental features of modernization like industrialization and nationalism rather than the framework of the "post-Cold War" era. It is his opinion that, when looked at from such a viewpoint, Akihiko Tanaka's Atarashii Chusei (New Medieval Ages,) (Tokyo, 1996) seems to present a much more persuasive and accurate perspective than the treatises of either Fukuyama or Huntington. In this book, Tanaka analyzes the interrelationships among the three world spheres, i.e., the First Sphere (New Medieval Sphere) consisting of the countries in which industrialization has already given rise to affluent societies with "thinning" national borders (basically the OECD member countries), the Second Sphere (Modern Sphere) comprising the countries in which waves of nationalism continue to rage and still live in the world of power politics of the 19th century (most of the developing countries and the countries of the former Soviet sphere of influence), and the Third Sphere (Chaotic Sphere) made up of all other countries which had failed to become nation states and remain in a chaotic condition (the sub-Sahara Africa and some parts of the former Soviet camp). But, Tanaka's use of the expression "New Medieval Ages," which disregards the characteristics of the modern industrial civilization, can not be an appropriate nomenclature with which to describe the relationships among the affluent democracies of our times because the name carries with it an inescapable image of the strife-ridden and stagnant centuries of Europe in the Medieval ages.
What Huntington called the clash of civilizations was in fact neither a clash between Classic Civilizations, nor that of the Classic Civilization with the modern civilizations. The truth is that it comprises nothing but the following three types of conflicts arising as a result of the worldwide penetration of the industrial civilization. The first type is the competition between divergent institutions which have characterized industrialized societies because of their diverse cultural heritages forming social foundations long before industrialization as well as the differences as to when they launched industrialization. As a result of the collapse of communism, market economy in the broad sense of the word and the political system of liberal democracy have established themselves as the model of modernization. But, there exist a wide range of variations both in market economy and the system of liberal democracy, among which none can easily claim the absolute superiority. Obviously, there is no sufficient ground for placing the American model of market economy and democracy on top of all others. These institutional differences, however, are the differences existing within the common framework of the modern industrial civilization, and as such should not be allowed to revert to the broader issue of the clash of civilizations.
Thus, while the process of mutual learning remains exceedingly difficult in the case of the encounter between matured Classic Civilizations, it is quite possible between the industrial societies with divergent institutions, and in fact through such encounter, both of them can look forward to their economic as well as political revitalization. To begin with, the modern industrial civilization characterized by constant technological innovations is not expected to reach the stage of maturity as a civilization. The positive results such a process of mutual learning can yield has been most typically demonstrated by the fact that the methods of quality control first developed in the United States were brought into Japan, where they went through various improvements and eventually reexported back to the United States, contributing to productivity improvement of the American manufacturers. Huntington erred when he allowed the issue of the institutional differences among the industrial nations to revert to that of intercivilizational confrontation, thereby intentionally sealing off the possibility of civilization's self-renovation through mutual learning.
It is fresh in one's memory that Huntington used to make a forceful assertion until several years ago that America's worst threat in the post-Cold War era was the Japanese economic power. Fortunately or not, his worst enemies today have shifted to China and the Islamic world, and in the book now in question, the importance is placed on the need of having Japan, a country with a different civilization, linked up with the Western civilization. Such wilful shift in the selection of principal enemies within such a short time span is the best practical evidence showing how confused he is in defining the basic idea he called the clash of civilizations. Further, by regarding institutional differences, which do not have to become confrontations, as inextricably destined to head-on clashes, Huntington's theory has a dangerous self-fulfilling quality as evidenced by the past experience of precipitating the U.S.-Japan bilateral relations into exaggerated confrontations over the issue of economic frictions.
The second type of conflict should rather be called confrontation instead of competition, and occurs between the states which are accomplishing economic takeoffs for industrialization but have not yet built well-developed political and economic systems of their own (belonging to the "Second Sphere" as defined by Akihiko Tanaka) and the states grouped as developed democracies belonging to the "First Sphere." This type of confrontation is often characterized by trade frictions caused by the relentless catching-up effort of these newly industrializing countries making inroads into the manufacturing sectors built on standardized technologies, the economic policy frictions such as how far and how fast economic liberalization should go, and the ideological confrontation with respect to human rights and democratization.
The leaders of China, Malaysia and Singapore are emphasizing "Asian values" and "Asia's own way of modernization," half in protest to the West's criticism of these countries' human rights practices and heightened demand for market opening. But, in so doing, they are neither expressing a position against modernization per se, nor are they confidently exalting the superiority of their "Asian values" or "Asia's own way of modernization." Rather, the real motives lie in these leaders' own awareness of their countries' weak competitive positions vis-a-vis the developed countries and the need of providing protection for their home industries as well as their fear of the threatening chaos following the collapse of traditional social order engulfed by the tides of modernization. Besides, the Asian countries which are enjoying robust economic development are not only feeling confident of themselves on the strength of the actual accomplishments, but also are especially sensitive, and often overreact, to the Western countries' demands on the issues of human rights and economic liberalization because of their still fresh memories of living under the West's colonial, or semi-colonial, rule.
This mechanism of confrontation has not really been changed in terms of the frame of thought from the time Germany and Japan, both late modernizers impacted in the most serious way by the Great Depression, opted for using such slogans as the "Superiority of the Aryan Race" and the "Liberate Asia from the White Man' Yoke" in their confrontation with the developed countries lead by the United States and Great Britain. And, these Asian leaders must be mentioned in the same breath with the Huntingtons because they are mistakenly taking (or pretending to take) the confrontations caused by the difference in developmental stage toward modernization for intercivilizational confrontations. Certainly, however, there is a major difference between the case of Nazi Germany and militarist Japan and the case of today's East Asian counties in that there is hardly any possibility of another war as big as the last two world wars between the developed countries and the rapidly developing late starters of East Asia now that the last page of the Era of Imperialism had been closed for good.
The third type of conflict is also not a competition but a confrontation. It takes on the form of outbursts of radical criticisms against the affluent developed nations by the disgruntled countries and regions which failed to launch successful takeoffs for industrialization. To use the divisions proposed by Akihoko Tanaka, it is a confrontation between the less developed members of the "Second Sphere" joining forces with the countries and areas of the "Third Sphere" on the one hand and the countries of the "First Sphere" on the other. It is quite possible that such a radical movement can also be directed against the countries of the "Second and Third Spheres," or against more fortunate classes, or different tribes, within their own societies, but this aspect is left untouched in this paper awaiting future analysis because it is clearly outside the scope of the present analysis.
Such radicalism often puts on the shroud of religious fundamentalism of one kind or another, and in this sense, is likely to be mistaken for a confrontation between the Classic Civilization and the modern civilization. It must have been due to this confusing appearance that Huntington mistakenly regarded the Islamic civilization, along with China's, as two of the most fearful contenders of the Western civilization. But, the fact stands out that there can be no radical outbursts of anti-West, or anti-modern, ideological movements in these countries unless they themselves have admirations and desires for the modern industrial civilization in the first place. Take Malaysia and Indonesia, both predominantly Islamic in religion but launching successful industrialization. There are no visible signs whatsoever of the emergence of a politically radical fundamentalism in these countries, in spite of the fact that they have running political and economic disputes with the developed countries. In the opinion of this writer, the so-called "Islamic Threat" is also something that will naturally disappear in the process of a successful industrialization of the countries of the Islamic world.
There is an inevitable question to be asked here: Whether the Islamic civilization will really be compatible with the modern industrial civilization. It should be noted that the launching of an economic takeoff for industrialization has become easier than ever in today's world, where investment and trading activities across national borders are reaching astounding levels, and moreover, with the Era of Colonialism finally behind us, there is no longer any fear of possible encroachment upon state sovereignty resulting from the influx of foreign capital. Granted that there are a few preconditions needed for industrialization such as the maintenance of domestic law and order to allow the market mechanism to function well and the building of the basic rules needed for the economic game, but, there is no evidence to prove that societies with the background of a particular Classic Civilization are absolutely incompatible with industrialization. At one time in the past, Protestantism was viewed as the cultural prerequisite to industrialization. But, one should remember the fact that England which mothered the Industrial Revolution was predominantly Episcopal, and most of the original member countries of the European Union are predominantly Catholic.
Japan's remarkable economic growth used to be explained by the reasoning that, among the Asian countries, the Japanese culture was exceptionally akin to that of the West, but again, as other neighbors like South Korea and Taiwan, which in the broad sense of the word belong to the sphere of the Chinese civilization, have successively launched their programs for astounding economic growth, the Confucian civilization has been added to the list of the Classic Civilizations compatible with industrialization. Among the East Asian countries, the Philippines belong to the Catholic civilization while Malaysia and Indonesia are predominantly Islamic and Thailand Hinayana Buddhist. And so, those scholars who have regarded the Confucian civilization as the only one compatible with industrialization outside the Western civilization, have more often tried to explain the successful industrialization of these countries by their shares of the overseas Chinese population. Indeed, one can never underestimate the overseas Chinese economic influence. But, with the only exception of Singapore, it is plainly impossible for these Asian countries to develop their national economies relying only on the resident Chinese who comprise just small segments of their populations. It seems quite likely that both Malaysia and Indonesia will become, right along Turkey, the first countries under the predominant influence of the Islamic civilization to succeed in full-fledged industrialization without depending only on oil and gas. Another example which proves the fact that a specific Classic Civilization does not place serious constraints on industrialization will be India. With its strong remnants of the traditional cast system, India is now turning away from its old protectionist economic policy of import substitution, and is about to embrace a new approach to economic growth, appearing ready to implement an open-door economic policy aimed at export-driven economic growth.
It remains a fact, however, that the Islamic civilization in the Middle East has a much more constrained attitude toward the people's life-style and the organization of social order, and for this reason, industrialization will take so much more time to be achieved. But, it does not mean that the Islamic civilization is in fundamental conflict with industrialization per se. And further, as already pointed out, every Classic Civilization does have some aspects which are in conflict with the modern civilization, and remain exposed to the danger of dismemberment through the relentless progress of industrialization.
V. Internalized Confrontation of Civilizations
Huntington states that, until the 19th century, the confrontation among the major powers within the sphere of the Western civilization continued to be the center piece of confrontation among the states, and then, after the end of the Cold War emerged a multipolar and multicivilizational world for the first time in the history of mankind. But, if Russia did not belong to the sphere of the Western civilization, and instead, constituted the core state of the Orthodox civilization, the major wars of the 19th century such as the Napoleonic Wars and the Crimean War were by definition wars which included among the billigerents some of the major powers identified with different Classic Civilizations. Also, it must be noted that Germany has become a full member of the Western civilization only after World War II, if we are to use Huntington's membership criteria of being fundamentally a democracy with an effectively functioning power control mechanism. Needless to say, Japan, which does not belong to the Western civilization, was a principal participant in World War II. This simply points to the fact that a situation where major powers confronted each other against different civilizational backgrounds has never been purely a post-Cold War phenomenon. Besides, as already pointed out, the intercivilizational confrontation manifested itself in the most violent form when the modern industrial civilization, which developed first in the West, came in direct contact with the pre-modern Classic Civilizations.
For the reasons stated in the foregoing pages, the assertion that the post-Cold War world is built upon the confrontations among civilizations is a fundamentally erroneous concept. This does not mean, however, that the "End of History" has arrived as Francis Fukuyama asserts, nor has the clash of civilizations disappeared forever from the surface of the earth. The most serious type of intercivilizational clash manifests itself today in the form of identity crisis deep inside one's own mind. Huntington claims that people's identity and loyalty have shifted from the sate and ideologies to civilizations, but, the prevailing situation is not so simple as it appears on the surface. The modern industrial civilization, which is characterized by anthropocentricism, overblown expectation of man's rational ability, and denial of acceptance of the world beyond, cannot give positive meaning to life, nor can it fully quench man's spiritual thirst. And in the meantime, mankind has not yet succeeded in inventing a new religious system totally different from the Classic Major Religions. A variety of new religious movements, inclusive of cult groups, are merely recycling the framework of the Classic Religions, or at least part of their teachings. In this sense, it can be said that people cannot live a peaceful and stable spiritual life in the modern industrial civilization.
However, for the citizens of the contemporary world who have already tasted the enticing advantages of the industrial civilization, it is no longer possible to go back to the world of the pre-modern Classic Civilization. Even the devoted environmentalists, while they express their concern over the extinction by mankind of other species, are not at all opposing the extinction of the microbiologic life forms like black plague and cholera known to be harmful to man, nor do they have the courage to go back to the days of self-sufficiency of the pre-industrial era and accept the living standard lacking electricity, city gas, railroads, and automobiles. On the other hand, no matter how easier and more frequent it may become to extend one's activities across national borders, it will remain impossible for most people to move beyond the linguistic and cultural differences and freely move their places of residence. To the contrary, the more frequent the chances of coming in direct contact with different cultures, the more aware one becomes of one's own cultural identity. And yet, in the same process, the progress of modernization will destroy the established forms of life of your own culture and hollow out its contents.
This is to say that those who live in the contemporary world can neither live happily in the modern civilization, nor return to the pre-modern culture, and are destined to keep suffering form their ever more ambiguous identities. This, and this alone, is the most essential form of intercivilizational clash. It has become minutely subdivided, internalized, and fallen into a state where there is no resolution in sight. That Fukuyama's "End of History and the Last Man" ends with a pessimistic tone is no accident. On the other hand, Huntington's "Clash of the Civilizations" is superficial, and in that sense, even optimistic despite its pessimistic outlook on the future of world politics, because it fails to recognize this most fundamental intercivilizational conflict.
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