Plus, I think, one of the things that's very striking to me, as somebody who travels in and out of the United States a fair amount is the fact that most American intellectuals are really not as conscious as they perhaps ought to be of how powerful the effects of U.
The West is thus the only civilization identified by a compass direction and not by the name of a particular people, religion, or geographical area.
It's as a very brief and rather crudely articulated manual in the art of maintaining a wartime status in the minds of Americans and others, that Huntington's work has to be now understood. Doesn'tit mobilize nationalist passions and therefore nationalist murderousness? I mean it doesn't matter to him that Muslims have other things to do than to think about the West with hatred.
What Huntington considers to be a sort of ontological fact of political existence, to wit, the clash of civilizations. His writing regularly appeared in the Guardian of London, Le Monde Diplomatique and the Arab-language daily al-Hayat, printed in every Arab capital in the world.What redeems it, is the idea. A coupleof years ago Arthur Schlesinger wrote a book called the Disuniting of America, which is a kind ofcris de coeur about the way in which American history, which for him is the history of Bancroftand Adams and so on, is dissolving into something quite different. There has to be a limit. Cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones. It is this official culture that speaks in the name of the whole. So strong and insistent is Huntington's notion that other civilizations necessarilyclash with the West and so relentlessly aggressive and chauvinistic is his prescription for whatthe West must do to continue winning, so that the reader is forced to conclude that he's reallymost interested in continuing and expanding the Cold War by other means, rather thanadvancing ideas that might help us to understand the current world scene or ideas that wouldtry t o reconcile between cultures. I'd go so far as to say that what we today call the politics or the rhetoric of identity, by which a member of one ethnic or religious or national or cultural group, puts that group at the center of the world, derives from that period of imperial competition at the end of the last century, and this in turn, provokes the concept of worlds at war that quite obviously is at the heart of Huntington's article. Whether Latin America and the former member states of the Soviet Union are included, or are instead their own separate civilizations, will be an important future consideration for those regions, according to Huntington. Theirs is a very limited and time-bound political agenda. To strengthen international institutions that reflect and legitimate western interests andvalues, and to promote the involvement of nonwestern states in those institutions. Now it is more meaningful to group the countries in terms of culture and civilization.
This group also includes the Chinese diasporaespecially in relation to Southeast Asia.