Thought Archive

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Commerce has not delivered...

Western fears continue to lead us to doom - especially when allusions to Huntington are made now left of the center too. Of course they - liberal theorists - have thought the Modernity will make all humans the same people, without realizing that people fundamentally stay the same no matter what - and there is only one way out of this uncomfortable situation for the parties involved - coexistence. I am re-reading Edward Said and how dated his work is, lost in the current maze of general anti-Islamic wave. No longer the talk is about what unites us but about what divides. If he were alive he would see how "Orientalism" triumphed once again in a world view that sees everyone in terms of us and them.

The article I am quoting from conforms perfectly to a stereotype disappointed liberal view down to a great and oft used photo.

More ominously perhaps, there ran through Huntington’s pages an anxiety about the will and the coherence of the West — openly stated at times, made by allusions throughout. The ramparts of the West are not carefully monitored and defended, Huntington feared. Islam will remain Islam, he worried, but it is “dubious” whether the West will remain true to itself and its mission. Clearly, commerce has not delivered us out of history’s passions, the World Wide Web has not cast aside blood and kin and faith. It is no fault of Samuel Huntington’s that we have not heeded his darker, and possibly truer, vision.

5 comments:

Riri said...

The article is inaccessible, you need to login to the NY Times apparently.

Yes, the current international climate of fears, dread, distrust, paranoia and prejudice is depressing. The less humans intervene and try and be clever the better, as a general rule.

NoolaBeulah said...

I must confess that I share Huntingdon's anxiety.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Yes my account has been blocked as well. I think when people look at the world with rose tinted glasses of "classless"or "religion-free" and some nebulous universal culture society the make a grave error. And this is what leads them later into a paranoia or despair, forgetting that the world as is with all its conflicts and wars is the most beatiful thing we have, in its diversity and just some people live with desire to unify everything into one happy family.

Riri said...

With statements like these Nazim, I can see why your result in that political compass test were spot on in the center. I am sad to realise however that you will probably never make it to become a world leader, your opinions are too mild compared with world politicians, even though I think you are 100% right in your views.

One has the impression that people tend to perceive differences as threats. When they do not understand a culture or it seems too alien to them, they tend to dread it and look down on it. Everyone thinks their culture is somehow the "correct" one, this is natural it is not really racist. Group psychology also tends to push people to discriminate against other groups. But when this tendency permeates world politics, one cannot help but feel worried and anxious.

I think if we were to calculate the thermodynamic requirements of resisting our natural tendency to distrust "foreigners" and perceive them as "aliens" and the thermodynamic requirements of giving in to our natural tendencies, we'll find that the second process is more favourable energetically. Thus you should not be surprised that it is that process which will concretize in reality.

Sad, but inevitable am afraid. Let's hope the damage will be minimal (although I doubt it).

NoolaBeulah said...

"Everyone thinks their culture is somehow the "correct" one, this is natural it is not really racist." That is perfectly true. And the most reliable way to break it down is mutual need: commerce - each doing for the other what each cannot, or does not want to, do for themselves. Good intentions never achieved so much good. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's the best on offer.