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As the world is becoming more modern, it becomes less Western.
Chapter 1. The New Era in World Politics
Intro : Flags and Cultural Identities
Before I get into my summary, you gotta ask yourself... where did all this "Clash of Civilizations " jibber jabber come from? Here's your answer.
The End of the Cold War : 1991
Years after the Cold War showed the beginnings of dramatic changes in peoples's identities , and what they symbolized. On Christmas Day of 1991, the Soviet Union crumbled and the Russian Federation gained independence. Two weeks later, Russian and American Scholars met in Moscow... but something was off.
The Russian Federation's flag was upside down. This was a sign of transition.
This wasn't the last time a transition like this happened. In 1994, 70,000 people in Los Angeles protested against Proposition 187, which denied state benefits to illegal immigrants and their children. The Mexicans protested with a "sea of Mexican flags" throughout L.A. When they were suggested to carry the American flag, they did .... but flipped it upside down. They refused to be identified by a culture that went against them.
"Culture Identity is what is most meaningful to most people"
Culture and Cultural Identities are shaping the patterns of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post- cold war world. According to Michael Dibdin's novel "Dead Lagoon" , you can't fully love your culture until you understand others. Know your enemies well, it'll make you understand yourself a little bit more. Make sure you express the importance of culture to your children as well, they could end up like this.
A Multi-polar, Multicivilizational World
Global politics has become multi-polar and multicivilizational. During the Cold War, global politics became bipolar and the world was split into three parts. The United States was engaged in a pervasive military competition with the Soviet Union. Most of their conflicts occurred in the Third World.
The communists world collapsed in the late 1980's , and the Cold War's international system became history. Now in the post-cold war world, the most important distinctions among peoples are not ideological , political, or economic.
People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups : tribes , ethnic groups, religious communities , nations, and at the broadest level, civilizations. People use politics not just to advance their interests but also to define their identity.
"We know who we are only when we know who we are not, and who we're against"
Comparing Worlds : Realism, Parsimony, and Predictions
Civilizations in History and Today
Huntington developed a new "Civilization Paradigm" to basically give you a better understanding of the post cold-war order, and to fill the gaps of previous paradigms.
The world is divided into 8 major civilizations
These are the 8 civilizations the world is split up in
Sinic: the common culture of China and Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Includes Vietnam and Korea.
Japanese: Japanese culture as distinctively different from the rest of Asia.
Hindu: identified as the core Indian civilization.
Islamic: Originating on the Arabian Peninsula, spread across North Africa, Iberian Peninsula and Central Asia. Arab, Turkic, Persian and Malay are among the many distinct subdivisions within Islam.
Orthodox: centered in Russia. Separate from Western Christendom.
Western: centered in Europe and North America.
Latin American: Central and South American countries with a past of a corporatist, authoritarian culture. Majority of countries are of a Catholic majority.
Africa: while the continent lacks a sense of a pan-African identity, Huntington claims that Africans are also increasingly developing a sense of African Identity.
A Universal Civilization? Modernization and Westernization
Universal Civilization : Meanings
A " Universal Civilization" can refer to a number of things. Today, people argue that we are witnessing a universal civilization, or the coming together of humanity. Acceptance of common values are increasing , along with practices around the world.
It has been proven that history changes in human behavior. Humanity is divided into subgroups - tribes, nations, and broader cultural entities normally called civilizations. But the term "universal civilizations" could be used to refer to what civilized societies have in common.
The Davos people control virtually all international institutions, many of the world's governments, and the bulk of the world's economic and military capabilities.
The West and Modernization
"The west was the west long before it was modern"
Modernization involves industrialization, urbanization, education ,wealth, and social mobilization. It's the shift from a traditional society to a modern one. The attitudes , values, knowledge, and culture of people in a modern society differ greatly from those in a traditional society.
Modern Societies vs. Traditional Societies
Societies with modern cultures resemble each other way more than societies with traditional culture. Of course today, majority of societies in the world are modern, but a few years ago ALL of them were traditional.
Transition from Traditional to Modern
Modernization does not necessarily mean Westernization though. Non Western Societies can modernize and have modernized without abandoning their own cultures.