Moments in time captured with various odd symbols referred to in the lingua franca as letters.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Potential Work?

Sometimes I wish I could work for a right-wing institute say like the famous or infamous (depends on the source) CATO institute. I would be able to sit around all day dreaming up paranoid theories about how the world is slowly being destroyed and how the US is not what it once was and so on. I would be able to sit around and draw up plans for invading countries that didn´t do things just the way we said they should. I would use such ill-thought through theories as Samuel Huntington´s Clash of Civilizations.

His is truly a sad state of affairs. Ideology will not be what we fight over, it will be our cultures that are clashing. Sometimes I wonder if Huntington ever left the rock he was born under. Of course that is ignorance on my part no doubt. As is typical with anyone who reached as high heights as Mr. Huntington did, I am sure he was what republicans would call one of those Ivy-League elitists. However just because he went to a fantastic school does not make him the old wise man. To imagine that several cultures cannot live together at the same time, is to imagine that we are all so inflexible that eventually we will just kill each other for these differences. Instead history will happily point out to any reader just how often cultures can share time and space. Perhaps it is a right wing view like that of CATO and others that is incapable of allowing others to share it with them. Wouldn´t that be a shock? That the intolerance was waiting right there at home the whole time.


James said...

It's interesting that you describe Huntington as an "Ivy League elitist." He was well-known for writing about how damaging that elitism is.

I also think it's worth noting that Huntington never suggested that cultures can't live together. He said that international relations is dominated by nation-states, which tend to compete with one another and, from time to time, end up at war with each other. He asked what patterns, after the Cold War, there might be in which nations allied with each other, and he suggested that in the absence of ideology, cultural ties might be the most important factor, after power. This is no more, or less, pessimistic than any other observation about how often nations compete or fight.

SvenJosefson said...

Note that the "Ivy League" thing was meant as sarcasm which doesn´t always get through very well, especially with my writing.

I concede your point about it not being more pessimistic than other views on the world, however what does irritate me is how it was used as a way of painting us versus them kinds of images.

James said...

I appreciate the sarcasm, which I thought came across well, and I take your point that Huntington's views can be misappropriated to promote an us-versus-them mentality.

I do think that last point, though, is aimed at those who adopted his theories for their own ends, however. It doesn't speak to whether Huntington's own theories are "paranoid" or "ill-thought through." Right-wing pundits who are intolerant or paranoid are responsible for their own use of academic theories.