Read Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations".

I recently finished reading Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," which is a great book. During the reading process, it was easy to think of Lee Kuan Yew's book "The World According to Lee Kuan Yew." The difference is that Lee Kuan Yew often expresses macroscopic things in simple and understandable language, which is very enjoyable to read. Huntington, on the other hand, is slightly more obscure because he inserts many specific historical events as the theoretical basis. Without a certain historical literacy, it is easy to get confused.

This book is divided into five parts:

  1. A World of Multiple Civilizations: He divides world civilizations into Western civilization, Chinese civilization, Indian civilization, Japanese civilization, Islamic civilization, Orthodox civilization, Latin American civilization, and possible African civilization. I have doubts about this way of dividing civilizations, which is the same as the points refuted in this comment.
  2. Changing Balance of Civilizational Power: The West is declining, at least compared to its decline since the 1920s, while Asian civilizations are rising.
  3. The Emerging Order of Civilizations: Global politics is being reorganized along civilizational boundaries, and the fault lines between civilizations have become the central zones of political conflict.
  4. The Clash of Civilizations: This is the focus of the book. Civilizations are the ultimate tribes of humanity, and the clash of civilizations is a global-scale tribal conflict. At the micro level, it is a conflict between countries of different civilizations along fault lines; at the macro level, it is a core conflict between major countries of different civilizations.
  5. The Future of Civilizations: Whether a global war of civilizations is triggered depends on whether world leaders can reach a cooperative consensus and are willing to maintain a world of multiple civilizations.

The day after finishing it, while running outdoors, I reconsidered the views of "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order": with the development of globalization and information technology, the interaction between global civilizations has become more frequent, and conflicts between civilizations will become the main form of conflict in the future.

Civilization is a highly abstract term, and in a more concrete sense, it refers to culture, ideas, history, customs, and other aspects. Different civilizations have different values, and people standing in different positions will have different ideas. This is a normal phenomenon and my inherent understanding. The book further elaborated on this point, which reinforced my thoughts, so I enjoyed reading it.

However, is it really that easy for conflicts to erupt between different civilizations, and even become the "main form of conflict" as Huntington claims?

The existence of differences between civilizations is an objective reality, and the increasing frequency of communication between civilizations is also a fact. Besides showing differences, civilizations are also undergoing "organic" integration, which the book seems to not mention.

In addition, the improvement of education will make people more "civilized." From childhood to adulthood, I have seen many conflicts, whether they are verbal disputes or resorting to violence, mostly occurring among people with low levels of education—they seem to have no other way besides violence. On the other hand, people with higher levels of education have more ways to solve problems, and they tend to be more rational and restrained, as if they are "constrained" by education. This is the benefit of education and also its "consequence."

Although this is only an observation based on a small sample size and personal experiences at a micro level, it can also be applied to larger-scale countries and civilizations.

Therefore, my preliminary opinion is that while differences exist between civilizations, with the increasing communication and education, it is hoped that civilizations can be guided to deepen integration rather than generate conflicts, of course, on the premise of correct guidance.

As for the reasons for conflicts, they can be attributed to interests. Of course, politicians will use other things to package "interests," such as civilization, which is a powerful tool to incite people's emotions without affecting their own image.

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