The Clash of Ideologies and Civilisations Theories

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It is inherent that Fukuyama’s optimism was crushed in polemics immediately afterwards, and the global crushing, in part resulting from misunderstanding, culminated in a positive alternative: the celebrated 1996 article by Samuel P. Huntington Clash of Civilisations, which the author later developed in what he called a ‘paradigm for viewing global politics which should be useful both to politicians and scientists.’ Huntington’s thesis is simple. Fukuyama was right saying that the age of ideological clashes was over, but wrong assuming that the age of clashes as such was over. Huntington says, ‘The reader has understood well my article, where the central idea is the thesis that the main and most dangerous dimension of the global politics that is forming today will be a conflict between groups of people who belong to different civilisations. Some were agitated, some were upset, some moved to thought, but nobody was left cold.’ (Huntington 1996). Huntingdon put into contrast the great contemporary ideologies and great contemporary civilisations. ‘The great political ideologies of the 20th century are liberalism, socialism, anarchism, corporatism, Marxism, communism, social democratism, conservatism, nationalism, fascism, and Christian democracy. They have one thing in common: they are the creation of the Western civilisation. No other civilisation has created a great ideology; but the West has created no great religion.’ (l.c.:63) Huntington contrasts the ideological division of the world against a civilisational differentiation, based on the dominant religious beliefs, wherefore (following in the footsteps of Spengler, Danilevsky, Braudel, Toynbee, and Rostovanyi) he distinguishes the following main civilisations: the Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Islamic, Orthodox Christian, Western, Latin American, and African. Huntington, fearing a clash of civilisations, also alerts to the misconception, overly widespread to this day and rather provincial in its nature, that the European civilisation of the Christian West still is the universal global civilisation.