Why didn't Donald Trump propose to build a wall along the US-Canada border and make the Canadians pay for it? The civilizational paradigm put forward by Samuel Huntington in "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" has the answer.
The war among Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the conflicts in Kashmir, the clashes between Sinhalese and Tamils, just to name a few, all point to the effectiveness of the civilization pattern. In this model, the West might have not-yet-challenged influence upon others, but its civilization is far from universal, if not defined in terms of the American pop culture. A commander may well be drawing up a plan to attack the US with a bottle of Coke at hand.
The dominance of the Western civilisation depends in a large part on its economic success. While achieving their own prosperity, other superpowers (notably China) are challenging the West, to assert their own traditions and cultures. After all, when you are successful, you shall have the confidence to claim the superiority of your principles, which are naturally accepted by non-winners. Steve Jobs could have just come up with the name "Apple" while eating one, but apologists would think of lots of bewildering origins for this name. After all, the genius shouldn't be that simple.
Anyway, what is the panacea for the world in which the civilizational paradigm seems to make sense? To seek common ground while reserving differences would be the way out. Surely, the belief that murder of human being is considered evil prevails in all cultures, but the "common ground" leading to world peace should have more real substance, not just the most basic moral foundation.
The election of Trump, rather than Clinton, proves to be another victory for the regrouping-by-fault-line theory. But Mr Huntington would have been disgruntled to know the outcome of Britain's EU referendum. Indeed, the civilization model is not a perfect illustration of the current world, but still satisfying enough.
© 本文版权归作者 Derek