Summary and Info
No. I'm not going to pretend to be some kind of happy optimist who thinks that everything is going to get steadily better. Human beings and the societies that they create are flawed. They also come into conflict. Their conflicts tend to go on for a long time. Of course, pretending that everything is going to get better without effort is part of the problem. The idiots who think this book is great are taken in by Huntington's trap which is to invoke Francis Fukuyama and his utterly ridiculous The End of History essay (then book) where he advances the theory that the end of the Soviet Union means the end of conflict.No really. He said that. And people bought it. And they gave him book contracts. Probably because compared to him, everyone else seemed intelligent.So when you invoke Pollyanna and say that that's not the case, it makes you sound wise for a second. It also makes you sound pessimistic, cynical and realpolitik when really you're just stating a fact that any 10 year old with a minimal grasp of history could figure out. So Huntington is not a blithering idiot like Fukuyama. Instead, he's merely ignorant and a slave to gross generalizations. And meaningless statistics.This book is about THE WEST. THE WEST was once imperial and now it's not and all those Western beliefs like democracy and freedom are not going to fly in the world of ISLAM or ASIA. No, he didn't put those words in all caps but he might as well have. And then after he makes this point, he keeps making it. Islam is not the West. Asia is not the West. His proofs are dubious as he simply quotes thinkers who were once pro-WEST but then decided to embrace their traditions. "Embracing one's traditions" is the same thing as "Rejecting ALL Western values" in the mind of Huntington.Of course, that's not true. I wasn't raised as an Orthodox Jew but I became one over time and this in no way makes me hostile to WESTERN values like democracy, freedom of speech, etc. Of course, he's not talking about Jews. Jews don't really fit into his all-encompassing Theory of Everything (Jews rarely do) but Islam is similar enough to warrant a good old fashioned WTF reaction by the fiftieth time he says Islam as if it's one all encompassing group. In fact, he even groups Hezbollah in with the Balkan Wars which is monstrous considering that the Muslims of the former Yugoslavia were VICTIMS of one of the worst genocides since the Holocaust. And as if the book couldn't get stupid enough, he even believes that Japan and China will get together to stand against the WEST. Because China and Japan have so much in common - like they're Asian, and they are relatively short in comparison to Westerners and they mix up their R's and L's when speaking English and...yeah there's nothing else. I was going to give this book 2 stars for being badly written, stating the obvious and generalizing with wild abandon. But then I read that part about how he predicts Japan and China will get together to challenge the West, I realized that I was reading the work of an ignorant fool whose reputation is completely undeserved. Granted, not knowing that Japan and China are completely different countries with completely different cultures who only interact in order to go to war with each other is a mistake anyone could make - anyone who has absolutely no knowledge of Asia whatsoever - like a political science professor who is pontificating on this stuff and acting like he knows anything.Utterly stupid book. Badly written. If anyone recommends you read this book, punch them in the mouth. If your professor assigns it, drop the class. Nothing good can come of reading this thing.
More About the Author
Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic.
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