Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, October 24, 2005

not as we know it...

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do." Samuel P. Huntington

It's civilisation, Jim, but not as we know it... Not as we know it...


Blogger the urban fox said...

Quite right.

October 25, 2005 3:19 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

No idea who wrote this, but he/she has doubts about Mr Huntington's argument:

It is still debated whether his historical analysis is correct or whether he only redefined terms (conflict, culture, civilization, fault lines) and selectively chose moments of history, clashes and battlegrounds in order to prove his case.

October 25, 2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

And here's Mr H in 1993 (after his initial article) responding to his critics.

What ultimately counts for people is not political ideology or economic interest. Faith and family, blood and belief, are what people identify with and what they will fight and die for.

What about the superiority of "applying organized violence"? Or is there a difference between what counts for "people" and what counts for the "world"? Confusing.

October 25, 2005 11:23 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

You did want an essay on this, didn't you?

October 25, 2005 11:25 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Deirdre, I don't really know if I like many of Huntington's assertions or arguments, but I do like this one. That's all.

I mean, for instance (and this will become a blog item soon), that I will often refer to Pilger's comments when I like them, even though the bloody idiot condones political violence (if it's wrought by those with whom he sympathises). That bloody hypocrite gets up and spruiks at peace rallies... He's a terrorism-condoning idiot and if Howard's Gestapo locked him up he'd only have himself to blame. He gives the nonviolence/peace movement a bad name... Expletives fail me. Grrrrr...

I mean, from the point of view of logic, that just because a person says things with which one doesn't agree that therefore none of that person's views can be worthy. That would be a fallacy of logic as they say...

October 26, 2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Fair enough. What is that quote saying on your behalf then? Do you expect a backlash against "the West" from put-upon "non-Westerners"? And what would you mean by "the West won the world"? In what way has it "won" it? And for that matter, what do you mean by "the West"? (See what I mean by an essay? Just start writing and don't stop for a few weeks ;) )

October 26, 2005 8:22 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Deirdre, you seem to mistake me for Huntington. He made the assertion, not I. I merely agree with him (in this instance.)

But I will try to answer as best I can:

What is that quote saying on my behalf? That we in The West are not more noble, merely more efficient at killing those who oppose our efforts to subjugate them.

Backlash? Well, if we accept that it is "human nature" that oppressed or exploited people will resort to violent means if "necessary" to 'set things right", then yes, there will be a backlash. I've often said as much in this blog.

About "The West won the world"...

Well, by "The West" I guess he means the US, Britain and Western Europe, more generally, the 'developed' world, the 'first' world.

About "won the world", I guess he means U.S. hegemony after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

October 26, 2005 10:29 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Thanks for that answer.

There's something disturbing about the quote, but I just can't see what it is, and don't know enough about the issues to work it out. I wonder whether it's just the assumption that "the West" is in control somehow, running the world to suit itself. Maybe it is? That seems like a really big assumption though. And also it implies the need for ongoing violence to keep that control, but I suppose you agree with that bit?

And on a different subject - have you changed your blog colours? Looks good.

October 28, 2005 4:20 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Well, D, I think "the West", by its very self-description seeks to control the world. It sees it as its "birth right" to do so. That it is doing this to suit itself seems to me to be self-evident. This is what makes the West, in my eyes, an utterly despotic culture.

Have I changed my blog colours? Hahahaha... Not since you last complimented me on how nice they were and I replied that I'd borrowed the colours from your (earlier) blog's colour scheme. This is not one of those subtle forms of humour which I don't understand, is it?

October 31, 2005 1:12 AM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

I wish anything about the world could be self-evident, especially your blog colours. I'm hallucinating, obviously. Sorry. (They really looked different, I tell you!)

PS. This Blogger comment system is pretty good now. I just tried to post this with one of the tags broken, and it sent it back for review. Good Blogger!

November 02, 2005 11:18 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

D, you need to get them eyes tested. You wouldn't be wearing tinted glasses would you?

The blogger commenting system is ok these days but it has one trap: If you forget to type in the word verification, and hit the "login to publish" button you get no warning or prompt, you just lose your comment into the blogger void. I hate it when that happens...

November 02, 2005 5:33 PM  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Yeah, I've got the rose-tinted glasses on, Gerry ;)

HaloScan commenting is just as bad - not the word verification problem, but just that comments often disappear after hitting Publish. I'm trying to get into the habit of highlighting/copying before clicking, so I can just paste it back in if there's any trouble.

November 02, 2005 10:38 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Dear Dree, I too have learned to highlight/copy before clicking any buttons... It is the way of the CyberWorld... :-)

November 03, 2005 11:47 PM  

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