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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

How the West was won

"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

I re-discovered this priceless and accurate comment while re-reading Salam Pax's old blog. Huntington, of course, is the man who brought us the "Clash of Civilisations" theory - the inevitable confrontation between the West and Islam - and more recently, the Hispanic "threat" to the United States.

In other words, a likely favourite of the US establishment.

6 Comments:

Anonymous the young-lib brigade said...

it is a brilliant quote, not only in the literary sense but also in that you cant argue against it. Its an undeniable fact of our everyday activities, just like oxygen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 12:13:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

And sadly, you agree with it and accept its assumptions. If you're happy that so-called civilised societies use violence, and violence alone, to achieve their aims, then you have a very warped view of the world.
Violence gets us nowhere. Certainly not "liberation". Look at Iraq...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:17:00 am  
Anonymous Guy said...

The worrying thing is that a lot of Bush-ites probably disagree with the quote, thinking that Western ideas, religion, and culture are actually superior to the so-called primitive cultures found elsewhere in the world.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:28:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Indeed.
If I took a random sample of those people writing on my blog, the belief that Western culture is THE culture and should be spread, by force ideally, is highly disturbing...
Explains a lot about the state of the world, though...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 10:04:00 am  
Anonymous the young-lib brigade said...

the western culture is in the 'dominant' (in terms of economics, medicine and livelyhood) only because when westerners met easterners, the westerners carried rifles, and the easterner's didnt.

We overlook history, for example we dont gain any insight from the Dutch colonization of indonesia, but the indonesians dont forget the military defeats and the massacres. We may have come to the conclusion that it is better to negotiate than bomb, but that doesnt mean that every other culture agrees with this sentiment. The wahhabists certainly disagree.

Should western culture be spread? It is being spread right now, through soft power.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:30:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

The quote sucks. If "you agree with it and accept its assumptions", well, you're not thinking particularly clearly. I have argued against this silly quote on my blog.

Monday, July 04, 2005 2:16:00 am  

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