The individualism-collectivism split between Eastern and Western cultures is well known but it's origin somewhat of a mystery. Now a team of researchers has come up with a surprising explanation: disease-causing microbes.
posted by stbalbach
on Apr 9, 2008 -
Looking the World in the Eye Huntington, a Harvard prof., lays out his vision for the future of the clash of civilizations in an article in The Atlantic Monthly. The main points are-
• The fact that the world is modernizing does not mean that it is Westernizing. The impact of urbanization and mass communications, coupled with poverty and ethnic divisions, will not lead to peoples' everywhere thinking as we do.
• Asia, despite its ups and downs, is expanding militarily and economically. Islam is exploding demographically. The West may be declining in relative influence.
• Culture-consciousness is getting stronger, not weaker, and states or peoples may band together because of cul tural similarities rather than because of ideological ones, as in the past.
• The Western belief that parliamentary democracy and free markets are suitable for everyone will bring the West into conflict with civilizations—notably, Islam and the Chinese— that think differently.
• In a multi-polar world based loosely on civilizations rather than on ideologies, Americans must reaffirm their Western identity.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Nov 28, 2001 -
Here's an interesting take on the whole western ideals v eastern ideals idea. The collapse of the Soviet Union as harbinger of the collapse of the west? Well, maybe not from the perspective of your average neo-libertarian. From the perspective of someone who didn't buy into the Enlightenment, from where springs both liberal democracy and marxism, then it may just look like one process. Interesting article from the 'Other Side of the Hill'.
posted by vbfg
on Sep 17, 2001 -