Saturday, October 1, 2016

Every major civilization has had its basis in a core religion. - Are we 'Empty-handed at the OK Corral?'

Not bringing a religion to a clash of civilizations is like not bringing a gun to a gunfight. Every major civilization has had its basis in a core religion.

Consider these three quotes from Sam Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations:
1.    The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not the CIA or the U.S. Department of Defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to extend that culture throughout the world. These are the basic ingredients that fuel conflict between Islam and the West.
2.    Blood, language, religion, way of life, were what the Greeks had in common and what distinguished them from the Persians and other non-Greeks. Of all the objective elements which define civilizations, however, the most important usually is religion, as the Athenians emphasized. To a very large degree, the major civilizations in human history have been closely identified with the world’s great religions; and people who share ethnicity and language but differ in religion may slaughter each other, as happened in Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, and the Subcontinent.
3.    Religion is a central defining characteristic of civilizations, and, as Christopher Dawson said, “the great religions are the foundations on which the great civilizations rest.” Of Weber’s five “world religions,” four—Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Confucianism—are associated with major civilizations. The fifth, Buddhism, is not.
Now, one can blithely try to wave away Huntington's civilizational perspective and his thesis, but considering how The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order was published in 1996 and has proven to be not merely far more insightful and predictive than Fukuyama's End of History thesis or any other conceptual model, one would have to be grossly ignorant to do so.

So, if we accept the idea that Western civilization and Islamic civilization are in conflict, what must we logically conclude from the three quotes provided?
1.    The decline of the West is the direct result of the decline of Christianity in the West, both religious and institutional.
2.    The growing power of Islam in the West cannot be halted by secularism, white nationalism, or any sub-civilization-level force.
3.    The preservation of the West requires a revival of Christianity.
4.    The preservation of the West requires the abandonment of some, though not all, secular values, beginning with the freedom of religion, that conflict with the restoration of Christianity
There is considerably more that can be concluded from this particular perspective, but I expect most people, even of an Alt-West persuasion, will struggle to accept just those four inescapable conclusions.