Thursday, June 24, 2004

Salem Pax & Samuel P. Huntington

I was a big follower of Salem Pax's dear_raed blog. One quote he has up there, though, has often bugged me. And not because I'm prone to wallowing in guilt....

"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

Apparently he's got something to do with the Council on Foriegn Affairs. I assume this is being quoted to show what bullies the west has been. Of course, this position completely ignores the fact that the East (Mongolia, China) and the Mideast (Persian empire that went from what, China to Spain at one time?) were all taken by applying superior force in the past. Everyone on the planet lives where they do now because their ancestors took it from someone else sometime in the past.

This quote was probably taken out of context, as I have another quote from him that says

" In this emerging era of cultural conflict the United States must forge alliances with similar cultures and spread its values wherever possible. With alien civilizations the West must be accommodating if possible, but confrontational if necessary. In the final analysis, however, all civilizations will have to learn to tolerate each other." - Samuel P. Huntington

"[the West must] ... spread it's values wherever possible." Doesn't excactly sound like someone who is disaffected with Western values. I'll take his point that North America was taken by force from the native population (which were not always the peaceful people portrayed by today's politically correct take on that population -- they were just as warrior-like as anyone else when it suited them.)

But... that's what propaganda generally consists of: Isolated factiods and quotes taken out of context and assembled into one that serves the propagandist's purposes. Not that all propaganda is bad, but people need to learn to take things with a grain of salt and question what they're hearing ... no matter how good it sounds.

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