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21 Eylül 2011 Çarşamba

Clash of Diversities and Domination of One: On the Clash of Civilizations and Cultural Imperialism

In 21th century the world re-give greater importance to religion and culture, this “greater importance” ultimately embodied with conflict and violence especially in international level. Thanks to natural characteristics of Islam and Christianity –missionary, universal, offering teleological solutions– the battle ground for the civilizations on which they would fight was “recreated’. Besides the traditional characteristics of the religions, we humans learnt how to be modern in earlier decades and suddenly we have created “us” and made “other” the others. Then we started to make crucial things upon politics of “us” to others like naming them as enemies. Huntington said that, the world is in the process of re-ordering its structure in the form of “civilizational blocs”, and these civilizational blocs will have greater clashes with each other. Weller, in his article says that, there is no possibility of “civilizational blocs”, mainly because of the deep differences even among the states having similar or same ideologies -like communism or socialism-, rather there is possibility of “spheres” which are more complex and contested. Because the borders between and within these groupings have blurred. Moreover, he points out that the religion itself will give a response to the clash characterized by modesty, integrity, realism and distinctiveness and would avoid this clash.

The clash of civilizations theory is the most influential work of conflict school, in inter and cross national levels. However, the order of the world, for some theoreticians and politicians, is always develops through consensus. We see today, there are various world-wide organizations that work for one interests –maybe in different ways– without procreating any conflicts. As Weller mentioned in his article, Alliance of Civilizations is one of these organizations. The main aim of UNAOC is to avoid misunderstanding, fear, biases from both Islamic and Christian civilizations; they want to do it by suppressing extremism and developing dialogue between the civilizations.

In my opinion, the clash of civilizations theory and all other counter-theses are just manipulating something really important. That is the economic & cultural & informational domination of one civilization, namely the American. For reasonable reasons, I see the future of this world from a pessimistic view. Firstly, the notion of “us” has started to change its character since we started to wear blue-jeans, eat McDonald’s and drink Coca-Cola and use Wikipedia. The actual war, although it has serious damages, can be healed by the time. However, the type of domination that I am talking about will destroy our varieties, and will abolish the creativity. Because, the means of imagination that helps us to create the notion of “us” will be same in whole world, for instance, the language, I speak English as 2nd language and I use it for 9 hours a day, most of my e-library is filled with books written in English and it reflects to my mother tongue a lot. A similar thing can be observed in celebrations; New Year has much more meaning than Aid al-Adha today in Turkey. Or many of us trust world-wide brands than the local brands. Above all, we have seen that the clash of civilizations is evitable, the economic & cultural & informational domination of one civilization, on the other hand, is not and it will risk the humanity more than anything that we see today mainly cause of the identity crises.

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