Poor leadership puts West at risk in brutal cultural clash

Poor leadership puts West at risk in brutal cultural clash, by Gerrit Olivier. Our ruling class let us down:

THE suffering inflicted on Europe by murderous jihadist terrorism, seen by some as “the new normal”, reinforces the conclusion that international relations are close to running out of control. The pity is the major powers allowed this to happen, mainly because of the absence of a proper understanding of the complexities of our time and adequate leadership. …

At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis argued that we had arrived at

“the end point in mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalisation of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government …. “The war of ideas is at the end …. The future will be devoted not to great exhilarating struggles over ideas, but rather to resolving mundane and technological problems …. It will all be rather boring.

But Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” thesis argued that

the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. The clash of civilizations will dominate world politics. The faultlines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

Political correctness versus reality:

As things turned out, Fukuyama’s thesis amounted mainly to utopian thinking, deemed “politically correct” by liberal idealists. He said what they wanted to hear about a perfect world awaiting us.

Huntington’s realist analysis postulated unpleasant notions about an imperfect world they preferred not to hear, even if it was closer to the truth.

Conflict from Islam is still not recognized by the western ruling class:

This chaos paradigm accounts for a spate of murderous jihadist attacks since the beginning of this century in the US, Europe and Asia. Large numbers of innocent civilians succumbed and great disruption was caused. It seems that last year’s attack in Paris introduced a new wave of terrorism as jihadists attacked pathetically ill-prepared and vulnerable Europe…

What happened points not only to a vindication of Huntington’s thesis, but also of the pitiful failure by Western leadership to understand the political dynamics of Islam and the pitfalls of involvement.

… Most menacing was the unleashing of radical forces bent on imposing a particular belief system, particularly as manifested in the emergence of the Sunni Muslim terrorist organisation whose objective is to return to religious practices that existed in the early years of Islam and bring the entire world under Islamic rule.

hat-tip Stephen Neil