The Opportunities of Civilizations
It has often been said that the clash of civilisations is more or less destined to happen. Since the 1990s, this has mainly been about a clash between Islam and the West, and around 2010, people began talking about a clash between the West and China.
However, the question is: To what extent do civilisations generally clash? Religions clash, and royal egos, national identities and needs for self-assertion clash. Political systems, economic systems, ideologies, states and people clash, and economic imbalances create frustration and resentment. Civilisation however is precisely characterised by a form of education that means that people can listen to and learn from each other. Civilisations can just as well enrich one another.
A more correct headline for the conflicts involving the West at the moment would probably be: "The clash of enlightenment, humanism and democracy with religious and political totalitarianism," as well as: "Clumsy attempts by old colonial powers to maintain control and ensure their material prosperity."
The wars that do not involve the West are typically fought out between ethnic groups who want their own nation, or religious groups who want their own paradise. The current wave of terror is being carried out by religious fanatics, but it is not the name of the religion in which the act of terror is carried out that is the deciding factor, but the degree of religious obduracy and bigotry of the perpetrators.
The exploitation of people and resources that is taking place in Africa at the moment is due to economics, lust for power, vanity and ethnic strife, along with explosive consumption in China.
The opportunities for you and your civilisation
With access to the internet, each and every one of us has opportunities for contributing to people from different cultures being able to meet and get to know each other instead of fighting. From a historical point of view, we are living in extraordinary times. Never before have ordinary people had the opportunities that we have to see the news and get information from the other side of the globe; at least, not as fast as is possible now. We can send video, photos, music and all sorts of friendly and informative things to each other and there are thankfully also many who do just that!
You can use the internet to talk about the most amazing things from your culture and the civilisation you belong to and you can use it to build bridges between people. Isn't that a wonderful opportunity to have?
Next chapter: Religion and Democracy