Huntington: ‘Not Just For Vegans’

 

Who Am I ? And Who Are You?

This idea of ‘I’ cuts a wide swath. It is not just for Vegans. It is the original question. And the final fault line.

This is the entire essence of life: Who are you? What are you?’ wrote Leo Tolstoy [I’ve tried to finish: ‘War and Peace’. Twice.]

Taking a wider view is Dr. Samuel Huntington. Here, from his: ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, that sits on every Foreign Ministers bookshelf:

A Civilization is the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity… Civilizations are the biggest ‘We’. [And] cultural identity is the central factor shaping a country’s associations and antagonisms…

The question: ‘Which side are you on? has been replaced by the much more fundamental one: ‘Who are you?’ Every state has to have an answer. That answer, its cultural identity, defines the state’s place in world politics, its friends and its enemies.’


The late Dr. Huntington was the Albert J. Weatherhead University Professor and Director of Harvard’s ‘Center For International Affairs’.