Sunday, March 23, 2014

Clash of Civilizations
Return of the 'Battle' of U.S. versus China





Globalization has affected the world order and its various aspects in it, not just the interaction between countries, but also between human groups and individuals. Geopolitical order is not immune from attacks of globalization, especially when this issue has expanded its various aspects in it. Boundaries between political geography and geographical politics is no longer clear. The interaction between them is a form of embodiment of interrelated systems, especially system states, geographical space, as well as various aspects implied in it.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, visited the Forbidden City in Beijing on Friday.


U.S. and Chinese's competition in various sectors

The U.S. is a post-Cold War hegemony as a global superpower. As a hegemon, the U.S. will encounter many rivals in the world, one of which is China as an emerging nation which oppose U.S. hegemony dominance. China is emerging as one of the strengths of the developing world that can compete with the U.S. both in terms of economic, military, and political.

Ruth A. Neugebauer argued that the competition between the U.S. and China rising, along with the security of energy resources and economic alliance formation. The economy is an important aspect in the context of this competition even though not a single aspect of the global competitive struggle for influence and power. Aspects of the military, political, and culture is an important feature in this competition to accommodate identity, even though the economy becomes the most visible issue.

Derek Scissors explained that the power issue in the U.S. compete with China in the economic realm was clearly visible, but the claim was inaccurate and tend to be wrong even though it was a dangerous thing. He explained that China was economically compete with the U.S. in economic growth, but overall the country was still lagging behind when compared to the U.S.. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was U.S. $ 14.86 billion, while China was only $ 4.99 trillion. It also affected the other sides, including the unemployment rate; U.S. about 14%, while China still has about 27.1% unemployment. Apart from the GDP and the unemployment rate, energy side and Chinese corruption index still showed backwardnes if compared with the U.S.. These developments indicate that there is another side besides developing economies so that China can compete with the U.S.. Economics does not stand alone, but it is supported by a variety of other elements that underlie a country.

The U.S. victory in economic terms can not be separated from his victory in the clash of civilizations as an example of the type of the most civilized civilization. Civility forming the human and social interaction so that all aspects of life refers to the ideas, culture, and western style (The U.S.). Thus the U.S. can easily export its culture to be enjoyed and consumed by audience through the cultural industries, such as pop culture. This is one aspect that can not be rivaled by China, which is when the culture becomes one of the essential commodities and affects the economic sphere.


Clash of civilizations between U.S. and China

Competition between the U.S. and China is visible from the side of the economy, but more than that, this competition has led to the shape of a clash of civilizations. Clash of civilizations is Samuel Huntington's thesis to see the constellation of post-Cold War global interaction. Civilization emerged as a superior form of cultural similarities and differences in the integration between cultures within a particular civilization corridor. Cultural interaction in civilization can be categorized through cooperation, following a dominant culture (bandwagon), and the unification of various cultures within a civilization (merger). These three forms are the forms of accommodation as well as competition from various cultures in civilization.

The U.S. is part of Western civilization, while China is the Sinic civilization . Both of these civilizations compete in various aspects of civilization, not just economic . Economics is merely one aspect of a whole civilization, although the economy can not be separated from the dynamics of the civilization. Huntington states that the economic aspect only connect between civilizations. When the economy connect a civilization with other civilizations, then aspects of other civilizations also compete. The other side like culture also plays an important role in civilization. Culture is the dominant form of conflict and competition in interaction between civilizations. When competition tapering towards the confrontation into the clash, the interaction between civilizations will not refer to the forms of cooperation and trust. Culture is a concept that covers various aspects of life, including the economy, which bases itself on various underlying culture.

Huntington explains that the conflict between civilizations can be both micro and macro. At the micro level, the conflict tends to be a fault line conflict; country located in the intersection area of ​​culture. This conflict still between countries and between regions in a particular part of the world, This side more shows an open conflict through violence and weaponry. At the macro aspect, the conflict is among civilizations in core-state conflict. This conflict shows its significance in the struggle for influence, military rivalry, economic invasion, the flow of human, cultural values ​, as well as the seizure of a particular region. This conflict reflects two important things; clash between civilizations and between cultures. Both of these show the significance of culture in a pluralistic culture. In the global aspects, the culture in major civilizations indicates a change in the balance of power. Power is not the only aspect of economic-political-military, but also the culture. Competition between the U.S. and China clash of civilizations is a form of macro. This competition does not indicate the significance of violence open through cultural differences , but more than that, the military - economic aspects of culture overlapping each other. This shows the significance of competition between civilizations. Civilization can not be in conflict with each other, but the strategy aspects in it are mutually contradictory, especially when meeting in a particular issue.


Obama and Xi


Clash between the West (U.S.) and East Asian (Chinese) shows significant aspect of the history of Chinese socialism and the rapid economic growth of the country. Economic side supports the existence of civilization itself -- Economy also is a civilization -- namely  when the side is able to mobilize the military industrialization, to minimize dependence on the western world, as well as the expansion of Chinese influence in Southeast Asia. These three things lead to the perception of a threat to both civilizations, especially when differences of culture refers to the tendency of balancing or bandwagoning strategy. Through the improvement of national self-image, tendency of the balance of power which happens to be difficult to determine. On the side between parts of the world, China rivaling the U.S. with an increase in the economic and human resources, while in some parts of the world, China plays an important role in influencing various ideas in Southeast Asia, particularly in ASEAN countries to improve the standard of living in Southeast Asia. This becomes a contradiction in itself, especially when the China influence in Southeast Asia leads to bandwagoning to China. China in this case wants to balance the power of western civilization in Southeast Asia, but what is happening is a shift from the west to the Chinese dependence. This of course poses a threat perceptions  for the U.S.. Balancing and bandwagoning side is not lower the tension of competition between the U.S. and China, but increasingly sharpening the conflict through external conflict influences.


Significance of the clash of civilizations between U.S. and China

U.S. and Chinese competition is more on a clash of civilizations rather than economic competition. U.S. and China to compete in the various elements of civilization, not just economic. Civilization is not only related to the economy, but rather is a collection of identity and culture which has similarities and differences in them. Huntington said that civilization consisted of elements values​​, beliefs, orientations, practices, and institutions related to humans. The five elements demonstrate the superiority of identity and culture in the community which is manifested in the state's form. State reflects the five elements are in the community incorporated into a particular civilization.

This thesis against Fouad Ajami writing which explains that economy and a discussion of welfare is more discussed dominantly in the state competition, not a clash of civilizations. Economics is just one factor concerning the above five elements. Civilization is the most appropriate form in explaining the phenomenon of competition between the U.S. and China. Civilization reflects identity which practically manifested in the forms of economic, military, cultural, and political. This is what actually collides in the realm of civilization. On the one hand, the existence of economic, military, cultural, and political indeed  can not be circumvented in the U.S. and Chinese competition, but these four things are only linkages in practical relationship in an interaction. More than that, these four things show more superior civilization which clashing in the form of this competition.

Ajami said Huntington forgot the element of secularism and modernity in a country. He pointed out that Indian secularism was still dominant in the Indian society. He showed the insignificant of religion in government. Religion can not be involved in a form of government because both are different things; religion based on the spiritual, whereas the government of a country indicates the nature of the world. Countries in economic concepts using different ideas with the concept of religion. That's why he also stressed that religious fanaticism was not likely to occur in the realm of state and middle class society, as a result of globalization.

In the concept of competition between the U.S. and China, civilization plays an important thing, especially in terms of religion. The concept of Indian secularism is a legacy of knowledge of Britain as its occupier. It uses the concept of secularism differently, because Hindus do not base themselves on the knowledge of the government. The U.S. is a country based on Christianity in the forms of democracy, human rights, and free market policies. Through the doctrine of liberation, the U.S. accommodates its religion into government. It is free to implement democracy by looking at the side of human freedom as an essential thing. The political side is also manifested in the free economy with emphasis on liberalism. The U.S. government sees Christianity as a symbol of western civilization and interprets it in the form of state and society . It is also manifested in various aspects of practical state government to accommodate the interests of wider community. In the aspect of religious fanaticism, the U.S. allows accommodation throughout the country -- religious and non-religious-- in the lives of its people. It invites all forms of belief to live and thrive in the free area.

On the other hand, the China tends to be based on the teachings of Confucianism as the starting point of the Sinic civilization. Confucianism is not a religion  but the world's perception. In this side, Confucian values ​​are interpreted by the China government through a system of socialism in various aspects of governance. The China government defines Confucianism as communal understanding by looking at aspects of society.

China socialism based on agriculture as the main form of China economic society. Of these aspects, the China government implements a system based on Sinic civilization. System implemented by China in the aspects of state applied through all aspects of religious unification in the country. The state regulates all matters of religion and those who do not fit into the system will be labeled as a rebel by the China. This system also affects the economic sphere. With centralized economy, China accumulates power of natural and human resources for the country to progress. Religious fanaticism in this concept is also possible although still regulated by the state. State is a source of power for community, so that people can only access the power only from state.

The state is a strategy of modern civilization applied to other civilizations which triggers the clash. The state accommodates the religious aspect in community to be applied on the side of government. Competition between the U.S. and China in the economic side is just a derivative of strategy adopted, but not the core of  competition. Clash of civilizations is indeed a clash of civilizations, but more than that, it is a form of clash of civilizations strategy, namely the state. The concept of democratic socialism by China and the U.S. is not a civilization itself, but the excavation by the state as part of a civilization. Therefore, it can not be said with certainty that the competition between the U.S. and China is the competition between Confucianism and Christianity. They collide, but this occurs indirectly. The state should be responsible for it as a strategic form of civilization that is able to accommodate the elements of civilization.


State Dominance in Civilization

State as a strategic form of civilization is able to accommodate all the elements in the civilization. U.S. and Chinese competition shows what is stated by Ajami, "Civilizations do not control states, but the states control civilizations."

Civilization does not provide a strategic interpretation of what is to be done by the state, but the state itself as a capable form of strategic. Referring to what is said by Jack F. Matlock, "Civilizations are like gardens. How can the gardens collide?"

So, basically the clash of civilizations is the clash of civilizations strategy, namely the garden as a form of civilization, its plant become the elements of civilization, and man is state as a form of strategic who is able to bring the clash.
***


Readings Today :
  1. US v China: is this the new cold war?
  2. The Return of History - We are not locked in a new Cold War, but China and Russia are bringing back  Cold War tactics
  3. What If There Was a Cold War Between the U.S. and China?
  4. Russia as a U.S.- China Battleground State
  5. Inside the Ring: U.S., China in war of words over South China Sea air zone 
  6. US Analysts Debate Plans for War Against China 
  7. What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?  
  8. A Trade War with China?
  9. News a nuclear war = soon to come 
  10. Village Stability Operations and the Future of the American Way of War





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CZ

"Thank you for your perception! I like your romantic side, even if I do not always comment and I'm glad that you're in my circle of friends."
(Courtesies by: Wolfgang A. Gerhardt)

Wolfgang A.Gerhardt : May be you like this Sunday collage

Cisca Zarmansyah : Before today, there never was a person doing this to me. You create a simple matter to look special. This is a special thing for me.

Cisca Zarmansyah : Thank you. I love it. I love you, my friend.

CieL- FreYa Ceastle : Hmm, he's so nice...















"I am me.
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me
is authentically mine,
because I alone chose it --
I own everything about me:
my body,
my feelings,
my mouth,
my voice,
all my actions,
whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies,
my dreams,
my hopes,
my fears.
I own my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me,
I can become intimately acquainted with me.
By so doing,
I can love me
and be friendly with all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know
-- but as long as I am friendly
and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully
look for solutions
to the puzzles and ways
to find out more about me.
However I look and sound,
whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time
is authentically me.
If later some parts of how I looked,
sounded,
thought,
and felt
turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting,
keep the rest,
and invent something new
for that which I discarded.
I can see,
hear,
feel,
think,
say, and do.
I have the tools to survive,
to be close to others,
to be productive,
and to make sense
and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.
I own me,
and therefore,
I can engineer me.
I am me,
and I am okay."

VIRGINIA SATIR
(American Phychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)