Saturday, July 16, 2016

Huntington Was Prescient

Harvard scholar-historian Samuel P. Huntington, of The Clash of Civilizations fame, predicted the ideological conflict underpinning the current presidential race 12 years ago. See what he wrote in The National Interest, as quoted in The American Interest.
The views of the general public on issues of national identity differ significantly from those of many elites. The public, overall, is concerned with physical security but also with societal security, which involves the sustainability–within acceptable conditions for evolution–of existing patterns of language, culture, association, religion and national identity. For many elites, these concerns are secondary to participating in the global economy, supporting international trade and migration, strengthening international institutions, promoting American values abroad, and encouraging minority identities and cultures at home. The central distinction between the public and elites is not isolationism versus internationalism, but nationalism versus cosmopolitanism.
This man had an amazing crystal ball. The paragraph could have been written this afternoon by any number of astute observers, but he saw it in 2004.