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Huntington's Assertion

Huntington’s assertion that the survival of the west depends on Americans reaffirming their western identity… and uniting to renew and preserve it against challenges from non-western societies may not enjoy any back up from many scholars. It imbues a lot of criticism from scholars who are against it in every aspect.

Naomi’s reaction to the same is that the US and international development agencies, believing that poor countries should develop economically before they become democratic, have not taken politics into account when disbursing aid. This is a mistake because poor democracies are almost always stronger and more caring than poor autocracies because they allow power to be shared which encourages openness and accountability. After decades of historic gain, the world has slipped into a democratic recession enhancing development of more predatory states which threaten both nascent and established democracies throughout the world. However this trend can be reversed with development of good governance and strict accountability of conditional aid from the west.

In the shock doctrine Naomi proposes that a persuasive counter story to the prevailing fable of free market infallibility. Supported by painstaking and wide-ranging exploration and the ability to see connections where others see only coincidence. She further argues that profit making is not the essence of democracy but the machinery and the requirements of a state are now tightly synchronized in their exploitation of disasters both man-made and natural as to be virtually one in the same.

Disaster capitalism is now very common in the word and the best example is in Russia, China and Iraq. In times of crisis, elites everywhere have learned how they can profit in implementing policies for example shock therapy that would have been vigorously opposed in normal times. The shock doctrine reveals the wounds that disaster capitalism has inflicted upon the body politic both in the US and throughout the world over the past 25 years. Therefore the assertions of Huntington will receive massive criticism. 

Harvey on the other hand comments that concepts of human dignity and individual freedom are powerful and appealing in their own right. Such ideals empowered the dissident movements in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union before the end of the cold war as well as students in Tiananmen Square going on rampage in 1968 from Paris and Chicago to Bangkok and Mexico City animated by the quest for freedom.

According to Harvey, Neoliberlism as a philosophy holds that free markets and the free flow of capital is the most efficient way to produce the greatest social, political and economic good. It argues for reduced taxation and minimal government involvement in the economy. This will include privatization of health and retirement benefits, dismantling of trade and unions, and the general opening up of the economy to foreign competition. He argues that the US doesn’t operate according to the above principles even as it is urging other countries to maintain minimal government and balanced budgets.

Harvey surveys neoliberalism around the world to discover its connections and evaluates its effects. He finds out that the US has benefited immeasurably from its ability to extract tribute from other nation’s financial communities’ probable of engineering of crises in developing nations in order to scoop up devalued assets on the cheap. The economic restructuring programs imposed on poor countries have benefited US while bolstering a small but powerful class of wealthy individuals mainly in Mexico, South Korea and Sweden.

The west took off in a dramatic manner between the 11th and 15th century because economic regionalism was increasing. The importance of regional economic blocs is likely to continue to increase in future because successful economic regionalism will reinforce civilization consciousness.

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