If we look at the geopolitical situation of the world today, it is very clear that a major clash of civilizations is brewing on the horizon. The nations, peoples, and societies of the world are gradually being divided into two major camps based on their respective values.
The first camp is the Western Civilization led by the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, along with their allies like Japan and South Korea.
The second camp is the Eurasian or Eastern civilization, led by China and Russia and its allies.
There are some very real and fundamental civilizational and cultural differences between the Western and Eurasian civilizations, which are so distinct, and as a result, the two sides will always be at odds with one another.
First, the countries and societies of the West are influenced by the concepts of liberalism and stresses the ideals of liberal democracy, freedom of the individual, freedom of expression, and the value of the individual’s interests over the collective interests. Obligations to authority, the family, community, religion, and state are not heavily promoted in the Western societies, rather the word “obligation” is oftentimes viewed as a tyrannical concept.
This is not so much the case in the East as both the Russian and Chinese cultures are communitarian. In the worldview of the Russian and Chinese cultures, the individual has an obligation to sacrifice certain aspects of their own individualism for the collective welfare or the collective good.
Historically, the liberal Western Enlightenment ideals never successfully took root in Russia or China. In Russia, there were early attempts to emulate the Western European ideals, but ultimately, by the rule of Tsar Alexander I in 1801, the Enlightenment Ideals were rejected.
The geography and harsh environment of Russia required a strong emphasis on upholding the group identity. The influence of Orthodox Christianity also had an impact on the formation of Russian collectivism. Orthodoxy being the soul and lifeblood which glued the Russians together for so many centuries has had a profound impact on the Russian mindset and shaping the collectivist attitude. In Russian Orthodox Christianity a strong emphasis on collective salvation is placed. In this tradition, salvation is not seen as an individualistic pursuit, like in some Western versions of Christianity, but rather as a communal endeavor. The Russian Christians promote the concept of “sobornost”, which means “spiritual community” or “togetherness,” as central to the theme of Russian Orthodox theology. In other words, Eastern Christianity emphases that “we must all work together for salvation as a team or not be saved at all”. This is in contrast to Western denominations of Christianity.
The Chinese people ultimately rejected liberal values also. China’s development of collectivist and communitarian ideology has roots inits Confucian influences. Confucianism has taken root in China over thousands of years and its influences on Chinese culture is still present today. The Confucian ideology emphasized the importance of the individual’s duty to society and the society’s purpose to the individual. In Confucianism, the individual has the duty to “self-strengthen” (自強), to conform to the collective standards, to fulfil familial, community, and societal obligations. The most basic duty in Confucianism is to perform filial piety, that is the son honoring the parents. Confucius argued that if all people fulfil their obligations, then the “Great Harmony” (Datong) can be achieved, and the country would be at peace.
The 1911 Revolution of Sun Yat Sen emphasized communitarianism and nationalism. The Chinese Nationalist leader, Sun Yat Sen himself wrote, “An individual should not have too much freedom. A nation should have absolute freedom only then can China be strong…” in his ideology of the Three Principles of the People.
The 1919 May 4th movement caused a turn away from Western liberalism.
The 1949 Revolution promoted Marxism.
The modern People’s Republic of China is a synthesis or a combination of the traditional Chinese values, Chinese nationalism, and Marxist concepts refined into “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”.
The conflict of civilizations which now exists between East, and West was started by and solely exists due to the Western intolerance and feelings of cultural supremacism. Since at least the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, the Western intellectual circles have established the “End of History Theory” which promotes the idea that the Liberal West and only the Liberal West, can set the standard of the world to conform to — That the Western social, cultural, political, and economic systems represent the ultimate evolution of human societies, which all cultures must either follow or be labelled as “undemocratic” or “uncivilized”. The stage is set for a CIVILIZATIONAL conflict.