A while back I shamelessly put some copyrighted material from the book “Clash of Civilizations” online for any knave to read without paying for it. Every once in a while I would post links to it elsewhere because it was interesting data. After the latest such time (regarding the emergence of an aggressive China and possible conflict with America), I decided to make a post here so people wouldn’t have to scroll down for my comments. I’m just going to quote all of what I said there even though it doesn’t entirely make sense without context as you can just click the first link in this post for that.

I don’t know how right Hoppe is about that. I’ve just finished Samuel Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”, which references multiple studies to support the controversial statement in his first article that “Islam has bloody borders”. I quote:
“1. Muslims were participants in twenty-six of fifty ethnopolitical conflicts in 1993-1994 analyzed in depth by Ted Robert Gurr (Table 10.1). Twenty of these conflicts were between groups from different civilizations, of which fifteen were between Muslims and non-Muslims. There were, in short three times as many intercivilizational conflicts involving Muslims as there were conflicts between all non-Muslim civilizations. The conflicts within Islam also were more numerous than those in any other civilization, including tribal conflicts in Africa. In contrast to Islam, the West was involved in only two intracivilizational and two intercivilizational conflicts. Conflicts involving Muslims also tended to be heavy in casualties. Of the six wars in which Gurr estimates that 200,000 or more people were killed, three (Sudan, Bosnia, East Timor) were between Muslims and non-Muslims, and only one (Angola) involved only non-Muslims.
2. The New York Times identified forty-eight locations in which some fifty-nine ethnic conflicts were occurring in 1993. In half these places Muslims were clashing with other Muslims or with non-Muslims. Thirty-one of the fifty-nine conflicts were between groups from different civilizations, and, paralleling Gurr’s data, two-thirds (twenty-one) of these intercivilizational conflicts were between Muslims and others (Table 10.2).
3. In yet another analysis, Ruth Leger Sivard indentified twenty-nine wars (defined as conflicts involving 1000 or more deaths in a year) under way in 1992. Nine of twelve intercivilizational conflicts were between Muslims and non-Muslims, and Muslims were once again fighting more wars than people from any other civilization.

Table 10.1
Ethnopolitical Conflicts, 1993-1994
Intracivilization Intercivilization Total
Islam 11 15 26
Others 19* 5 24
Total 30 20 50
*Of which 10 were tribal conflicts in Africa
Table 10.2
Ethnic Conflicts, 1993
Intracivilization Intercivilization Total
Islam 7 21 28
Others 21* 10 31
Total 28 31 59
*Of which 10 were tribal conflicts in Africa

Three different compilations of data thus yield the same conclusion: In the early 1990s Muslims were engaged in more intergroup violence than were non-Muslims and two-thirds to three-quarters of intercivilizational wars were between Muslims and non-Muslims. Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards.
The Muslim propensity toward violent conflict is also suggested by the degree to which Muslim societies are militarized. In the 198s Muslim countries had military force ratios (that is, the number of Military personnel per 1000 population) and military effort indices (force ratio adjusted for a country’s wealth) significantly higher than those for other countries. The average force ratios and military effort ratios of Muslim countries were roughyl twice those of Christian countries (Table 10.3). “Quite clearly,” James Payne concludes, “there is a connection between Islam and militarism.”

Table 10.3
Militarism Of Muslim and Christian Countries
Average Force Ratio Avg. Mil. Effort
Muslim countries (n = 25) 11.8 17.7
Other countries (n = 112) 7.1 12.3
Christian countries (n = 57) 5.8 8.2
Other countries (n = 80) 9.5 16.9

Muslim states also have had a high propensity to resort to violence in international crises, employing it to resolve 76 crises out of a total of 142 in which they were involved between 1928 and 1979. In 25 cases violence was the primary means of dealing with the crisis; in 51 crises Muslim states used violence in addition to other means. When they did use violence, Muslim states used high-intensity violence, resorting to full-scale war in 41 percent of the cases where violence was used and engaging in major clashes in another 38 percent of cases. While Muslim states resorted to violence in 53.5 percent in theri crises, violence was used by the United Kingdom in only 11.5 percent, by the United States in 17.9 percent, and by the Soviet Union in 28.5 percent of the crises in which they were involved. Among the major powers only China’s violence propensity exceeded that of the Muslim states: it employed violence in 76.9 percent of its crises. Muslim bellicosity and violence are late-twentieth century facts which neither Muslims nor non-Muslims can deny.”

I think the most relevant part is at the end. The United Kingdom and the United States have some of the free-est economies according to the Fraser Institute. Communist China and the Soviet Union were some of the most unfree, but they were far more likely to engage in violence. Muslims states are also notoriously unfree, if to a lesser degree than communist states. I think Hoppe does have a point in that what Huntington would refer to as Latin American, African and Buddhist civilizations are simply incapable of engaging in the violence the West did before the Cold War, but even though the Soviet Union was very unfree it was more capable of engaging in war than any of those OR Muslim states (and I would bet China as well), but it had a lower propensity for violence than Islam and China and a greater one than the free countries of the West.


The data being looked at there is fairly old and the United States has gone sticking its collective dick in hornet’s nests for no good reason since then, but I wouldn’t expect general tendencies to change that abruptly without other major changes (this would include the occupation of Germany and Japan; I don’t know about the collapse of the Soviet Union meets the bar). That being said, I don’t think the United States and China are going to get in a tussle within this decade, the next, or the one after that. The talk right now is about Iran, and I’m fairly confident Bush will leave office without such a clusterfuck coming about but I’d say that sort of thing is much more likely than for us to go to war with China. I also don’t think China is going to go invading places in its region, and even the hypothetical scenario Huntington lays out in his book where China occupies Vietnam and the United States stupidly intervenes seems implausible to me (unfortunately because of my confidence in the Chinese leadership, not that of the U.S).

By the way, it’s funny how Angola popped up there after posting about the Carnation Revolution and its (terrible?) ripples. I virtually never talk or think about the place (oddly enough, I think about Algeria a lot), but I do like that “living in Angola” song.