Like it or not, we’ve been living in the era of Huntington, though he will no longer be living it with us. I’m a bit late in making a post, but I have a bit more material to make one out of now.

Many people misinterpreted his Clash of Civilizations thesis, most likely because they didn’t read the book. I rather rudely insulted Reza Aslan for doing so in this old post of mine. A commenter going by Steve recently showed up there to express his agreement. He has his own post on Huntington’s passing explaining how surprised he was when he actually read the book. It appears that Steve is (relative to Huntington, at least) a liberal and so finds some other stuff Huntington was associated with distasteful, but I encourage both righties and folks like Keith Preston who viewed Crisis of Democracy as a positive development to check it out.

Richard Spencer of TakiMag repeated some of the anti-Clash lines I have attacked in his first post on Huntington’s death. I sent him an email which he has graciously posted suggesting that Huntington, despite some of his earlier intellectual history, is better lumped in with the paleoconservatives than the LGF-type jihad-obsessed right. Steve Sailer, Scott McConnell and Thomas E. Woods all considered themselves neocons (or fellow travellers) at some point, so this shouldn’t be completely implausible. The difference would be that Huntington went through the trouble of being a Cold War liberal (and I think he kept his Democratic registration) before he was known as a neoconservative.

UPDATE: Harvard has an overview of his life and work here. Political scientist and sometime Huntington-critic Daniel Drezner has a post on his passing here. Both remind me that I should check out The Soldier and The State.
UPDATE 2: Stephen Walt, whose “realist” view was rejected in Clash but dedicated his Israel Lobby book to Huntington, has pays tribute to Sam and the late Rabbi Arnold Wolf. I hadn’t heard of Wolf before Drezner’s post, did he specialize in international relations professors?
UPDATE 2.5: Walt again, at FP.
UPDATE 3: Reihan Salaam, who had courses and seminars with Huntington, has an informed tribute here. Does the bit about righties admiring authoritarian Singapore remind you of anyone?

Advertisements