18/05/2011

DSK and the Clash of Civilizations

Samuel  Huntington's famous article on the clash of civilizations focused on the differences between cultures, citing among others, potential confrontations between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. The arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York highlights some fundamental differences within the Western world, especially between France/Europe and the United States. The following comments do not imply his guilt; they are observations about the nature of the debate.

The first difference, especially pronounced in Calvinist Geneva, is the separation between the private and the public. Government representatives, Europeans believe, have the right to privacy; their personal lives should remain outside the public domain. DSK was known to be a womanizer, but journalists kept most of the information to themselves, even when he was accused of using his role at the IMF improperly or eventually compromising the French government politically through a personal relationship with a relative of an important official from a foreign country. In the United States, the public wants to know about the private lives of the politicians, including spouses and children. And, beside Bill Clinton, people like Gary Hart, Eliot Spitzer and John Edwards have paid the price for pretending to be good family men. Journalists in the United States and the public are much more prodding and inquisitive.

The role of women in Europe is also quite different. Roman Polanski was supported by many in France, including the Minister of Culture, for his illegal actions with an underage girl. "Boys will be boys," seems to be the general attitude. In the United States the past behavior of DSK and the accusations against him are taken seriously. Even in American universities today, when the hormone level of both sexes tends to be extremely high, there is little official tolerance for any type of sexual harassment. Relations between faculty and students are carefully scrutinized as well as between bosses and employees in general.

And because there is greater scrutiny in the US in these matters, penalties for transgressions are much higher. Europeans seem shocked at the handcuffing of DSK and his confinement in Rikers Island. I have been to Rikers Island - just visiting I assure you - and it is no Kempinski 5 star hotel. But, the charges against DSK are serious; he risks over 70 years in prison. He is not being accused of a parking violation!

The United States is often accused of skirting the law and having a cowboy culture. In this situation, when the legal system is following the letter of the law, it is being accused of being intolerant. Au contraire! DSK is getting egalitarian treatment under US law.

May 17, 2011

 

Commentaires

c'est toujours agréable de lire des américains faire la leçon aux européens

Écrit par : stop Expat | 18/05/2011

Oui, et en France, l'homme puissant a toujours des privilèges.

Écrit par : RM | 18/05/2011

A-t-on cloué au pilori menottés jugés dénoncés dans la presse les menteurs du pentagone, de la CIA, plus généralement de l'administration Bush sur les prétendues armes de destructions massives en IRAK .? Cela a pourtant causé la mort dite collatérale de milliers de civils innocents.
Poursuit-on Dick Cheney devant le TPI pour ses déclarations justifiant la torture?
Cela doit être the famous Huntington's clash of civilisaion

Écrit par : briand | 18/05/2011

Est-il égalitaire de ne pas enquêter sur la possible machination d'une femme de chambre qui souhaiterait arrondir ses fins de mois en profitant de sa rencontre fortuite avec un homme riche ? Que dire d'une police qui n'examine pas toutes les pistes en dépit d'une longue liste d'invraisemblances dans les déclarations de la présumée victime ?
Pourquoi, sous prétexte qu'il est riche, célèbre - et frenchie - et jouit d'une réputation de dragueur invétéré, devrait-il être forcément coupable de viol ? La réputation des magouilles à l'africaine n'est-elle pas encore arrivée jusqu'à NYC ? Rassurez-vous, cela ne saurait tarder.
Par ailleurs, cela m'intéresserait de connaître votre opinion sur un autre womanizer célèbre: JFK... Il était bien citoyen étasunien, non ?

Écrit par : Concombre masqué | 18/05/2011

Don't go too quick in judgement !!!

Écrit par : Monocle | 19/05/2011

DSK is the victim of political assassination.
American civilization is founded on puritanical values, that still highly visible in many American institutions. As such puritanical views of what is right or what is wrong have blinded Americans society for the centuries - baffled the administration of their judicial system.

Yet, in the case of DSK, there is suspicion of political manipulation of the truth. It seems that American and French administrations have agreed on DSK’s case - to get ride of him- discrediting, humiliating the man who is in charge of the global monetary systems. all at the same time when US’s foreign debt is rising, and US administration is seriously considering the monetization of the government debts. Now guess who they suppose to deal with, the IMF and DSK of course. Here you have it, I let you make the connection.

Don’t let puritanical views and preconceived idea blind your senses fairness, DSK is the victim of political assassination.

A.B.

Écrit par : A | 23/05/2011

choc des civilisations enracinées depuis l'époque des histoires présentées sur la Bible et je pense que c'est la façon dont elle est, de protéger et d'être sur le côté du groupe où vous appartiennent collectivement. si nous sommes ouverts d'esprit à ces différences, nous pouvons voir qu'il ya tant à apprendre la pensée de la culture ne sont pas les mêmes ...

Écrit par : research paper writers | 25/05/2011

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