Что такое Запад?

ПАРИЖ – Сегодня все слышали о "столкновении цивилизаций". Эта концепция Самюэля Хантингтона стала универсальной. В 1950-х годах французский экономист Альфред Сови имел сопоставимый успех с выражением "третий мир". Одна из причин, почему эти фразы находят широкое признание, заключается в отсутствии у них четкой формулировки. Выражение "столкновение цивилизаций", а именно Запад против остального мира, казалось бы, должно описывать мир, как он есть. На самом деле, слово Запад является расплывчатым и включает множество элементов, без описания обобщающих их характеристик.

Так, что же такое Запад? Что означает слово "вестернизация"? Почему Япония считается западной страной, а Китай нет? Куда относится Шанхай? Является ли Россия частью Запада?

Из этой неопределенности можно сделать вывод, что Запад – это не географическое образование. Концепция Запада, вероятно, впервые возникла, когда 25 веков назад греки считали себя представителями Запада в отличие от персов, являвшихся представителями Востока. Поскольку Запад с тех пор утратил какую-либо четкую территориальную базу, слово "Запад" стало универсальным, а не локальным понятием.

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