BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Samuel P. Huntington, author of "Who Are We?," what`s the book about?
SAMUEL P. HUNTINGTON, AUTHOR, "WHO ARE WE?: THE CHALLENGES TO AMERICA`S NATIONAL IDENTITY: The book is about America. And you`ll notice that it is a question, and it`s a question which I grapple with in the book as to what American national identity means, how it has changed over the years.
LAMB: Before I ask you about this book, I want to bring folks up to date on where you`ve come from. The book that you can read most about in your life is -- and I know there`ve been several...
LAMB: By the way, what book is this for you that you`ve just written?
HUNTINGTON: Oh, well, it`s hard to say, 12th or 15th or something like that, because I`ve edited books and written books and co-authored books, and so forth.
LAMB: The book called "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order"...
LAMB: What year did it come out?
HUNTINGTON: In 1996.
LAMB: And what was it about?
HUNTINGTON: Well, it was basically about the nature of post-cold war global politics. During the cold war and during most of the 20th century, in addition to power playing a role in international relations, ideology played a role in international relations. And what I argue in this book on the clash of civilizations is that ideology is out now. It is not important. But culture is, and civilizations are the broadest cultural entities in the world, and we have maybe eight or so major civilizations, and that international politics now is being shaped by the interactions among these civilizations, and cultural factors are playing a role in shaping the patterns of alliances and antagonisms among states, much as ideology did in the 20th century.
LAMB: You made some people mad, some people very mad, and Edward Said, who`s now deceased, wrote a piece in "The Nation" magazine. He didn`t like the fact that you put the West against Islam.
HUNTINGTON: Well, I am very careful in the book not to divide the world in two. And as a matter of fact, I quote Said approvingly on this point in the book. And I see global politics as being interactions among the eight or so major civilizations, and obviously, Islam and the West are two of the most important, and their relations over the centuries -- for the past 1,300 years or so, have varied. At times they`ve been peaceful, at other times there`s been conflict. And clearly, there is a very important Islamic resurgence going on in the world now, as Muslims from Morocco straight through to Indonesia are becoming more and more conscious of their Islamic identity and are asserting it in a variety of ways, and some of which, but only a small part of which, are violent. And that is why we are seeing this militant Islamic extremism manifest itself.
LAMB: Where were you on September the 11th?
HUNTINGTON: I was on my way to Washington...
LAMB: To do what?
HUNTINGTON: ... flying from Boston to Washington for a board meeting of a foundation I`m involved in. And I had the chilling thought that I -- realized later that the terrorists in Boston`s Logan Airport were there at exactly the same time I was and -- but happily, taking -- for me, taking another plane. But that was quite a day.
LAMB: At what point were you in the air? Had it happened already?
HUNTINGTON: No. No.
LAMB: You were earlier.
HUNTINGTON: Yes. Yes.
LAMB: And then...
HUNTINGTON: Well, it began happening just as we arrived. And when we got to this meeting, somebody had a TV on, and you know, we all became fixated on that.
LAMB: When did you first learn who did it?
HUNTINGTON: Oh, I can`t remember that. I mean, it was...
LAMB: Well, I guess...
HUNTINGTON: The news came out -- you know, in such scattered fashion. The one plane had crashed. Something may have happened to another plane. And then the second plane went into the World Trade Center. When that happened, everybody said, you know, This isn`t an accident.
LAMB: My real question, though, was when did you first -- when you first learned that there were Arabs involved, and fundamentalists, did you -- were you surprised?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I was shocked. And now, of course, we knew that al Qaeda had been responsible for earlier attacks on the United States, including one on the World Trade Center. So when you put it in that context, the basis for surprise diminishes considerably.
LAMB: Well, I guess I was really asking, in conjunction with the book...
LAMB: ... "The Clash of Civilizations," did that just make sense to you, then, based on what your own theory was?
HUNTINGTON: Yes. Well, it -- unfortunately, yes. And like most of my books that I`ve written in the past, what I tend to do in my books -- and this is true of "Who Are We?" -- is to look at situations and analyze phenomena which, for one reason or another, people are uneasy with or don`t want to focus on or want to avoid. This was true in my first book on the soldier and the state, and it was denounced because I said we`ve got to work out a new way of handling civil-military relations in this country. But after a few years, it became the accepted book on civil-military relations, and it`s still in print now after 30 years or more and is commonly referred to as the classic work. And I think this book, "The Clash of Civilizations," was attacked by a variety of people when it first came out, as was my "Foreign Affairs" article, which came out four years before on the same subject. But since September 11, people have been applying the adjective "prescient" to "The Clash of Civilizations" book. And as I say, it`s unfortunate that it turned out to be relevant, so relevant now.
LAMB: How did you get into this business?
HUNTINGTON: This business being what?
LAMB: Well, several things -- teaching, one, and writing books that people will read.
HUNTINGTON: Well, I went to Yale as an undergraduate and into the Army, then a year at the University of Chicago, then went to Harvard. And I was...
LAMB: What year did you go to Harvard?
HUNTINGTON: In 1948, as a graduate student. I was relatively young, at that point, and I went into graduate work in political science, international relations because -- as a result of World War II. When I was a young teenager, this suddenly struck me that international relations was a very important subject, and so I have pursued that ever since and have written a variety of books and other things on it.
LAMB: Where did you...
HUNTINGTON: I teach courses on it.
LAMB: Where did you grow up?
HUNTINGTON: In New York City, in Astoria in Queens, went through the New York City public schools.
LAMB: What about your parents? What`d they do?
HUNTINGTON: Well, my father grew up on a farm in Maine and came down to New York and went to the Columbia school of journalism and became an editor of publications dealing with the hotel industry.
LAMB: And the Huntington name -- well, before you do that, the -- your mother.
HUNTINGTON: Well, she grew up in New York City and was a short story writer.
LAMB: The Huntington name -- how far back does it go in America?
HUNTINGTON: Well, Simon and Margaret (ph) Huntington sailed from England to the United States in 1633. They were part of a group of settlers from Norwich, England, who arrived in Boston and then went on to found Norwich, Connecticut. Simon died on the way over, but there were four sons, and almost all Huntingtons in the United States are descended from those four sons.
LAMB: Is there a large Huntington family that you`re connected to?
HUNTINGTON: Well, not intimately, no. I have some close -- very few close Huntington relatives, but there`s a huge Huntington conglomerate, all told, with -- there`s a Huntington Family Association, which tries to maintain contact with -- among the Huntington`s, and so forth and so on.
LAMB: You have been a Harvard professor for how many years?
HUNTINGTON: I guess going on 50. I started teaching at Harvard full-time in 1950, but -- and was -- became an assistant professor, but then when I came up for promotion to tenure, I was turned down, in part as a result of that first book I mentioned, "The Soldier and the State," which infuriated some of the faculty members. And so I went off and taught at Columbia for four years, and then Harvard saw the error of its ways and persuaded me to come back. And so I`m just at 50 -- 50 years total at Harvard.
LAMB: And are you currently teaching?
HUNTINGTON: Oh, yes. Yes, a full load.
LAMB: Do colleges make decisions about whether to give tenure to professors based on what they think, what side they`re on?
HUNTINGTON: Well, they shouldn`t, and the -- all sorts of things, obviously, come into tenure decisions. I think, certainly, at a place like Harvard, merit far excels anything else. And that has become more and more the case over the decades. Back in the 1950s, when I was turned down for tenure, it was much more of a personal sort of decision. And people -- the senior professors making the decision would, at times, certainly, make decisions on whether you just liked a person or not, not on the quality of the work.
LAMB: What did you do in the Carter administration?
HUNTINGTON: I had the title of Coordinator of Security Planning at the National Security Council, working with my friend, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was the national security assistant to Carter. And Brzezinski, when he was appointed, asked me to come down and work with him, which I did for two years.
LAMB: What did you do in the Johnson administration?
HUNTINGTON: In the Johnson administration, I was a consultant to the State Department, and in particular, to the Policy Planning Council, and was asked to write a report on the problems of getting political stability in South Vietnam. This was at the height of the war, in 1967. And so I went out and spent a couple of months in South Vietnam and traveled around and came back and wrote a report which I think was one of the more damning documents, as far as our then policy was concerned. I remember briefing people -- one group of people on it, and the top person in the White House concerned with Vietnam, when I had finished, said, Well, if what you say is right, everything we`re doing is wrong. So...
LAMB: You worked with Henry Kissinger in the past?
HUNTINGTON: I don`t think I`ve ever really worked with Henry Kissinger.
LAMB: I mean, you -- did you teach...
HUNTINGTON: I`ve known...
LAMB: Did you teach together?
HUNTINGTON: No. No. But I`ve known Henry for decades and decades. Yes, he`s a good friend.
LAMB: Because he endorses your book.
HUNTINGTON: Yes. Yes. Yes. Well...
LAMB: This book, "Who Are We?," has what premise?
HUNTINGTON: Well, the basic reason I wrote it is that it seemed to me in the 1990s, looking at what was going on in this country at that time, that there were various challenges to American national identity that had developed, a whole variety of different ones. And the -- and I think that one could argue that there had been some core elements in American national identity. I identify four in the book that were present historically, that -- these were race, ethnicity, culture and what is general called the "American creed," a set of values and political beliefs articulated by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and by many other leading figures.
Happily, race and ethnicity, which were central for a couple of centuries, at least, in defining America, have faded -- just about disappeared. And that leaves us with our culture and our creed, and I argue that the creed is a product of the culture, and hence, the attacks on the culture or changes in our culture are -- could be of some -- some consequence. And one of the important distinctions I made in the book, I think, is that between settlers and immigrants because we always refer to ourselves as -- like to refer to ourselves as a nation of immigrants, and that is -- that`s true, but it`s a partial truth.
Immigrants are people who go from one society to another society. There has to be a recipient society. And I argue that the basic American culture was brought over in the 17th and 18th century by people from Britain, and it had these what I -- these British origins, and it was basically, I argue, an Anglo-Protestant culture because America was a 98 percent Protestant country in the 17th and 18th century. And these were dissident Protestants, by and large, who were leaving in part because they were persecuted in Britain. And the ideas and values and culture and institutions and customs they brought with them have been the core culture of the United States.
Now, obviously, there are all sorts of other cultures here, sub-cultures. But most countries do have something that could be called a mainstream or core culture, and it seems to me that over the years, our core culture has been this Anglo-Protestant culture of the original settlers, although obviously, it`s evolved and changed and been affected by the waves of immigration that we`ve had, who`ve contributed to it in a whole variety of positive ways. But it still is basically the -- the culture of the original settlers.
LAMB: So today, what`s the real difference in this country? For instance, you point out in your book that there are 38 million Mexican-Americans.
HUNTINGTON: Well, no, 38 million Hispanics, I think.
HUNTINGTON: Yes, a large portion...
LAMB: OK, what impact has that had on us?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I think the Mexican immigration and the Hispanic immigration generally during the period since the 1960s is a phenomenon we`ve never really had before. We`ve had previous waves if immigrants in the mid-19th century and in the decades before World War I. After World War I, we pretty much shut down immigration. Congress passed very restrictive laws. But then in the 1960s, I think very happily, we opened up, changed those laws. And the laws that were enacted, the Immigration Act, weren`t supposed to have quite the effect which they did have, but they opened the door to this very widespread immigration that we`ve had since the mid-`60s. And a heavy component of that has been the Hispanic, and particularly Mexican immigration. And this is the first time in our history that we have had a majority of the immigrants coming into this country speaking a single non-English language.
LAMB: You have some statistics that you use in the book. In the 1960s, we had 3.3 million immigrants, 1980, 7 million immigrants -- immigration -- and in 1990s, 9 million. And you say that in the `60s, foreign-born...
HUNTINGTON: Yes. OK, go ahead.
LAMB: In the `60s, foreign-born were 5.3 percent of the population, and today -- 2002, roughly -- 11.5 percent.
HUNTINGTON: That`s right. Yes.
LAMB: Good or bad for us?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I think, basically, immigration is good. It is essential, as I point out in the book, to the development of America, and immigrants have made tremendous contributions to our success economically, in science and technology and exploration and have greatly contributed to our playing a positive role in the world. In the past, however, immigration has always been accompanied by assimilation, and I think the problem now comes not from immigration per se, but to the extent that there is a problem, it comes from the extent to which recent immigrants, particularly Hispanics, do not seem to be assimilating in the same way in which immigrants have in the past. Now, maybe the process will just be slower. It certainly will be different.
But there are a whole variety of factors in American society that contribute to this difference, as well as the differences in the nature of the immigrants. Previous immigrants, in the 19th, early 20th centuries, had to make a real commitment to come here. It was tough. During the 19th century, in particular, there were great risks involved. Large numbers of -- a good percentage of people died on the ships coming over to -- to America. So that involved a very definite commitment. Now immigrants don`t have to make that sort of commitment, and we have the phenomenon of what I call "ampersands," people who have two nationalities, two homes in different countries, and increasingly, two citizenships. And it seems to me the whole question of dual citizenship, which we`ve had some of in the past, but which, in theory, we`re not supposed to have -- but that has become a widespread phenomenon now. And so in a whole variety of ways, it seems to me this new immigration raises a -- differences and potentially problems.
LAMB: There`s a -- and I should have gotten the title of it. As we were taping this, there`s a movie out that suggests -- I`m not sure the exact premise, but it has something to do with taking Mexicans out of the California system for a day and see what happens. It`s actually -- the creator of it is, I think, a Mexican-American.
LAMB: Just to see that...
LAMB: ... a lot of things that are done...
HUNTINGTON: Well, sure. Well, California would grind to a stop -- I don`t think there`s any doubt about that -- because Hispanics, who are mostly Mexicans in California, make up a huge proportion of the California population. And as I say, immigration, it seems to me, is essential. Now, there`s a special problem with Mexican immigration because such a large proportion of it is illegal, and we`ve never had that before. The common estimate of the number of illegal immigrants coming into this country each year ranges up to about 350,000 per year. We take in maybe 800,000 legal immigrants each year. And so we have a million new -- more than a million new people coming into this country, and the -- I think the problem of the illegal immigration is a very serious one. And the estimates now are we have 9 million or 10 million illegal immigrants in the country.
LAMB: So what should be done? I mean, the...
HUNTINGTON: Well, it`s difficult, particularly difficult, obviously, in trying to control the illegal immigration from Mexico, which is the principal source of illegal immigration. And there have been various efforts to do this. We -- Congress passed an immigration reform act in the mid-1980s which provided an amnesty and gave legal status to almost three million illegal immigrants who were here then. And that was accompanied by provisions for -- to try to limit illegal immigration and cut -- and provide penalties on employers who hired illegal immigrants, and a whole variety of other things.
But it didn`t have that effect because those provisions weren`t enforced, and the fact that Congress had voted in amnesty for illegal immigrants made illegal immigration that much more attractive to other potential immigrants. And so immigration -- illegal immigration went up, it didn`t go down.
And President Bush has just proposed legislation to try to deal with this. I give him credit for proposing the legislation, but I don`t think his -- it will pass, and I don`t think it will really solve the problem because, essentially, it, too, is an amnesty. And as I say, the record shows that amnesties don`t deter people, they encourages people to come.
LAMB: You suggested by some year in middle 2000s that this country -- whites will be in the minority.
HUNTINGTON: Well, I don`t suggest it. The census projections say that by the year 2050, non-Hispanic whites will be about 50 percent of the population.
LAMB: And is there anything wrong with that?
HUNTINGTON: No. I have nothing against the changing ratio makeup of the country. I have no concern about people`s color. I do have concerns about their values and culture and commitment and those sorts of things. But whether they`re black, brown, white or whatever, yellow, seems to me doesn`t make any difference and shouldn`t make any difference.
LAMB: You also write about the history of history being taught.
HUNTINGTON: Yes. Right.
LAMB: How long has it been taught in the country?
HUNTINGTON: Well, when you say the history of history, I`m not quite sure what you`re getting at.
LAMB: Well, you write about -- you know, we haven`t taught history forever to students in the country and that...
HUNTINGTON: We haven`t taught American history.
LAMB: And it varies over time, as far as how interested people are in it. I mean, is that...
LAMB: How interested are we today in American history?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I think what you have here is that the history of the United States and of America as a society and a country didn`t really appear, in terms of books or courses in schools or colleges, until after the Civil War. With one major exception, the histories that were written before the Civil War were devoted to localities and states. There wasn`t, in any real sense, a national history.
And before the Civil War, the issue as to whether we were a nation was up for grabs. It was debated. It wasn`t clear that we were a nation. And it was the Civil War, as Emerson and various other people said, that really made us a nation. And after that, we began to have a national history and a focus on national history.
And the century from the 1860s to the 1960s was the century of American nationalism. That was when we became very -- Americans became very nationalistic and identified with their country, and among other things, promoted national history and they glorified the Pilgrim fathers and the Founding Fathers and the whole panoply of heroes and wars that we had fought, and so forth and so on.
Then in the 1960s, with the rise of multi-culturalism and a variety of other developments, national history began to fade. And so increasingly, we have seen emphasis upon the histories of ethnic groups and racial groups and other subgroups, which had been certainly neglected during the period of nationalism. But now, I think, there`s a fair amount of evidence that indicates, at least in a large number of schools, in particular, and some colleges, that national history is neglected. And it`s given way to the history of particular groups in our society.
LAMB: Why has that happened?
HUNTINGTON: Well, it`s a result of the -- this intellectual movement that developed in the 1960s that reacted against the -- what was at times, certainly, the overemphasis on nationalism. I think it was affected, of course, by the Vietnam war attitudes of people, and it was, in a way, a rather bizarre product of the Civil Rights movement. And the Civil Rights legislation in the mid-1960s was passed because the whole effort devoted to getting it passed was saying this is a tremendous violation, the situation of blacks in this country being discriminated against and segregated, and so forth. This violates the American creed, the principles of basic equality on which this country is founded. And as a result, we passed the Civil Rights Act and then the Voting Rights Act in the mid-1960s.
But as soon as they were passed, then the blacks and other groups began claiming special privileges for themselves as groups, not as individuals. And this let loose this whole series of efforts by a whole variety of racial groups, ethnic groups, women, of course, to -- demanding more attention to themselves. I think that was the result of -- that produced the result of this replacement of the national history that had been taught previously with the history of particular groups.
LAMB: If in our American creed we believe so much in equality, why did we let slavery happen?
HUNTINGTON: Well, that was the great anomaly, of course, and Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration, of course, was a slave runner, as well as most of the other people from the South in this country for -- down until the Civil War, most of the leading people in the South. And this was degrading congruity. And the -- I think slavery appeared, of course, in the 17th century, when we were -- and in terms of harvesting tobacco and cotton or other crops, it was -- and through the plantation system, this was an extremely efficient and profitable way of making money. And of course, slavery was prevalent throughout most of the world during that period of time, too.
And it`s, as I say, a very great incongruity. And happily, we finally got rid of it, and now we have finally also got -- after a century since the Civil War, pretty much gotten rid of discrimination based on race.
LAMB: Is there any chance that Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers really didn`t believe in equality for everybody, believed in equality for white Anglo-Saxon Protestants?
HUNTINGTON: Well, that was certainly, in effect, what they did. And you have many people, of course, and the U.S. Supreme Court in one notable case, saying, you know, Blacks really aren`t like us. And this is part of the racism that existed for -- and was so important throughout much of our history. And of course, the racist ideology could be used and was used to justify the suppression of blacks. And then in the late 19th century, we moved on and began to exclude Asians, beginning in the 1880s. And the argument there was, Well, they`re not like us, either. They can`t assimilate into our culture and society. When they come here, they live off by themselves in their own Asian ghettos and don`t really become Americans. And so, by World War I, we had legislation that pretty much excluded any immigration from Asia.
This was -- we really defined ourselves as a white country. And that goes back to the first Naturalization Act, which was passed in 1790, which provided that only free white persons could be naturalized as American citizens.
LAMB: So is there any way you can convince the Hispanic that comes to this country, especially the Mexican that comes over the border, that it`s worth learning our history, it`s worth speaking English and it`s worth being loyal to this country, or is it just going to, in your opinion, going to keep going in the wrong direction?
HUNTINGTON: Well, you know, I think the immigrants who come from Mexico, overwhelmingly loyal in some sense to the U.S. Most of them say they want to go back to Mexico. And as I said, given the fact that Mexico is contiguous, it is very easy for people to maintain connections and almost commute back and forth.
And I had one student a couple years ago who did a study on one particular plant in Nebraska, most of whose employees were from a single village in Mexico. And they were all part of one community and went back and forth and, it was -- as I said, people just commute to Nebraska to work and go back home, and so forth. This is very different from what we had in the past. And I think it`s not -- it`s something that isn`t obviously limited to the united States. I think globalization and all the improvements in transportation and communication make it very possible to do that, and I doubt that that sort of thing can be stopped or that it should be stopped, but it`s something we have to, it seems to me, take into consideration in thinking about what it means to be American.
LAMB: As you know, people that watch you from afar -- journalists and others -- see mixed signals coming, including the interview that you did recently in "The New York Times" magazine. And I brought along it to read it so I could ask you about this.
LAMB: This is from Debra Solomon (ph).
LAMB: "What political party do you belong to?" You answered, "I`m an old-fashioned Democrat. I was dead set against going into Iraq.
LAMB: She asked, "Will you vote for Kerry, then?"
LAMB: "Oh, yes. I`ve met him several times. He lives a few blocks away from me on Beacon Hill." And she says, "How can you reconcile being a Democrat with your views on immigration and assimilation?" And you say, "Actually, both parties are divided on immigration, and as a scholar, I have a responsibility to study society and to try to call people`s attention to things they might not welcome looking at."
HUNTINGTON: Right. Well, in that final answer, over my vigorous objections, they deleted my first sentence, which was, "I am in favor of immigration, but it has to be immigration with assimilation."
LAMB: Why would "The New York Times" do that to you?
HUNTINGTON: Well, you have to ask "The New York Times," but...
LAMB: Did they let you see the interview before it ran?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I -- no, I didn`t see it, but I insisted that I have a chance to look at -- to hear, at any rate. They wouldn`t -- said they couldn`t send it to me. And when that -- with that question, I said, Look, I want to make it clear I`m not opposed to immigration per se. I`m in favor of immigration. It`s been important. I say it`s more important earlier in the interview. But it has to be immigration with assimilation. And also, of course, as I point out, I`m married to the daughter of an immigrant, an Armenian immigrant.
LAMB: Well, the other image, though, is that conservatives have liked you over the years. You`ve been associated from time to time, I think, with the American Enterprise Institute.
HUNTINGTON: Yes. Which is...
LAMB: Well, let me just finish.
LAMB: And also, you have been funded by years for years the John M. Olin Foundation...
LAMB: ... and sometimes by the Bradley Foundation...
LAMB: ... and sometimes by the Smith Richardson (ph) Foundation...
LAMB: ... which people view -- which some people view as conservatives. And...
HUNTINGTON: Well, the Ford Foundation is a liberal foundation.
LAMB: I know, but you know what I mean, though. The mixed views on -- how do you -- does that all fit together...
LAMB: ... being a liberal Democrat that`s going to vote for John Kerry and being supported by...
HUNTINGTON: Well, I never said I was a liberal. I`m not. I view myself as a conservative. And -- and I think the foundations you mentioned, which have provided funding for various projects, many projects at Harvard, many excellent programs at Harvard, including programs I have been involved in, are very respectable foundations and certainly award grants on the basis of the expertise and the probability of the project that`s going to be funded producing some significant work. And they have funded a good portion of my work.
LAMB: So Harvard`s not -- they`re not anti-conservative.
HUNTINGTON: Well, I`m not going to judge Harvard. But the -- and I think it is certainly true, and I have some figures on academic political views in the book, that Harvard faculty are overwhelmingly liberal and overwhelmingly Democratic. I don`t think there`s any doubt about that.
LAMB: You say that this is two different countries, elite and non-elite. What`s the difference? Who are the elites? And what is the difference...
HUNTINGTON: Well, I don`t think I say there are two different countries. There are two different groups. Obviously, in every society, there are the leaders and the people who have power and money and influence and play the major role in shaping events in the society. And then the great bulk of the people who work and, hopefully, earn a living and also contribute to the society but don`t play a leading role. And one of the points that I make in the book, of course, is that the American public, in terms of comparative public opinion surveys, looking at a whole variety of countries, are among the most patriotic people in the world.
But in recent years, we have seen some segments of American elites become what I say de-nationalized. They are shifting their identities and loyalties away from this country, becoming cosmopolitan, transnational, defining themselves very explicitly as citizens of the world who just happen to have an American passport. This, again, is a result of the whole process of globalization. And our big corporations, who used to think of themselves exclusively as American corporations, now think of themselves as multi-national global corporations and act accordingly. They`re operating on a global basis.
This is somewhat parallel to what happened in this country in industrialization after the Civil War, where businesses suddenly realized they couldn`t just operate in one city and sell their products there. They had to operate on increasingly on a national basis, and businesses had to form national corporations. And now we`re having American corporations operate globally and think globally. And of course, something I don`t get into in the book is this has economic consequences in what is now commonly referred to as the outsourcing of jobs. If they can get people to do the same work that American workers do at a small fraction of what they have to pay American workers, they are moving their activities overseas.
LAMB: Who best -- as long as this is a political year, who best, then, is recognizing these future problems, the John Kerry versus the George Bush? And if you`re conservative, why wouldn`t you be a George Bush fan?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I think -- when I say I`m conservative, what I`m -- I think you have to ask anybody who says they`re conservatives, OK, what do they want to conserve? And I want to conserve American society as it has evolved and American culture and develop it, obviously -- it has to change. But basically, what that`s what I`m interested in conserving. And American society, culture, and particularly our political institutions, are, of course, very liberal in their substance. But that`s what it seems to me a real conservative should want to preserve. I`m not going to make any judgments on Kerry and Bush as to how they would rate when judged in that way.
LAMB: Well, I guess what I wanted to ask your opinion on is -- do people say they`re liberals or conservatives, say they`re Republicans or Democrats, do either one of those mean anything today? And do people follow some line...
HUNTINGTON: Well, all this problem of -- when you talk about liberalism and conservativism in the United States, that we, in our popular discussion and so forth, define those terms very differently from the way in which they were historically defined in Europe. And as many scholars have pointed out, all Americans are liberal, including anybody, whether it`s George Bush or people to the right of George Bush, are liberals in the European sense. Neo-capitalists are certainly the epitome of European liberalism. But we think of them as conservatives, and liberals are people who promote government involvement in the economy to help poor people and provide services, and so forth and so on. And it seems to me all of these groups, however, have an appropriate role to play in our society.
LAMB: When you -- and you talk a little bit about this bit in the book. In Germany, do the Germans insist that the Turks speak German and in France, the Algerians speak French, and in -- well, Pakistanis do speak English in Britain. But you see where I`m getting at. The Koreans speak Japanese in Japan. What kind of insistence is there around the world about assimilation in those places?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I think the Europeans countries have a much greater problem with assimilation because they don`t have the same immigrant experience that we have had, certainly not to the same extent. And so with the Turks in Germany or with the North Africans in France, there`s been a tendency for them to go off and live in encapsulated communities and not to really assimilate. Now, obviously, people who are born of Turkish parents in Germany or Algerian parents in France learn German and French, but the communities still are -- remain very separate.
And this is a real problem for those countries because Germans have historically defined their identity by ancestry. You`re a German if you had German parents. Well, the Turks don`t have German parents. And only -- and they only now recently, in the past few years, has Germany begun to change its citizenship laws to facilitate people of Turkish ancestry born in Germany becoming full German citizens.
LAMB: Based on what you know of history, where are we headed? Where do you think we will be in -- pick the year -- 25 years from now? What will this country be?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I don`t know. That`s the reason there`s a question mark after my title. I know where I hope we will be. I hope -- I outline in the book various possibilities. One would be a society which did not have a common culture but just had the creed, would be essentially a creedal (ph) society, and -- but I have grave doubts as to whether such a society can really maintain unity. It seems to me a country has to be something more than simply a set of political principles.
LAMB: What`s in that American creed?
HUNTINGTON: Well, all the truths we hold self-evident, in terms of equality, individualism, liberty, democracy, due process of law.
LAMB: Do we deserve -- what kind of a grade do we deserve after over 200 years?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I think we deserve a pretty high grade. But as I said, I think that creed is rooted and was a product of this Anglo-Protestant culture. Now, if that disappears -- if the culture disappears, I`m not sure how long the creed will last. If we divide up into a society with many different cultures, we probably will end up with many different creeds.
LAMB: Is it a better culture if it`s a Protestant culture than if it`s a Catholic culture?
HUNTINGTON: They`re just -- they -- I think there are differences. I`m not going to say one is better than the other, obviously. I don`t think it is. But I think our culture has been a Protestant culture. And I think one can see the extent to which the Catholics coming into this country, the Catholic immigration beginning in the mid-19th century, tried to adapt to this Protestant culture in a variety of ways, and in part did it by creating their own set of schools, institutions, and so forth. But in the end, you had what one can describe, I think, as the Protestantization of Catholicism in the United States, and the Catholic -- Catholics and Catholic institutions adopted to this society. And of course, by the 20th century, Catholics are among the most nationalistic Americans. And this type of adaptation, I think, is something that one can see going on also in other societies.
LAMB: What does it mean to be Protestant?
HUNTINGTON: Well, let me take a distinction between Protestantism in the sense of religion, whether one is a Presbyterian or Episcopalian or Baptist, or so forth and so on, which is not the way I was using it in terms of talking about Anglo-Protestant culture. I was talking about a set of values and customs and beliefs which are the product of the settlers, but -- and which, obviously, are adhered to -- were adhered to by people who were Protestant. But they are also -- that`s a culture that can be absorbed and -- by a larger -- by other people. It`s not limited to Protestants. When I`ve talked about my ideas with Jewish friends and talked about Anglo-Protestant culture, they very frequently say, Oh, yes. Of course. And I`m an Anglo-Protestant Jew. And that`s very -- that`s the overwhelming case.
LAMB: Define what an Anglo is.
HUNTINGTON: Well, now wait a second. You say "Anglo."
LAMB: Yes. I mean, you say Anglo-Protestant. Just define what an Anglo is, just so that...
HUNTINGTON: Well, that reflects the British English -- primarily English heritage of this country, beginning with our language, but also our legal institutions, political institutions, the law. So many of our customs were derived from England because it was the English who came here.
LAMB: Some might be listening and saying, Well, OK, Anglo-Protestantism got us the British empire worldwide, and the way that...
HUNTINGTON: It didn`t get us. It got the British the British empire.
LAMB: Well, that`s what I mean.
LAMB: You know, got the world. I don`t mean Americans. Got the world. And is that something to be proud of?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I don`t understand. The...
LAMB: But having an empire -- I mean controlling people`s lives and telling them exactly how to live. They didn`t live in democracies.
HUNTINGTON: Of course. You know, I`m not going to -- I think it would be most unfortunate if America became an imperial country. I think the -- we look at the experience of the British empire. The British made tremendous contributions to many of the countries whom they had as colonies, like India, for instance. But that`s not something that can be sustained and shouldn`t be sustained. And I don`t think America should be -- take -- or move out into an imperial role.
Now, there`s a lot of talk recently about the American empire, and some people embrace the idea. But I think that`s something we should avoid. If we have to intervene overseas, it should be for limited purposes, and we should get out. I don`t think it`s the right thing for us to do. I think we ought to cultivate our own society, our own institutions, and not try to go off and shape in any sort of sustained way other -- the institutions in other societies.
I do think we have an interest in trying to encourage movements in other societies, to promote democracy in those societies. But I think democracy, if it`s going to come to other societies, in almost all cases, with a few exceptions, has to -- has to have indigenous sources. It`s not something you can impose from the outside.
LAMB: Before this is over, I have to ask you to tell the story -- because as a mild-mannered man sitting in front of me, I read the story about you taking on the mugger, the story of the mugger...
LAMB: ... who took you -- I mean, attacked you and your wife. How many years ago did this happen?
HUNTINGTON: Oh, that was years and years ago. I don`t -- I don`t think I could fight off a mugger now.
LAMB: What were the circumstances?
HUNTINGTON: Well, we were at a -- had been at a dinner party in Cambridge, in one of the nicest areas of Cambridge, and with one friend, we were walking back to our car. And these two young men came up, and said, Mmoney. And we -- What? What do you mean, money? We want your money. And then they attacked us. And...
LAMB: Were you surprised at your ability to fight them off?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I don`t know that we -- but I -- what -- the one -- I don`t think the important thing was physically -- these three middle-aged people physically fighting these young men was important. But what I did was to start shouting at the top of my voice, Help. Police. Help. Police. Call the police. And you saw lights go on in all the houses along the street, and people obviously called the police because the police got there in a couple minutes or so. And the -- I think our attackers realized that would happen and made off.
LAMB: What was your wife`s profession over these years?
HUNTINGTON: Well, she has been involved in -- as a staff person in politics. She worked in the mayor`s office in Boston as a special assistant to our friend, Kevin White, who for 16 years was mayor of Boston. And then she has also worked as directing programs at the Kennedy School of Government, executive programs for officials from the U.S. government and from foreign governments.
LAMB: How long do you want to teach?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I`ll continue. I have no immediate intentions of retiring. I think I probably will want to give it up at some point, and should give it up at some point.
LAMB: I know you`ve just finished this book. Do you have another book you`re working on?
HUNTINGTON: Not -- no. Not at the moment, no.
LAMB: And you`ve been -- over the years, when you write, you get criticized. I mean, you clash with people.
HUNTINGTON: That`s right.
LAMB: How do you like that?
HUNTINGTON: Well, I don`t particularly like the criticism, but as I indicated earlier, it seems to me that with several of my previous books which were heavily criticized, in the end, they came to -- to receive the recognition which they deserved and were hailed as very important works. So -- and as I said, I think that`s because what I tend to do is to try to -- is to look at things and see them somewhat differently than other people do and see things that people want to avoid.
I wrote a book called "Political Order in Changing Society" in the 1960s which said, Hey, this whole idea that modernization and development are proceeding apace in the third world countries isn`t holding up. We`re not having political development, we`re having political decay. And that book was criticized greatly when it first came out, but then in a few years, it became the most widely used back book in comparative politics courses in the United States and it was heralded as the book you had to read on that subject.
LAMB: We`re out of time. Here`s the cover of the book. "Who Are We?: The Challenge to America`s National Identity." Our guest has been Dr. Samuel P. Huntington. We thank you very much.
HUNTINGTON: Well, thank you. Delighted to be here.
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