MANIPAL, India, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Our new 21st century is seeing religion-based extremism and authoritarian attempts at hegemony over democratic entities emerge as the twin threats to international stability, the way Japan and Germany challenged the Western democracies in the 1930s. Deeper than politics, even economics, it is civilisational currents that are determining the likely alliances in this conflict. Each of the four broad streams now extant on the planet has its own characteristics.
These four civilisational streams are: first, Euro-Indic; second, Arabian; third, Sinic; and fourth, African. Each is further divided into tributaries. The Euro-Indic has the most offshoots,including those dominant in India, Russia, France, the Spanish Peninsula, Britain, Turkey, Iran and Germany.
Several earlier manifestations,such as the Greek and the Roman, have effectively disappeared, as have those from other streams, such as the Egyptian. Each tributary contains elements of the others, and indeed significant strands of other streams. For example, African culture has gone deep into European music and dance.
Next in importance to the Euro-Indic is the Sinic,which again is divided into tributaries based in China itself. There are at least three major variants based ton the south, north and north-west of China itself: Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Several other countries, such as Cambodia, Thailand and Laos have a fusion of the Euro-Indic with the Sinic, while Malaysia and Indonesia have evolved a separate tributary based substantially on the Euro-Indic, but incorporating elements from the Arabian.