… is from pages 122-123 of Daniel Cohen’s odd but worthwhile 2006 book, Globalization and Its Enemies (which is the translation, by Jessica Baker, of Cohen’s 2004 book, La Mondialisation et ses ennemis):
Economic development nourishes new aspirations, just as it feeds on them. It opens new possibilities without ascribing them to a preordained agenda. The determination of those who see the march of human history toward a peaceful end is, in this regard, certainly naive, but no more so than the mechanical vision of those who obstinately believe that the conflict between civilizations is fixed in the form of an immutable past.
DBx: Put in yet a different way: economic growth and the trade that both promotes it and is promoted by it are creative. In part because it is positive-sum, and in other part because it requires that each party take into account the interests of his or her trading partners, trade also reduces the significance of cultural differences. Indeed, trade even reduces, although it doesn’t eliminate, cultural differences themselves.
In short, as long as and as far as trade is free, civilizations that might otherwise ‘clash’ violently with each other can instead cooperate peacefully and productively with each other.