Look Inside. Jihad vs. McWorld is a groundbreaking work, an elegant and illuminating analysis of the central conflict of our times: consumerist capitalism versus religious and tribal fundamentalism. These diametrically opposed but strangely intertwined forces are tearing apart—and bringing together—the world as we know it, undermining democracy and the nation-state on which it depends.

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Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World is a book by American political scientist Benjamin Barber , in which he puts forth a theory that describes the struggle between "McWorld" globalization and the corporate control of the political process and " Jihad " Arabic term for "struggle", here modified to mean tradition and traditional values , in the form of extreme nationalism or religious orthodoxy and theocracy.

Benjamin Barber similarly questions the impact of economic globalization as well as its problems for democracy. As neoliberal economic theory —not to be confused with social liberalism —is the force behind globalization, this critique is relevant on a much larger scale.

Unregulated market forces encounter parochial which he calls tribal forces. These tribal forces come in many varieties: religious, cultural, ethnic, regional, local, etc. As globalization imposes a culture of its own on a population, the tribal forces feel threatened and react. More than just economic, the crises that arise from these confrontations often take on a sacred quality to the tribal elements; thus Barber's use of the term "Jihad" although in the second edition, he expresses regret at having used that term.

Barber's prognosis in Jihad vs McWorld is generally negative—he concludes that neither global corporations nor traditional cultures are supportive of democracy. He further posits that McWorld could ultimately win the "struggle". He also proposes a model for small, local democratic institutions and civic engagement as the hope for an alternative to these two forces. Barber states that neither Jihad nor McWorld needs or promotes democracy. Barber argues that there are several imperatives that make up the McWorld, or the globalization of politics : a market imperative, a resource imperative, an information-technology imperative, and an ecological imperative.

Due to globalization, our market has expanded and is vulnerable to the transnational markets where free trade, easy access to banking and exchange of currency are available. With the emergence of our markets, we have come up with international laws and treaties in order to maintain stability and efficiency in the interconnected economy.

Resources are also an imperative aspect in the McWorld, where autarky seems insufficient and inefficient in presence of globalization. The information-technology of globalization has opened up communications to people all over the world, allowing us to exchange information. Also, technology is now systematically integrated into everyone's lives to the point where it "gives every person on earth access to every other person". For instance, cutting down a jungle will upset the overall oxygen balance, which affects our "global lungs".

McWorld may promote peace and prosperity, but Barber sees this as being done at the cost of independence and identity , and notes that no more social justice or equality than necessary are needed to promote efficient economic production and consumption.

Barber sees Jihad as offering solidarity and protecting identities, but at the potential cost of tolerance and stability. Barber describes the solidarity needed within the concept of Jihad as being secured through exclusion and war against outsiders.

As a result, he argues, different forms of anti-democratization can arise through anti-democratic one-party dictatorships, military juntas, or theocratic fundamentalism. Barber also describes through modern day examples what these 'players' are. Kurds, Basques, Puerto Ricans, Ossetians, East Timoreans, Quebecois, the Catholics of Northern Ireland, Catalans, Tamils, and of course, Palestinians — people with countries, inhabiting nations not their own, seeking smaller worlds within borders that will seal them off from modernity.

Barber writes democracy can be spread and secured through the world satisfying the needs of both the McWorld and Jihad. Every case is different, however "Democracy grows from the bottom up and cannot be imposed from the top down. Civil society has to be built from the inside out. The nation-state would play a diminished role, and sovereignty would lose some of its political potency.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. McWorld Cover to the paperback edition. Dewey Decimal. The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved Lechner and John Boli. The Globalization Reader. United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Categories : non-fiction books Books about foreign relations of the United States Books about globalization Books about civilizations The Atlantic magazine articles. Hidden categories: Wikipedia articles needing clarification from April Namespaces Article Talk.

Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Cover to the paperback edition.


Jihad vs. McWorld

Barber, author of the book Jihad vs. McWorld , will examine international terrorism in the second annual Polson Lecture, "Globalizing Markets? Globalizing Terror? Or Globalizing Democracy? The lecture will be at 3 p. Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall. Barber will examine how terrorism affects the United States and how "democracy rather than terrorism may become the principal victim of the battle currently being waged.


Benjamin R. Barber, Author of ‘Jihad vs. McWorld,’ Dies at 77

Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures—both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe—a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and fast food—with MTV, Macintosh, and McDonald's, pressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network: one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitantly apart AND coming reluctantly together at the very same moment. These two tendencies are sometimes visible in the same countries at the same instant: thus Yugoslavia, clamoring just recently to join the New Europe, is exploding into fragments; India is trying to live up to its reputation as the world's largest integral democracy while powerful new fundamentalist parties like the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, along with nationalist assassins, are imperiling its hard-won unity.


Benjamin R. Barber, Author, 'Jihad vs. McWorld: Democracy As an Antidote to Terrorism'

Benjamin R. He was His cause gained urgency with the rise of globalization and the growing resentment of traditional societies against the secular, consumerist values of Western capitalism. The nation-dissolving forces of information technology and global markets were on a collision course, he argued, with resurgent religious fundamentalism and parochial loyalties deriving from blood and soil. Barber told The Washington Post after the Sept.


I told you so

Rarely, as Richard Falk writes in The Great Terror War , has an event exerted such leverage on the collective imagination of a society as did the terrorist attacks of September In a few moments on that perfect late-summer morning, Americans' collective sense of security was shattered and geopolitical assumptions that had remained fixed for the better part of five decades were suddenly untethered from their Cold War moorings. A day later, on September 12, President George W. Bush vowed to fight global terrorism, and nine days after that, before a joint session of Congress, he expanded the scope of the war to include governments that harbor and support terrorists. At that moment, however, members of the Bush administration and Congress were already looking ahead to the next phase of the war — the elimination of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction WMDs. On December 11, , the House passed Joint Resolution 75, which declared Iraq's refusal to allow United Nations weapons inspectors "immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to facilities and documents covered by United Nations Security Council Resolution a mounting threat to the United States, its friends and allies," and called for the Iraqi leader to disarm or face the consequences. In an interview conducted in February, Philanthropy News Digest spoke with political scientist Benjamin Barber, author of the international best-seller Jihad vs.

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