How Globalism & Tribalism Are Reshaping the World
As soon as you hear the conceit of this book--that there are two great opposing forces at work in the world today, border-crossing capitalism and splintering factionalism, and that they are the two biggest threats to democracy--you know it rings true enough to be worth reading. Although capitalism could have only grown tHow Globalism & Tribalism Are Reshaping the World
As soon as you hear the conceit of this book--that there are two great opposing forces at work in the world today, border-crossing capitalism and splintering factionalism, and that they are the two biggest threats to democracy--you know it rings true enough to be worth reading. Although capitalism could have only grown to current levels in the soil of democracies, Benjamin Barber argues that global capitalism now tends to work against the very concept of citizenship, of people thinking for themselves and with their neighbors. Too often now, how we think is the product of a transnational corporation (increasingly, a media corporation) with headquarters elsewhere. And although self-determination is one of the most fundamental of democratic principles, unchecked it has lead to a tribalism (think Bosnia, think Rwanda) in which virtually no one besides the local power elite gets a fair shake. The antidote, Barber concludes, is to work everywhere to resuscitate the non-governmental, non-business spaces in life--he calls them "civic spaces" (such as the village green, voluntary associations of every sort, churches, community schools)--where true citizenship thrives....more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 30th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1995)
"Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World" by Benjamin Barber (1995) describes two mutually opposing historical forces that together threaten modern democracy. Both Jihad and "McWorld" are the result of neoliberal economy which creates pressure of identity and community. In "Jihad vs. McWorld" Berber holds that these forces cannot be avoided. He therefore proposes a way (he calls the confederal option) to satisfy them both while still keeping the freedom democracy has to offer.
On the one hand of Barber's "Jihad vs. McWorld " stands the Islamic Jihad (literally: struggle) which offers strong social connections and a sense of identity at the cost of a closed off and intolerant society. Jihad according to Barber relies on a holy war waged against and external threat (modern democracy and globalization). This type of fundamentalism can lead to various types of non-democratic forms of government. Jihad, according to Barber, seeks to retribalize the world into mutually exclusive sects.
On the other hand of the equation we have "McWorld" which is a form of non-democratic corporate globalization. "McWorld" is a force that breaks down any form of boarder between cultures and regions. Its ideology is opposed to the tribalizing Jihad, Open markets and modern communication technology play and important part in "McWorld". This is a much safer and economically rewarding option compared to what Jihad has to offer, but "McWorld" also has its costs such as limiting people's freedom.