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“Jihad Versus Mcworld” by Benjamen Barber: Tribalism and Globalism Threat to Democracy Essay

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Updated: Jan 3rd, 2022

Introduction

In Jihad Versus McWorld, Benjamen Barber states that tribalism and globalism are oppositional in every way, but that both threaten democracy. Tribalism separates all factions into tribes in the name of narrow-minded principles. The other drives them together into one homogenous group using lures like fast food, computers, and music. In some countries, like Yugoslavia and India, both of these are at work. The dissolute Soviet Union states are banding together with each other or other countries. The forces of Jihad and the forces of McWorld are fighting for sovereignty and neither supports democracy.

Main body

With four imperatives, Barber says that McWorld has won many victories over nationalism: market resource information-technology ecological imperatives. The market imperative offers transnational markets useful free trade factors. Multinational or Omni-national organizations erode national sovereignty. Markets are functionalists, seeking only efficiency. The fast depletion of national resources pushes interdependence among states. Technology drives the seeking of open communication, common language adoption, collaboration, information exchange, and rationality, but may be controlled by power mongers. Technical convergence can potentially interconnect every human being in the world, and science requires open societies within which to flourish. The allure of branding pulls people together. However, this commercial global community is not as democratic as it is manipulative and material-driven, and the greater awareness of ecological problems widens the gap between rich and poor nations, while market forces homogenize cultures.

Sectarian forces are working against McWorld with equal fervor as small cultural factions fight globalization and create wars everywhere to defend their identities. Nations are breaking into ever smaller parts. The main players are ethnic minorities which hate all others as religious fanatics drive people to small intolerant fundamentalist groups. It is not one Jihad, but many, like a huge international gang war in Barber’s opinion.

Neither Jihad nor MacWorld needs or promotes democratic rule. Globalization can deliver peace, prosperity, and relative unity at the cost of individuality and choice. Money, markets, and monopolies bulldoze everything in their paths. Jihad delivers local identity, community, and solidarity at the cost of individual freedom and choice and to the exclusion of all others. It is fundamentally anti-democratic and tribal.

Conclusion

It is the decentralization of confederations that may save democracy, according to Barber. Each member of any confederation can opt for its type of rule locally, preserving tribalism where citizens want and local democratic rule as well. However, this takes so much concerted effort to effect that it may be a pipe dream.

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"“Jihad Versus Mcworld” by Benjamen Barber: Tribalism and Globalism Threat to Democracy." IvyPanda, 3 Jan. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/jihad-versus-mcworld-by-benjamen-barber-tribalism-and-globalism-threat-to-democracy/.

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IvyPanda. "“Jihad Versus Mcworld” by Benjamen Barber: Tribalism and Globalism Threat to Democracy." January 3, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/jihad-versus-mcworld-by-benjamen-barber-tribalism-and-globalism-threat-to-democracy/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "“Jihad Versus Mcworld” by Benjamen Barber: Tribalism and Globalism Threat to Democracy." January 3, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/jihad-versus-mcworld-by-benjamen-barber-tribalism-and-globalism-threat-to-democracy/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) '“Jihad Versus Mcworld” by Benjamen Barber: Tribalism and Globalism Threat to Democracy'. 3 January.

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