9780345383044

Jihad vs. McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy

Barber, Benjamin

ISBN 10: 0345383044 / 0-345-38304-4
ISBN 13: 9780345383044
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
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.

On the one hand, consumer capitalism on the global level is rapidly dissolving the social and economic barriers between nations, transforming the world's diverse populations into a blandly uniform market. On the other hand, ethnic, religious, and racial hatreds are fragmenting the political landscape into smaller and smaller tribal units. Jihad vs. McWorld is the term that distinguished writer and political scientist Benjamin R. Barber has coined to describe the powerful and paradoxical interdependence of these forces. In this important new book, he explores the alarming repercussions of this potent dialectic for democracy.

A work of persuasive originality and penetrating insight, Jihad vs. McWorld holds up a sharp, clear lens to the dangerous chaos of the post-Cold War world. Critics and political leaders have already heralded Benjamin R. Barber's work for its bold vision and moral courage. Jihad vs. McWorld is an essential text for anyone who wants to understand our troubled present and the crisis threatening our future.

Review:
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.

Review

Review:
"An important new book."
--Newsweek
"Mr. Barber is. . . the first to put Jihad and McWorld together in an inescapable
dialectic . . . . [It] stands as a bold invitation to debate the broad contours and future of society."
--Barbara Ehrenreich
The New York Times Book Review

"COMPELLING. . . IMPRESSIVE. . . A thorough, engaging look at the current state of world affairs."
--The American Reporter
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. On the one hand, consumer capitalism on the global level is rapidly dissolving the social and economic barriers between nations, transforming the world's diverse populations into a blandly uniform market. On the other hand, ethnic, religious, and racial hatreds are fragmenting the political landscape into smaller and smaller tribal units. Jihad vs. McWorld is the term that distinguished writer and political scientist Benjamin R. Barber has coined to describe the powerful and paradoxical interdependence of these forces. In this important new book, he explores the alarming repercussions of this potent dialectic for democracy.
A work of persuasive originality and penetrating insight, Jihad vs. McWorld holds up a sharp, clear lens to the dangerous chaos of the post-Cold War world. Critics and political leaders have already heralded Benjamin R. Barber's work for its bold vision and moral courage. Jihad vs. McWorld is an essential text for anyone who wants to understand our troubled present and the crisis threatening our future.
"CHALLENGING AND INSTRUCTIVE."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"BARBER IS WELL WORTH READING. . . FOR AN INTRODUCTION TO THE REAL WORLD, LOOK AT JIHAD vs. McWORLD."
--The Nation
"STIMULATING, TARTLY WRITTEN."
--Publishers Weekly

From the Inside Flap

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 206 x 140 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Jihad vs. McWorld is an analysis of the fundamental conflict of our times: consumerist capitalism versus religious and tribal fundamentalism. Jihad vs. McWorld offers a lens through which to understand the chaotic events of the post-Cold War world. Benjamin R. Barber argues that if you look only at the business section of the daily newspaper, you would be convinced that the world was increasingly united, that borders were increasingly porous, that corporate mergers were steadily knitting the globe into a single international market. But if you focus only on the front page, you would be convinced of just the opposite: that the world was increasingly riven by fratricide, civil war, and the breakup of nations. Barber provides a single map that unites these two sides of the same coin, and convincingly demonstrates that what capitalism and fundamentalism have in common is a distaste for democracy. For both, in different ways, lay siege to the nation-state itself - heretofore the only guarantor of conditions that have permitted democracy to flourish. Democracy, Barber suggests, may well fall victim to a twin-pronged attack: by a global capitalism run rampant whose essential driving force is nihilistic, at its root destructive of traditional values as it seeks to maximize profit-taking at virtually any moral or religious or spiritual cost; and by religious, tribal, and ethnic fanatics whose various creeds are stamped by intolerance and a rage against the other. The paradox at the core of this bold book is that the tendencies of both Jihad and McWorld are at work, both visible sometimes in the same country at the same instant. Jihad pursues a bloody politics of identity, while McWorld seeks abloodless economics of profit. Belonging by default to McWorld, everyone is compelled to enroll in Jihad. But no one is any longer a citizen. And, asks Barber, without citizens, how can there be democracy?. Bookseller Inventory # BZV9780345383044

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