Benjamin R. Barber Jihad Vs McWorld

ISBN 13: 9780552151290

Jihad Vs McWorld

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9780552151290: Jihad Vs McWorld
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Designed for anyone who wants to understand the challenges facing us after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and in light of the conflict in the Middle East in 2003, "Jihad Vs McWorld" examines the conflicts of the modern world. Political scientist Benjamin R. Barber offers a penetrating analysis of the central conflict of our times: consumerist capitalism versus religious and tribal fundamentalism. These diametrically opposed but 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, 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 versus Mcworld is the term that Barber has coined to describe the powerful and paradoxical interdependence of these forces, and in this volume he explores the alarming repercussions of this potent dialectic, sketching a democratic response to terrorism.

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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.

From the Inside Flap:

s a bold lens through which to understand the chaotic events of the post-Cold War world and, in the tradition of Alvin Toffler's Future Shock and Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, explains the forces at work, why democracy is under siege, and what the consequences are for citizenship.

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Barber, Benjamin R.
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