Jihad vs. McWorld
|Jihad vs. McWorld|
|Dewey Decimal||909.82/9 21|
|LC Classification||HM201 .B37 1996|
Jihad vs. McWorld is the title of a 1992 article that was later adapted into 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" (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.
The book was based on a March 1992 article first published in The Atlantic Monthly. The book employs the basic critique of neoliberalism seen in Barber's earlier, seminal work Strong 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 his 1995 book, Jihad vs McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World, 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.