Jihad Vs McWorld - A Critical Review
Professor: Bernie Gruell
Course: Political Science 100
December 10, 2009
Benjamin Barber's "Jihad Vs McWorld" may, at first glance, appear to be a satirical commentary on the transplantation of Western values in traditional societies due to its attention-grabbing title. While this would be a close guess, in reality, it is an in-depth analysis of the issues pertaining to the development of modern society and democracy in relation to the consumer-oriented and profit-driven "McWorld" that is often attributed to the West and the neo-tribalist and traditional world of "Jihad". As Barber describes, "Ã¢ÂÂ¦neither Jihad nor McWorld promises a remotely democratic future" (Barber 222).
In 1992, Benjamin Barber, a professor at Rutgers University, first published Article of the Atlantic, an article that proposed the idea of a future heavily dependent on two dialectical processes at work. These processes appear to be completely opposed to each other, but are actually very interwoven and interdependent, with the functions of each stimulating the other.
After the success of this article and the popularity that it spawned, Barber expanded on his concept in the 1995 Book, "Jihad Vs. McWorld - Terrorisms Challenge to Democracy"
In McWorld, Barber attempts to make a case for the idea that many of the problems that exist today in the world and that will exist in the future are due to
"Ã¢ÂÂ¦[A] Collision between forces of disintegral tribalism [He has] called Jihad (Islam is not the issue) and the forces of integrative modernization and aggressive economic and cultural globalization [He has] called McWorld (for which America is not solely responsible) has been brutally exacerbated by the dialectical interdependence of these two seemingly oppositional set of forces"(Barber, 14)
In the first part of the book, Barber examines the emergence of "McWorld" and its expansionist,