Review: Jihad vs. McWorld–How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World

4 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Terrorism & Jihad, Threats (Emerging & Perennial)

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4.0 out of 5 stars Jihad and Cultural Creatives versus McWorld and Davos,

September 24, 2001
Benjamin Barber
Others have written good summaries of this book, so I will focus on bringing out one key point and recommending two other books.

The heart of this book, in my opinion, is on page 210 where the author carefully distinguishes between the Jihad's opposition to McWorld consumerism and development patterns, as opposed to democracy or other political notions.
All groups have their extremists and lunatics, and all groups have their bureaucracies and overly-rigid institutionalizations of past preferences. The one needs to be stamped out, and the other radically reformed–no matter what beliefs you aspire to.
Where I see the vitality and promise of this generation is in the possible energizing of the publics of many nations, including the nations of Islam, and public engagement of the core question of our time: what changes must we make in our corporate and consumerist behavior in order to, at once, establish both a sustainable model for the quality of life and choice we aspire to, while simultaneously establishing new forms of regional political and cultural accommodations that respect very strongly held beliefs?
There are two books that bracket this one in interesting ways. The first, readily identified from top-notch reviews such as appear in the Los Angeles Times, is Chalmers Johnson book, “BLOWBACK: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire”. The second, less readily perceived, is Howard Bloom's “GLOBAL BRAIN: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century.” ]

In a nut-shell, then, we are engaged in three world wars right now: one between cultures that cannot talk to one another because the necessary portions of the brain have been literally killed in the course of intra-cultural development; one between the political and economic manifestation of our respective cultures, between a politics subservient to corporations on the one side and a politics terrified of the religious zealot individuals on the other side; and a third war, the most important, the war that has not really started yet, between individuals and corporations over campaign finance reform and the consequent outcomes that can be managed with respect to politcal economy and political education.
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