Jihad vs. McWorld: Two Opposing Forces Threatening Democracy

1. Introduction

In Jihad vs. McWorld, Benjamin Barber argues that the world is being pulled apart by two opposite but equally dangerous forces: tribalism and globalism. Tribalism is the desire for people to return to their roots, to identify with a small group of like-minded individuals, and to exclusion everyone else. Globalism, on the other hand, is the desire for people to become citizens of the world, to identify with humanity as a whole, and to homogenize culture. Both of these forces are a threat to democracy, but Barber argues that there is a way to save it: through the decentralization of confederations.

2. Jihad vs. McWorld

Jihad and McWorld are two terms coined by Barber to describe the two opposing forces at work in the world today. Jihad is a term typically associated with Islamic extremism, but Barber broadens its meaning to include all forms of tribalism. McWorld, on the other hand, is a term typically associated with globalization, but Barber argues that it goes beyond just economic globalization. It is a cultural force that seeks to homogenize the world and make everyone the same.

3. Tribalism and Globalism: Two Opposing Forces

Tribalism and globalism are two very different forces, but they share one common trait: they both threaten democracy. Tribalism does this by pitting people against each other and making them identify with their tribe above all else. Globalism does this by making people identify with humanity as a whole and erasing all differences between people. In both cases, democracy is threatened because it relies on people being able to see beyond their own group and identify with others.

4. The Threat to Democracy

The biggest threat to democracy is not tribalism or globalism, but rather the fact that they are both becoming more powerful. As Barber notes, tribalism is on the rise due to factors such as economic insecurity and the failures of government. Globalism is also on the rise due to factors such as technology and the increasing interconnectedness of the world. As these two forces become more powerful, democracy will become increasingly threatened.

5. The Solution: Decentralization of Confederations?

Barber argues that the only way to save democracy is through the decentralization of confederations. This would involve creating smaller units that are more responsive to local needs and that have more power than central governments. This would allow democracy to survive by giving people a greater sense of control over their lives and by making sure that decisions are made at the most local level possible.

6. Conclusion

In conclusion, Barber argues that the world is being pulled apart by two opposite but equally dangerous forces: tribalism and globalism. Both of these forces are a threat to democracy, but Barber argues that there is a way to save it: through the decentralization of confederations.

FAQ

Jihad is a religious duty of Muslims to spread Islam and defend against enemies of the faith.

McWorld is a term used by Barber to describe the global economy and the forces of globalization that are eroding traditional cultures and values.

The two concepts conflict with each other because Jihad calls for a return to traditional values while McWorld represents the homogenization of cultures.

Barber believes democracy is threatened by Jihad and McWorld because they both represent opposing forces that seek to undermine democratic institutions.

Solutions proposed by Barber include increased international cooperation, support for democracy, and education reform.

I agree with Barber's analysis because it highlights the dangers of both extremism and globalization in relation to democracy. However, I do not agree with all of his proposed solutions as I believe they are too simplistic and do not address the root causes of these problems.

Additional insights that can be offered include the idea that democracy is also threatened by forces within society such as economic inequality and political corruption.