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CMNS 348: Week 2 Presentation

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Brittany Lee

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of CMNS 348: Week 2 Presentation

CMNS 348: Week 2 Presentation
Barber: "Jihad vs. McWorld"
Four imperatives:
market imperative
resource imperative
information-technology imperative
ecological imperative

Together, these imperatives shrink the world and diminish national borders

"Universal rational society" realized but in a form that is incomplete -- forces of McWorld in competition with forces of Jihad

McWorld: The globalization of politics
Jihad: ineffective reactors to the world's real actors: national states and subnational factions in permanent rebellion against uniformity and integration

Aim to redraw boundaries, implode states, and resecure parochial identities

"War not as an instrument of policy but as an emblem of identity, an expression of community, an end in itself" (p. 32)
Jihad: The Lebanonization of the world
delivers peace, prosperity, and unity at cost of independence, community, identity
primary political values of order, tranquility, and freedom -- "free trade", "free press", "free love"
human rights but not citizenship or participation
social justice and equality but only to promote efficient economic production and consumption

Jihad vs. McWorld
Problems with Jihad and McWorld
Barber asks:
"How can democracy be secured and spread in a world whose primary tendencies are at best indifferent to it (McWorld) and at worst deeply antithetical to it (Jihad)?"
vibrant local identity, sense of community and solidarity... but also parochialism and exclusion
solidarity secured through war; also means obedience to hierarchy in governance, fanaticism in beliefs, and the obliteration of individual selves in the name of group
deference to leaders and intolerance toward outsiders

retribalization of humankind by war and bloodshed
"Jihad" meaning "struggle"; usually the struggle of the soul to avert evil. Ex) religious war

world integration and uniformity caused by the onrush of economic and ecological forces. Ex) "fast music, fast computers, fast food"

According to Barber, Jihad and McWorld "operate with equal strength in opposite directions, the one driven by parochial hatreds, the other by universalizing markets, the one re-creating ancient subnational and ethnic borders from within, the other making national borders porous from without" (p. 29).
Introduction to "Jihad vs. McWorld"
Barber argues that globalization will vanquish retribalization. Although that still leaves the possibility of a McWorld, Barber argues that
representative government
can combat the threat of global homogenization. He emphasizes the need for
participatory democracy
, or what he calls "strong democracy", involving citizens to actively engage in civic politics.

He envisions: "A confederal union of semi-autonomous communities smaller than nation-states, tied together into regional economic associations and markets larger than nation-states -- participatory and self-determining in local matters at the bottom, representative and accountable at the top. The nation state would play a diminished role, and sovereignty would lose some of its political potency" (p. 36).

The Confederal Option
1. According to Barber, "the planet is falling precipitantly apart and coming reluctantly together at the very same moment" (p. 28). What does the author mean by this?
Do you agree with the statement?

2. Do you believe that the threat of a "McWorld" will ever come into full existence? Why or why not? Conversely, could Jihad ever be successfully realized?
Discussion Questions
Barber argues that both concepts are antipolitical, that is, neither Jihad nor McWorld promote democracy

McWorld as "antipolitics of globalism" -- focused on the administration of things, with people among the chief things to be administered

Jihad as "antipolitics of tribalization" -- empowers an individual to rule on behalf of a people
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