Does Barber see the world as coming together or falling apart? In examining the implications of Barber's arguments, which view is more convincing?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Barber's work sees the world as needing to find a different answer than the one posed by the paradigms of Jihad and McWorld.  Barber sees the relentless homogeneity of the latter and the fierce Balkanization offered in the former justifies all concerned citizens to seek another path.  For Barber, he sees the world as simultaneously coming together and falling apart.  The "stiff winds" of Jihad blow with the same force as the "inevitability of McWorld."  Barber sees the world as being poised between both paradigms and having to accept the responsibility for finding a new path or an alternative direction.

In terms of convincing, it is difficult to assess the full force of Barber's arguments in a post- September 11 world.  The attacks of September 11 and those that have followed in different parts of the world have done much to generate a large level of repulsion towards Jihad.  Perhaps, this means that McWorld has "won" to a great extent.  Yet, the Balkanization of ideology that Barber suggests is intrinsic to Jihad has lost much in way of steam.  A large contingent of the world rejects Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  While there are still strongholds of both elements present, the reality is that most of the world has come over to the Globalization side, one in which social media and technological advancement have become essential.  McWorld has become replaced with Twitter and Facebook, and in the process, one has seen a decline in Jihad.  Barber's work in the mid 1990s can be revisited in a variety of ways after the Attacks of September 11 and the "global war on terror."  As a result, one can argue that globalization and the promise of economic wealth have done much to move the world closer together in embracing similar ideologies. 

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