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Paid Advertisement BERNARD RAPOPORT American Income Life Insurance Company Chairman of the Board and EXECUTIVE OFFICES: P.O. BOX 2608 WACO, TEXAS 76797 817-772-3050 Chief Executive Officer an innocent immigrant in this globalized, electronic bed lam, I am always seeking guidance. My native world operated in harmony with the rhythms of Nature. The chickens and the cows came in about sundown, and the cats went out at night. The roosters crowed about sunup, and we all got up, ate natural foods for breakfast, and went to work. Now, having retired twenty-one years ago, I am a bewildered spectator as my former colleagues tinker with magic keyboards, Benjamin R. Barber’s Jihad vs. McWorld \(Times Books, likely to be marked, not by world wars, but by a long struggle chain and Coca Cola. How about some specifics? Jihad is shorthand for the tribal, parochial, narrow-minded, egomaniacal, fundamentalist types of racial, political, religious movements around the world which are eternally at war with modernityrepresented by McWorld. McWorld is shorthand for a world globalized and homogenized by non-national, transnational, multinational, consumerist, market-driven, bottom-line-driven, completely secularized multicultural agencies. What future does Barber see for nations? “The nation-state’s days are numbered.” Jihad \(including the creases their dependence on McWorld. McWorld draws nations out of their isolation and economic self-sufficiency. It makes boundaries permeablefor itself but also for Jihad. “To the CEOs of transnational corporations, no country is foreign. There is only one world and it is McWorld.” What future does Barber see for democracy? “Jihad will sacrifice patriotism, democracy and other civilized values in rebellion against modernity and in the blind effort to realize each its own destiny.” And McWorld? It has no interest in “fostering an informed, active, global, civil society without which a global democracy is impossible.” How do Jihad and McWorld view the future? The Jihad groups will always choose creationism over evolution and their grim isolationism to any larger, more diverse community. Ever faithful to the past and ever fearful of modernity, they will continue to seek “to be born again in order to be born yesterday.” In contrast, McWorld views the future as its oyster. It needs only to pursue its free-market-driven, bottom-line philosophy on “automatic pilot” to bring about the best possible world. With the end of the Cold War and the end of competition between two giant nations for power in disturbed regions, McWorld just isolates the poor investment areas and “trades around them”until they set up a stable system whether despotic or democratic. What about interaction between Jihad and McWorld? No problem. In Russia the firebrand reactionary, Zhirinovsky, owns a “Book Store for hard-rock fans” with which he subverts hopes of democracy. McWorld happily furnishes MTV and other equipment for his program. And the Catholic Church? In Western Europe the Church needs volunteers for the priesthood. So, it presents the celibate priesthood on MTV “as a kind of new, AIDS-proof form of cool.” For me, the pertinent question is from Isaiah 21:11: “Watchman, what of the night’?” For night it promises to be unless we can bring political reality into harmony with the apparently implacable progress of McVVorld. If we wish to prepare our children to live wisely and well in our emerging world, we need to teach religion as world loyaltywhich, for monotheists, should be natural. Similarly, intelligent education calls for teaching world loyalty instead of exalting narrow national loyalties or the narrower Jihad loyalties. In doing these things, we would be following McWorld which, with MTV leading the way, has already created a world in which kids from Tokyo to Texarkana to Timbuktu “have more in common with each other than with their parents.” If we are unwilling to organize and propagandize for a world of a civilized, democratic nature, we may, as one wonderful wisecrack has it, have to “choose between some local Ayatollah and Coca Cola.” MAY 23, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25