There are numerous views on how the world is shaped. People interpret different reasons for why the world is functioning the way it currently is. The current economic, political, and social situations have arisen from a plethora of different factors, which writers such as Huntingdon, Barber, Katzenstein and Keohane, and Fukuyama have pursued the undertaking of explaining. Each of these writers views vary greatly, even though they all have lived through the same world events. It can not necessarily be inferred that one writer’s view is right and that another’s is wrong because all of them are merely stating their opinions. I, however, believe that Barber is most correct on his view of the current world status.
Barber sees the world as “McWorld” vs. “Jihad”, or rather globalization versus Lebanonization. While these two factors are nearly polar opposites, he sees them both as threats to democracy. Barber’s view of globalization deals with the MTV’s, the Nike’s, the Macintosh and the McDonalds which are commercially forming all nations into a homogenous global network, for the better or for the worse (Barber 1992, 226). He says, “The planet is falling apart and coming together at the same time” (Barber 1992, 226). Western ideas are spreading everywhere and the world is becoming more and more similar no matter where you go. Barber discusses four main imperatives of globalization, including market, resource, information-technology, and ecological. These imperatives deal with subjects like how countries are becoming dependent on each other and how there is a loss of nationalism.
On the flip-side, Barber views “Jihad” as specific cultures who are at war with not just globalization, but with the traditional nation-state (Barber 1992, 226). These people that were brought together through nationalism, but now want to become separate entities and try to escape and bring down “McWorld”. Both are a threat to democracy, for different reasons. Lebanonization is simply against everything democracy and Western culture stands for. Globalization on the other hand really has no care for the rights of the people as long as money is being made and ideas are spreading (Barber 1992, 229). I agree with Barber on most of his points, except that I don’t think globalization is undemocratic. I think many democratic ideals are what make globalization work. The main players in globalization are democratic countries, and the recipients of globalization are typically the ones that aren’t necessarily democratic and would like to become democratic in nature. I do agree with his ideas that globalization and Lebanonization are driving the world.
Huntingdon’s view on the world is one that predicates on a “clash of civilizations”. He thinks that great divisions among humankind, and that the dominating source of conflict will be culture (Huntingdon 1993, 22). He thinks that all global conflicts will be based on differences between different civilizations. Huntingdon also says the important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another, for example in the Middle East (Huntingdon 1993, 22). A catalyst to conflict is that as the world is become a smaller place due to technology, it means that interactions between peoples of different civilization are increasing, which leads to an increased possibility of conflict and war (Huntingdon 1993, 25). I do not really agree with Huntingdon because peoples within civilizations argue with each other all the time. It is really just people that do not agree with each other, not civilizations or cultures. Countries nowadays are made up of people from all different backgrounds. There are a few select groups of people who do have an “us” versus “them” mentality, including religious based cultures such as Islam, but for the most people I feel that people don’t clash, which is apparent due to globalization, where most people seem to agree on similar ideas and values, which is what makes globalization work.
Fukuyama’s world view on the other hand, is one that the world ended development after the French Revolution and democratic ideas started to take hold (Fukuyama 1989, 3-4). He thinks that democracy is the highest form of organization, and that once it started to take hold, no real big development have taken place. Fukuyama borrows many of his these views from the thinkers Hegel and Kojeve. Fukuyama also thinks that all human behavior in the material world, and hence history, is rooted in a prior state of consciousness (Fukuyama 1989, 5). Consciousness can be described in terms of religion, cultural, or moral habits. Fukuyama says “…the roots of economic behavior lie in the realm of consciousness and culture…” (Fukuyama 1989, 8). He then goes on to discuss how ideology can not truly be achieved in the world. Finally, he says only nationalism could possibly challenge liberalism, as fascism and communism have both failed (Fukuyama 1989, 10). I disagree with Fukuyama because there are still being advancements in politics today. There may have been some key ideas set forth after the French Revolution, but ideas are constantly being changed and molded. There is still a lot going on in the world.
Finally, Katzenstein and Keohane discuss the anti-American view of the world. They basically think that all world views are predicated on the rest of the world’s dislike for America (Katzenstein 2006, 205). There are ranging degrees of anti-Americanism, beginning with liberal anti-Americanism and ending with radical anti-Americanism (Katzenstein 2006, 206). The different types of anti-Americanists do not like American for varying reasons, such as because America is hands down the most powerful country; their expansion and capitalism; and their cultural and religious values (Katzenstein 2006, 208-209). I disagree with these views because I do not think that much of the world is anti-American. There are obviously some people that don’t like America, but that doesn’t mean all the world views and actions are predicated on a dislike for America. The number of allies America has far outweighs the number of enemies, and though it is the most powerful country, it does not control the rest of the world.