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Benjamin R. Barber

Professor of political science at Rutgers University, co-author (with Patrick Watson) of the CBC/PBS series The Struggle for Democracy, darling of humanist liberals and anti-globalization leftists, author of over a dozen books including Strong Democracy (1984) and Jihad vs. McWorld (1995)

It is in the nature of democracy that it is a process, not an end, to an ongoing experiment, not a set of fixed doctrines. Its ideals, unless we repossess them generation to generation, become little different from any other ideology. The open society means a society without closure. A society open to challenge and criticism. When a nation announces the "work of democracy is finished," it's usually democracy that is finished.

May 1997 - from "The four myths of democracy", published in journal by Civitas International
Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures -- both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe -- a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. The second is being borne in on us by the onrush of economic and ecological forces that demand integration and uniformity and that mesmerize the world with fast music, fast computers, and fast food -- with MTV, Macintosh, and McDonald's, pressing nations into one commercially homogenous global network: one McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce. The planet is falling precipitantly apart and coming reluctantly together at the very same moment.

Mar. 1992 - from "Jihad vs. McWorld", published by The Atlantic Monthly