If Mayors Ruled the World
Read preliminary interviews and presentations here:
12/23/12: Benjamin Barber was interviewed by Henry Kippen for The RSA Journal in “Can Cities Save Us?”
10/13/12: Benjamin Barber gave the talk “If Mayors Ruled the World” at TEDxDumbo in Brooklyn, NY.
9/28/12: Benjamin Barber gave the lecture “If Mayors Ruled the World?” at the European Forum for New Ideas in Sopot, Poland.
6/13/12: Benjamin Barber was interviewed by Richard Florida for The Atlantic Cities in “What if Mayors Ruled the World”.
6/5/12: Benjamin Barber gave the seminar “If Mayors Ruled the World” at the Long Now Foundation
in San Francisco, CA.
1/25/12: Benjamin Barber gave the address “If Mayors Ruled the World” at the London School of Economics. A summary and response by Parag Khanna is available here.
||Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole
Barber offers a vivid portrait of an overproducing global economy that targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers and where the primary goal is no longer to manufacture goods but needs. To explain how and why this has come about, Barber brings together extensive empirical research with an original theoretical framework for understanding our contemporary predicament. He asserts that in place of the Protestant ethic once associated with capitalism—encouraging self-restraint, preparing for the future, protecting and self-sacrificing for children and community, and other characteristics of adulthood—we are constantly being seduced into an “infantilist” ethic of consumption.
||Fear’s Empire: War, Terrorism, and Democracy in an Age of Interdependence
Barber examines the controversial issues that underlie both the Cold War theory of containment and deterrence and the dilemmas faced by America today. He argues forcefully against unilateralism, nuclear deterrence, and reliance on military solutions. And he inveighs against the tendency of recent administrations to confuse the spread of McWorld —that seductive blend of free-market ideology and American brands—with the spread of democracy.Barber argues for an America that promotes cooperation, multilateralism, international law, and pooled sovereignty. For as law and citizenship alone secure liberty within nations, law and citizenship alone can secure liberty among them, freeing them from fear.
||Jihad VS. McWorld: Terrorism’s Challenge to Democracy
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. McWorld tied together by technology, ecology, communications, and commerce.