Benjamin Barber Quotes

Benjamin R. Barber (August 2, 1939 – April 24, 2017) was an American political theorist and author, perhaps best known for his 1995 bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld, and for 2013's If Mayors Ruled the World as well as the classic of democratic theory, 1984's Strong Democracy (revised in 2004). He became a top-level international consultant on participatory democracy as well as an adviser to Bill Clinton and Howard Dean.

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Benjamin Barber


When it comes to acid rain or oil spills or depleted fisheries or tainted groundwater or fluorocarbon propellants or radiation leaks or sexually transmitted diseases, national frontiers are simple irrelevant. Toxins don't stop for customs inspections and microbes don't carry passports. North America became a water and free-trade zone long before NAFTA loosened up the market in goods.

Benjamin Barber


Consumer sales depend on the habits and behaviors of consumers, and those who manipulate consumer markets cannot but address behavior and attitude. That is presumably the object of the multibillion-dollar global advertising industry. Tea drinkers are improbable prospects for Coke sales.

Benjamin Barber


Independence used to be the ticket for liberty. But today, security and freedom, whether it's in the Arab Spring, whether it's in Iraq or whether it's right here in the United States, means working cooperatively and interdependently with others.

Benjamin Barber


By the laws of the land, people who come looking for jobs in America are illegal. But by the laws of economics, they are following the logic and laws of economics when they leave Guatemala and go to Mexico, leave Mexico and come to the U.S., leave Africa and go to Spain and Europe looking for jobs.

Benjamin Barber


Civility is a work of the imagination, for it is through the imagination that we render others sufficiently like ourselves for them to become subjects of tolerance and respect, if not always affection.

Benjamin Barber


Injuries too well remembered cannot heal.

Benjamin Barber


Jefferson thought schools would produce free men: we prove him right by putting dropouts in jail.

Benjamin Barber


I don't divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and failures...I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.

Benjamin Barber


9/11 was a signal that we were living in a new world - a world of interdependence, a world in which people could attack the United States not from the outside, but from the inside. It was a sign that the United States, the most powerful country in the world, could watch the cathedral of capitalism at the Trade Center and the heart of its defense at the Pentagon be struck internally, not really across borders, so that borders don't matter anymore.

Benjamin Barber


The real lesson of 9/11 that I think we have still to learn is that this is a world of interdependence, in which all of the challenges of environment and climate change, of jobs, of disease, of war and terrorism, are cross-border problems that cannot be met one nation at a time.

Benjamin Barber


?I don't divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures, those who make it or those who don't. I divide the world into learners and nonlearners.?

Benjamin Barber


I divide the word into learners and nonlearners. There are people who learn, who are open to what happens around them, who listen, who hear the lessons. When they do something stupid, they don't do it again. And when they do something that works a little bit, they do it even better and harder the next time. The question to ask is not whether you are a success or a failure, but whether you are a learner or a nonlearner.

Benjamin Barber


Where once the student was taught that the unexamined life was not worth living, he is now taught that the profitably lived life is not worth examining.

Benjamin Barber


McWorld is a product of popular culture driven by expansionist commerce. Its template is American, its form style. Its goods are as much images as matériel, an aesthetic as well as a product line. It is about culture as commodity, apparel as ideology. Its symbols are Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Cadillac motorcars hoisted from the roadways, where they once represented a mode of transportation, to the marquees of global market cafés like Harley-Davidson's and the Hard Rock where they become icons of lifestyle.

Benjamin Barber


I divide the world into learners and non-learners.

Benjamin Barber