What do Mexico's Zapatistas, the French National Front, Slow Food, rave subculture, and al-Qaeda all have in common? From right-wing to left-wing to no-wing, they all proudly proclaim their mission to defend their distinctive identities against modernity's homogenizing processes. This controversial book establishes fundamental similarities between anti-globalization "aurora" movements that aim to destroy the modern world and bring a radiant new dawn to humankind.
While these groups often despise one another, they nonetheless share many fundamental characteristics, goals, and attitudes. Drawing on the original writings and actions of various anti-globalist groups, the authors reveal a common tendency toward charismatic leadership, good versus evil worldviews, the quest for authentic identity, concern with ritual, and unbending demands for total commitment. These movements, however they pursue world transformation and personal transcendence, are a prominent and continuing aspect of our present condition. This book is a strong reminder that, no matter what the cause, revolution is not a thing of the past and the fervent search for another world continues.
About the authors
Charles Lindholm is University Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. He is the author of seven books, including Culture and Authenticity (2008) and Is America Breaking Apart? (1999). His original fieldwork was in Swat, Northern Pakistan.
José Pedro Zúquete is a researcher in political science at the Social Sciences Institute, in Lisbon, and a research associate of the Globalism Research Center, at RMIT University, in Melbourne. His research focuses on comparative politics, leadership studies and globalization studies. He is the author of Missionary Politics in Contemporary Europe (2007).
"In an unusual and innovative analysis of radical social movements, Lindholm and Zúquete discuss a remarkable range of modern movements as oppositional to the homogenising processes of Western liberal market modernity... the discussion of the different movements is conducted with very impressive referencing coupled with a sustained process of letting the leaders of the movements speak for themselves. Multiple quotations in almost every case are blended into an intelligent analysis of the origins and purposes of the movements, and this alone gives the book substantial value."
—Paul Rogers, Bradford University, RUSI Journal
"In the vast literature on globalization and its various antiglobalist movements, Charles Lindholm's and José Pedro Zúquete's The Struggle for the World is the first to look beyond the specific political designations of these different antiglobalist tendencies to emphasize the common redemptive, identitarian, and populist character they share."
—Michael O'Meara, Occidental Observer
"A powerful, challenging book exploring global movements against political oppression and cultural destruction, it offers a wide-ranging critical analysis of the McDonaldization of everything. Against these alter-globalization movements and their charismatic leaders, Lindholm and Zuquete remain skeptical towards any immediate eruption of a post-global, post-modern Paradise."
—Bryan S. Turner, Wellesley College
"From alter-globalization to the New Right to Jihadism, this timely book demonstrates that world-transforming movements, thought to have disappeared after the decline of the Left in the late 70s, have reappeared in different forms. As the first of its kind to assemble major contemporary 'global' movements in one place, this book will definitely prove crucial reading for anyone interested in the dynamics of social movements today."
—Jonathan Friedman, University of California, San Diego
"The Struggle for the World is excellent. Lindholm and Zúquete deal with an issue of the age from a novel angle and with interesting cases. For all their similarities, the movements in question are different, and this difference is part of the pleasure and interest of the book. I have no doubt this superbly written work will garner considerable attention."
—John A. Hall, McGill University
"The Struggle for the World offers a creative look at the many social and political movements that share apocalyptic understandings of globalizing capitalism. In their analysis of the rhetoric and actions of the movements themselves, Lindholm and Zuquete creatively and subtly demonstrate the complexity of these movements' own ideas and provide a keen insight into the alternative narratives, rituals, and broad cultural goals the movements have proposed as solutions to the perceived evils of contemporary globalization."
—Marc Howard Ross, Bryn Mawr College
"The Struggle for the World is an ambitious, transdisciplinary study that succeeds admirably in illuminating the political, ideational, and spiritual dynamics involving the major opponents of market globalism. Lindholm and Zúquete make a convincing case that these alter-globalization movements on both the Left and Right have begun to articulate the rising global imaginary in powerful grand narratives. A vital addition to the growing literature in global studies!"
—Manfred B. Steger, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology