Circumstances and situations that have influenced Egyptian globalization are influenced by both religious beliefs and political strategies and impositions. Egyptian economic and cultural transitions have sustained a great deal of conflict throughout history dealing with primordial gods, individuals of noble importance, and political power. Jihad vs. McWorld (Barber, 1992), are two ideologies that diametrically oppose one another, affecting traditions, religion, communication, political, socioeconomic lifestyle, in addition to the regions geographical and demographic interrelations.
In exploring and understanding the evolution, progression, tactics, and position based on these two ideals occurring over some 3,000 years earlier, starting with ancient Egyptian religious belief, and their transformation and influence over time. Egyptians believed in polytheists (believers of multiple gods), based on natural deities such as sun, wind, fire and water, their intricate relationships and supremacy intermingled at the pharaoh’s direction, kingship and intercession and ultimately the morphology that ensued their decline. Their traditions were based on the prayers and rituals which compelled the gods to act on their behalf through magic and funerary practices (commemoration of the dead), ensuring survival in the afterlife. Epitaphs of these historical beliefs and times remained intact in Egyptian cultural beliefs and lifestyle. It influenced early globalization in technology (building of temples, monuments and pyramids), communication and education in hieroglyphics (a form of writing or telling a story through pictograms), socialization through their prayers and rituals and a political structure of a clear hierarchy from kingship and priests filtering to an ancient aristocratic structure.
The “McWorld” position on globalization is based on peace and prosperity. It’s political and economic arena are more contemporary and expansive, as the ideology is more open to transnational markets, interconnected economies, and resources than the Jihad ideology; however, many instabilities and inefficiency can result. The McWorld position also takes into account the world’s symbiotic relationship and potential shared deletrious effects.
On the contrary, the “Jihad” position on globalization is maintaining a harmonious relationship from within the nation and natural resources, and protecting tradition and traditional values from outside influence maintaining the nation’s identity.
As the rein of pharaohs declined with the appropriation of the Greek, Roman and British Empire’s, a form of Christianity called “Coptic Christianity” (meaning Egyptian Christianity), was introduced with a monotheistic viewpoint of a more collective religion of one god for all people replacing polytheism, with many of their prior religious conducts remaining intact. It was not until later with the dominion of the Arab Muslims, that the Egyptian religion and culture was imposed to an entirely new religious, political and social norms, giving rise to unfavorable global integration and interchange from the Arab nation. This is a catalyst for the Jihad vs. McWorld (Barber, 1992), ideologies.
Egyptian religion has always been integrated in its political position given how religious and governmental leaders have always been an entwined structure of political power, social norms and an important aspect and element of Egypt’s economy. Egypt being primary an import nation, its markets and trades are easily influenced and at the mercies of open markets. Unfortunately, over the years they lacked in infrastructural development which attracts international investments opening the door to large corporate entities, providing good and services from outside source and stagnating or terminating local businesses and systems. But notwithstanding the fact that the growth of trade did grow, but remained below their counterparts, and are disadvantaged with frequent price fluctuations related to some of their export trade commodities such as crude oil. High-tech technology giving rise to national telecommunication like cyber-net and social networks make it easy and inexpensive but give rise to cyber-crime, increase vulnerabilities and secular influences.
Where both ideologies have pro’s and con’s. I do not see how one will ever be dominate over the other or exist without the other. Globalization is here to stay, countries have to compete and be an integral exchange of ideas, products and culture with other nations to be harmonious and survive.
Baines, J. (2015). Egyptian religion. In Encyclopedia Britannica Online (pp. 1-14).
Barber, B. (1992). Jihad vs. mcworld. The Atlantic Monthly, 1-18.
Wassermann, M. (1992). The process of Islamization in Egypt. 1-23.