Response Paper 1

Response Paper 1 McJihad is an idea coined by Benjamin Barber to describe the situation of the current oil economy. The general basis of this concept is that Barber believes that in today's world, capitalism can only operate in maximum capacity and in "critical instances" (Mitchell, pg.203), but taking some aspects of "conservative Islamic movements". The "oil curse" is the idea that the countries and/or states that produce oil are significantly more likely to experience civil wars than the other non-producing areas. Ross also mentions that there are some oil-producing states who are not susceptible to the "oil curse", such as Canada and Norway (Ross, pg. 2). Based on Ross' argument, it appears that the reason why these countries do not experience these conflicts stems from having democratic ideals and a "diversified [economy]" (Ross, pg. 2). Furthermore, he says that the countries that are faced with the "oil curse" also have "violent conflict" because they are oil rich. A U.S. based task force attempted to lessen the impact of the oil curse by finding new suppliers for oil, but this only resulted in more countries becoming affected by these problems. Based on the readings, it seems as though the oil curse has had a negative impact on essentially every aspect of the countries that are part of it. The only thing that could potentially be viewed as a positive outcome is the income received because of having an abundance of these resources. Ross argues that this
phenomenon increases conflict, which thereby negatively impacts both the politics and economics of the country.
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