Very interesting op-ed in Al Jazeera about the need to redefine self-interest and national interest in a globalized, interconnected world. Here is a snippet:
Because interdependence exposes everyone around the world in an unprecedented way, governing global risks is humanity’s great challenge. Think of climate change; the risks of nuclear energy and proliferation; terrorist threats (qualitatively different from the dangers of conventional war); the collateral effects of political instability; the economic repercussions of financial crises; epidemics (whose risks increase with greater mobility and free trade); and sudden, media-fueled panics, such as Europe’s recent cucumber crisis.
All of these phenomena form a part of the dark side of the globalized world: contamination, contagion, instability, interconnection, turbulence, shared fragility, universal effects, and overexposure. In this respect, one might speak of the “epidemic character” of our contemporary world.
Interdependency is, in fact, mutual dependency – a shared exposure to hazards. Nothing is completely isolated, and “foreign affairs” no longer exists: everything has become national, even personal. Other people’s problems are now our problems, and we can no longer look on them with indifference, or hope to reap some personal gain from them.