We are approaching the last days of the innocent. The last people who can honestly say ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘I had no way of knowing’. We are coming to a singularity of sorts, but instead of a point of no return where artificial intelligence is irreversibly pushed beyond our own abilities, we will soon come to the crux of a worldwide communicating culture. In the past people were able to shun the rest of the world, staying rooted in their own issues. This is no longer going to be an option.
Nationalism is such a strong force because for thousands of years there was nothing but nationalism, nothing but your country and land and family and microculture. It’s easy to look back on the past now and see the world as a whole, how the effects of one country wrapped around the world to others and created changing winds of trade, culture and war. However at the time there was no international news, no real exchange rates or world economy that an individual could see from their house. That is not how the world works these days, while some people would love to pretend that it still does, trying to act like a country or part of the world can just shut themselves off from the rest and relax while another part of the planet burns will bring us all down in the end.
The reason we are losing the option of independence is that our problems have grown as our technology has. We no longer fight disease and poverty on the local scale, the connections we have built to aid our infrastructure in nearly every country has created a tide that pulls both ways. The necessity of international business and trade has enabled corporations to use the different (and sometimes unstable) frameworks in different countries to minimize or eliminate paying taxes, as well as using places like panama to independently avoid paying out their due. This tax avoidance and wealth hording almost seems trivial compared to the real problems we as a planet have to deal with, problems like global warming and economic collapse and worldwide pandemic.
Without a functional cooperation and communication, we will succumb to these problems very soon. We cannot sit by while another country collapses, since that will now affect our lives directly where in the past it would have been contained by our inability to travel and communicate in a worldwide capacity. When a Zika outbreak occurs in Brazil during the Olympics due to lack of proper healthcare precautions, that affects all of us. When Britain decides to withdraw from the EU because the technologically and culturally illiterate think it will save them a few bucks or make them more ‘independent’, that affects all of us. When radical religious militants take over a significant portion of several countries and execute people with abandon, that affects all of us. This is not a call to war or intervention or a worldwide government, just a statement that in this day and age, there will be virtually no one who isn’t to blame when we all can find out what is going on at the tip of our fingers, and still we claim ignorance.
This article was written by Jake Perry, a writer for dusk magazine.