DailyPost 719


“Global problems need global answers,” says Yuval Noah Harari in his recent book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. This thought is not path breaking but finds immense relevance in a world moving towards nationalism only menu. The fact is over a period of time the whole of mankind has become one civilization. In the process we share global challenges and also get a chance to partake the opportunities which emanate out of it. Nonetheless, with Trump being the mascot, we see a clear cut visible trend of large number of nations moving toward a “nationalistic isolation” destination.

Given the complexities of the modern day world and interdependence it has created it is very difficult to fathom whether so to say return to nationalism can offer real solutions or it is an escapist indulgence without giving a serious thought as to where and how nations are positioned today. It is very likely that this format of nationalism, when the world is already enmeshed in globalism, at the very best may doom humankind. Unfortunately, the disaster might not be limited to one or a few nations. This is not to deny the fact that national and sub-national issues ought to be solved at that level itself.

As per Yuval Harari, the global issues are the nuclear, the ecological and the technological challenges. Coming straight to the third one, it is technological disruption. The scenarios are both mind boggling and of doomsday prophecy but myopic nationalist lens does not allow us to view this. The merger of infotech and biotech, from a very empirical stance, has the potential ranging “from digital dictatorships to the creation of a global useless class.” Undeniably, there is no nationalist answer. Disruptive technologies have to be regulated.

The fate of data, citizens being stripped of it, the hacking of US democratic process, the Brexit imbroglio are a clear indicator of the times we are in. Future is bound to be more hard hitting given the nature of disruptive technologies validated and already unleashed. Strategy has to be global and in unison. “If humankind fails to devise and administer globally accepted ethical guidelines, it will be open season for Dr. Frankenstein.”


Sanjay Sahay

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