Technology, Entertainment and Design also known a TED talk is a set of conferences around the globe that are owned by a privatee non-profit foundation that are formed to distribute “ideas worth spreading. ” Paddy Ashdown is one of many TED talk speakers who is currently a former member of the British Parliament and diplomat with a lifelong commitment to international cooperation. Mr. Ashdown has moved across the international stage and has served as a Royal Marine and an intelligence officer in MI6 before becoming apart of the Parlaiment.
In the year of 1988 Paddy Ashdown shifted to become the very first leader of the newly formed Liberal Democrat party. Soon after leaving the Parlaiment Mr. Ashdown served as the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country in Southeastern Europe. Paddy Ashdown expresses his opinion about the world and believes that as individuals, we are living in a moment in history where power is constantly changing in ways which it has never before. He outlines three of the major global shifts that he sees coming.
The first power shift that Mr. Ashdown saw was a lateral one. Rome and Greece had never before had a power shift that occured during the European civilation. It is slightly different now in that we are not just moving laterally from nation to nation but we are also moving verticaly. Paddy Ashdown claims that “individual nation states could not alone regulate global issues like the internet, satellite broadcasting and multinational corporations. ” He also warned that “destroyers occupy lawless space. Even if you are the most powerful nation in the world, those who reside the space can attack you at any time in any of the most iconic cities. One of the largest terroist attack called 9/11 occured in one of the most iconic cities, New York. This shook everyone and is an important event in history. Although you may live in a city or country that is safe, you are never actually safe. Anything can happen at any moment in time by one of our nations enemy. Paddy argued that our survival was dependent on the efficiency of the global governance that we build.
The UN would always be useful as a forum for debate and to legitimise international action, but governance should be done by treaty based organisations like the WTO and NATO. Paddy explained that he would never put his trust in the UN to run a Liberal Democrat Jumble sale. Not only is the power shift a vertical one, it is also shifting horizontally, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Foreign policies and military budgets are developing in other growing powers in the world. This is in fact not a shift from West to East but rather something different is occuring in our world.
It is known that the United States is the most powerful nation of the earth and will remain the most powerful for another 10-15 years. The US is now a dominant feature of our world and will stay the most powerful nation in a world that is multipolar. The world is said to look like Europe now, it is shifting and changing alliances. Europe is no longer counting on the US to be the defender of last resort and will have to work together. He went against the current lack of leadership on the European Union. Paddy claims we are reaching the beginning of an end in 400 years.
This is very scary to hear because we always think the world will continue and never end, but by hearing this from a professional it needs to be considered and might be the harsh truth. In the near future we are going to have to work together with countries that don’t share our values to deal with specific issues. As an invidivual and country we need to understand how we share with others, how we also suffer if they do. In the modern world today, because of daily use of the internet everything is connected to everything. In the past, this has never been the case.
Now we are interdependent and interlocked as nations and humans. We are also known to be intimediately locked together. An example would be, the Swine Flu in Mexico. Once the Swine Flu starts it is instantly a problem in Aberdeen the next. Another example would be the fires in the steppes of Russia then this eventually leads to food riots in Africa. This is due to our interconnected world. For a nation state to act alone is no longer heard of and no longer an available proposition and whatever affects the outside of the nation state will also affect what happens inside.
We are so dependent on other things such as imports, oil, the internet etc… This shows us that without these things in our life it would be very difficult to live our every day lives since we depend so much on these products. In order to get these things we have to have an alliance with countries to import these goods, this keep our nations connected. If someone wanted to speak to someone about the defense of one’s country, we would have to talk to the Minister of Health. The reasoning for that is because the pandemic diseases that are threatening to security.
We would also need to speak to the Minister of Agriculture because food security is a threat to our security. The security of our country depends on its soliders defense to lock together its insitutions. This tells us that our government is vertically constricted. The basis of Paddy Ashdown’s Third Law was that “In modern age, when everything is connected to everything, the most important thing about what you can do is what you can do with others. ” We share a destiny with each other and we also share a destiny with our enemies. The component that I believe is most interesting/important is Paddy Ashdown’s third power shift view.
I chose his third view on the power shift because I had never thought about the way our world is connected even the countries that are half way around the globe. The internet is definitely an excellent source of technology that keeps our world connected from nation to nation. Now with the internet we are able to contact someone via skype, email, facebook, twitter and other social networking sites. This is a very positive thing because we do not have to physically go to a country to contact them about an issue because the internet keeps all of the nations around the world connected.
I think that it is interesting that if we want to speak to someone about the defense of our country we need to speak to the Minister of Health, Minister of Agriculture etc… A point Paddy Ashdown brought up that I thought was important was how we are intimediately locked together. If there is a Swine Flu in Mexico then its a problem for Aberdeen the next. This is sort of like a domino affect that affects one country to the next. This shows how fast things can travel in the world at lighting speed through being interconnected.
Courtney from Study Moose
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