Global Interdependence for all?

Ethics – A system of moral principles that branch off philosophy. Dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and the goodness and badness of other motives and ends of such actions. [1]

Global connectivity has undoubtedly made the world a better place. People can exchange goods without the need for cash. Conversations can occur between two people from different ends of the planet. The growth of the internet means that we bared witness to the greatest skydive known to man.[2] Irrespective of all the benefits, too much of a good thing is always bad and the rise of global interdependency has given rise to some social-economic problems.

How can we exist in a world where the richest 85 people own more of the world’s wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion? [3] How can we exist in a world where more than 2 billion people live below the poverty line? [4] How can we exist in a world, where, we as First World citizens publicly endorse the exploitation of a less developed countries natural materials and labour?

Clearly something has to be done and there is!

Companies love to be socially responsible. (Refer back to my previous blog titled ‘LinkedIn and Out’ for an understanding!) Not only does this raise a companies profile but good publicity is better than no publicity and most companies are willing to jump on the bandwagon.  Lets take Shell; a recent article I read, highlighted the following:

‘Shell is a multinational corporation that for 50 years has been intimately involved in Nigeria’s economy, politics and overall development. The company brings reliable lighting and electric power to people and small businesses who’ve never known it before, creating thousands of jobs and educating and training thousands in the process. The company has spent millions working with NGOs and community development organizations to strengthen education and health care, provide vocational training and establish protected nature reserves. Shell generates billions of dollars in export earnings while providing the federal government with half or more of its revenue’.[5]

This reads well for the company but further research led me to discover:

Oil giant Shell has admitted it inadvertently fed conflict, poverty and corruption through its oil activities in Nigeria’. [6]

Thus regardless of the benefits presented to Nigerian’s society This gives rise to ethical issues such as the problem that is corruption. Here is a video showing just how bad the problem of corruption really is in our world: [7]

One messaged that was stressed throughout the video was that we as developed nations have only ourselves to blame. The more we demand cheap items of clothing, the more Primark will exploit its workers. [8] The more oil we consume, the more Shell and corrupt African officials will do to exploit it’s countries natural oil reserves. On a personal level, I rejected an elephant ride when I was in Ghana. Having seen countless documentaries on the way these animals were treated, I did not want to create demand for something that we perceive to be so frowned upon. In the wider picture of Global Interdependence, we perceive it to be good (and it is) but we (our society) aren’t made publicly aware about the dangers corruption brings with it.

Given the choice, obviously Global Interdependence is best for all. The benefits associated with Foreign Direct Investment into Less Developed Nations outweigh the ethical disadvantages of Poverty, Income Inequality and Corruption that come with it. The argument that without these Non-Governmental Organisation’s help and expertise, they wouldn’t be able to transcend from a developing to developed nation, is certainly a strong one. Only time will tell.

Hoping my readers appreciate the Economic perspective I’ve taken with this blog! And as always, if there is something you do not understand or think I have wrong, ask! This #UOSM2033 module is a learning expeirence for me.. I want my opinions to mature!



[1] Definition of Ethics : [Date Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[2] Skydiver Baumgartner sets YouTube live view record : %5BDate Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[3] Widening wealth gap, Nigel Morris : %5BDate Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[4] Poverty Line : [Date Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[5] Shell – A Socially responsible company, Andrew Burger : %5BDate Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[6] Shell admits fuelling corruption : [Date Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[7] Meet global corruption’s hidden players, Charmian Gooch : %5BDate Accessed: 23/11/2014]

[8] Primark exploiting its workers, Navdip Dhariwal : %5BDate Accessed: 23/11/2014]

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