This term was made popular by Bill Clinton due to his highlighting of it in a number of speeches related to globalization, free trade and international politics. For a while it became somewhat of a household word in the mass media and can be applied to many things, including politics, community, capitalism, security and geography.
Sometimes there is contrived interdependence which is not natural. For example a dependence can be orchestrated to increase market size and create direct access to clients which then face limited alternative.
Politically, it is advantageous to create an environment of interdependence. When one’s own political interests have common ground with those of others, it becomes easier to reach one’s goals. Benefit through collective dialogue and effort by way of an environment of interdependence is one of the main goals of globalization.
International trade has already seen vast benefit from interdependence, specifically economic interdependence. Instead of each country being insular, and being it’s sole generator and consumer of goods, the world has opened up into a vast marketplace. The global market has become a place where trade is more beneficial to all parties involved.
From the security perspective, interdependence can be a tool used to pacify a political environment. The interconnection of economy, culture, language or other systems makes attacks (physical or political) less strategically valuable. Interdependence aids in the obsolescence of political competition for wealth via an air of cooperation and partnership. Pacifying via the economic dependence industrialization brings could be seen as a example of a successful use of interdependence.
Society / Community
Interdependence is related to how the people of the community are dependant on one another. For instance, in the file sharing community all users are dependant on other users sharing their files – without them the whole system would break. The selfishness of certain users – leeches – affects all other users in their ability to quickly and easily locate and download files. Hoarding in general can be detrimental to communities, artificially inflating the value of resources that may be necessary for survival.
Companies / Capitalism
In the corporate world there is a huge amount of interdependence. All companies rely on other companies, whether it be for couriering packages, renting premises, running operating systems or any of a million things. Zealots often wish for the death of companies whose practises they do not agree with – SCO, Microsoft, RIAA– members and so forth – but they often fail to understand or care about the repercussions this may have have on not only the employees of those companies, but all other companies that rely on them. Even small businesses have customer companies; those companies have employees; those employees have families – and indirectly all of these people are affected by the good or bad fortunes of that first company. Take the first company out of the equation and a domino-effect can be set up, bringing down the smaller businesses that relied on it, and negatively affecting the economy as a whole.
This is interdependence at its finest (or worst). The bottom line is that human relationships are based on trust – trust in other people and other entities, and society is a fragile house of cards. Some might say that it is better to advocate change by delicately removing cards from the top of the house rather than dislodge those at the bottom, collapsing everything. Interdependence is the key to making or breaking society.
Tobler�s First Law is that �All things are related, but nearby things are more related than distant things�. This simple, spatial analysis law has wide consequences in many fields of study. Another example, on the larger scale, is the fact that many countries have become increasingly interdependent for trade and investment.
Buddhists place a strong emphasis upon interdependence and unity.
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