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General Paper Essay Outline : Discuss the claim that in the modern world people should care more about international than national issues.

Disclaimer : Here are just some ideas. This outline is not meant to be taken as the only or final answer to the question.
warning handle with care


To begin, national issues should generally be more important to modern world people because their own national issues will affect them directly. When there are serious domestic problems to handle, people have to show care by directing resources to solve these issues first before thinking of caring about international issues. If they do not take care about their own backyard, the progress and development of their society could be jeopardised. In addition, since the modern world is very competitive, it could very well be in the interest of other countries to see their competitors flounder or fail. With no guarantee that anyone else will help a country in times of need, it is truly up to the people of the country themselves to ensure their own internal security, stability and economy are well managed. These must take precedence over international issues. For example, in 2008, when the people of Iceland, a modern society, found their country bankrupt in the wake a larger global financial credit crisis, the response of the people was not to consider that global crisis as something that they could help alleviate (by saving their ailing banks, for instance). They had to look into their own problems of governance to sustain themselves. While this case is extreme, it does reinforce the view that modern world societies should put national interests ahead of international issues.

Next, national issues should be a greater concern for modern world people because if the care for international issues becomes overwhelming, these could affect their own society.
In developed societies with large immigrant communities, there is a constant wariness that problems in foreign lands will spill over into their country and disrupt the peace.
Eg : Australia : immigrant communities, together with supporters from among the locals, use their freedom of assembly to protest problems such as the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Syrian crisis. As passionate as they are about their cause, some may argue that their energies are better spent on solving Australia’s many on-going problems such as unemployment or falling education standards. Their greater participation in national issues actually helps them integrate, instead of import new tensions to Australian society.

Modern world people should care more for domestic affairs because the truth is, no matter how much they can learn about international issues from the internet or mass media, their knowledge of their own country would be more complete.
This means that their care and actions to help local affairs would be made based on clearer, more accurate information. The care and help they give would be more meaningful with more direct results.
Eg. : Kony 2012 scam – millions of dollars donated over an anti-child soldier viral video that turned out to show only part of the story, not the whole


Counter Pt : Notwithstanding all the above, there are many moral arguments that compel modern world people to care about international issues.
Modern societies are the cause of international problems, so they are morally obliged to help
Modern societies have the technological or financial means to help, and control of the media to raise further awareness and aid for these international issues. So it is right for them to care.
Modern world people who are citizens of superpower countries have the added burden of influencing their governments so that their leaders, who have control of international bodies, will make decisions that are for the greater good of the world.
Modern societies evolve to become even more civilised by being part of a larger global human family. So caring about international issues is actually good for their own development.

Rebuttal to Counter Pt : While the aforementioned moral claims are justified, and modern world people should indeed care, this care should still not be greater than their caring about domestic issues.
Due to time, energy and other resource constraints, even modern world people have to pick their battles wisely. Among the many international issues that they should care about, the ones that affect them should be given great attention because the international issue has actually become a national concern. Other international issues that have far less impact should be of far less concern.
Eg : No European country is in the six-party talks to end North Korea’s nuclear programme because … … Yet, Europe’s larger modern countries namely Germany and the UK have to absorb the shock of the general economic slowdown of the European Union.

In conclusion, modern world people are expected to act for the benefit of those around the world who have less of a voice. They are expected to aid, educate or create awareness, fight for equality or even stop a war. While all these efforts are necessary and noble, they should not be pursued at the expense of national interests. Poor prioritisation could lead to the destabilising of that very modern society upon which so many of the world’s hopes are pinned. Therefore modern world people should care more about national issues than international issues.



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