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Thread: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
    “We were all of us cogs in a great machine which sometimes rolled forward, nobody knew where, sometimes backwards, nobody knew why.”

    ― Ernst Toller

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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    As the thread title says:

    1) What makes a country "great"

    2) Is there a greatest country right now?

    I personally think how a country treats its own most vulnerable is more important than its military power or its GDP. I think quality of life and life experience for ordinary citizens makes a country greater than how many other countries it can defeat in battle or the historical dominance it may have once had.

    I don't think there is a greatest country right now, though there are definitely some countries at the opposite ends of the spectrum - ordinary citizens live impoverished lives where they have little chance to affect or influence the direction of their nation or where significant minorities / sectors of society live shortened lives because there is little care or support for them.
    Infinite Chaos:

    What do you mean by "Great"? Henry Fielding once wrote in the introduction to his History of the Life of Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great:

    Greatness consists of bringing all manner of mischief on mankind, and Goodness in removing it…In the histories of Alexander and Caesar, we are frequently, and indeed impertinently, reminded of their benevolence and generosity, of their clemency and kindness. When the former had with fire and sword overrun a vast empire, had destroyed the lives of an immense number of innocent wretches, had scattered ruin and desolation like a whirlwind, – we are told, as an example of his clemency, that he did not cut the throat of an old woman, and ravish her daughters, but was content with only undoing them.
    Of great men he wrote:

    When the mighty Caesar, with wonderful greatness of mind, had destroyed the liberties of his country, and with all the means of fraud and force had placed himself at the head of his equals, had corrupted and enslaved the greatest people whom the sun ever saw; we are reminded, as an evidence of his generosity, of his largesses [gifts] to his followers and tools, by whose means he had accomplished his purpose and by whose assistance he was to establish it.
    Greatness is not necessarily goodness.

    What makes a country great is economic, military and political power and the will to use those powers for promoting the country's interests at the expense of others.

    Using this definition, the Greatest country on the Earth today is the United States of America because of its economic, political and military strength and also due to the mischief and ruin its military and foreign policies has wrought on the Earth since 1945. The Soviet Union was a contender for greatness and was far more mischievous but its demise during the Cold War ended its run. China is up and coming and may eventually replace the USA as greatest country in the next 20-40 years but right now America is still top dog. China also has a long track record of mischief and ruin on an epic scale.

    Now if you want to factor goodness into greatness (which I think should never be done) then you have a much more difficult evaluation to make. Under the hybrid great/good parameter then arguments can be made for other countries which are eclipsed by pure greatness. Modern-day Switzerland, the UK, Post WWII Germany, Brazil until recently and India are in many ways both great and good. China despite its blood-soaked past and authoritarian present is a contender for the hybrid award given the number of people it has lifted out of miserable poverty but its appalling treatment of its Uighur population and its political dissidents, not to mention Tibet, may make such an award controversial.

    My preference would be either Post War Germany or the Post War UK as both have largely shed their mischievous abuses of greatness and still strive to give their people a good quality of life for the most part. If Germany turns radically to the right then that will invalidate the choice of Germany. I am also extremely suspicious of the UK surveillance and security state and the cancer of the UK's/City's financial system and off-shore trusts which could invalidate the UK from a final choice. Brazil could be in that club too but for the Bolsonaro and right-wing government which wormed their way into power illegitimately since the downfall of President Dilma Rousseff and the jailing of former President Da Silva to stop him from winning the 2018 presidential elections. India is too chaotic and is gravitating towards becoming as cruel an economic power as its former Portuguese, French and British masters were, so I don't know about India. The harmonious marriage of goodness and greatness is rare indeed, which makes the choice of a hybrid top country so difficult.

    Cheers.
    Evilroddy.
    Last edited by Evilroddy; 07-11-19 at 09:56 PM.
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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilroddy View Post
    Infinite Chaos:

    What do you mean by "Great"?
    This is an open discussion so you are free to put forward whatever concept you may support or wish to explore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilroddy View Post
    ~ Greatness is not necessarily goodness.

    What makes a country great is economic, military and political power and the will to use those powers for promoting the country's interests at the expense of others ~
    I would argue that depends on the person or authorities who argue that case. "Greatness" for a sportsperson may or may not vary from the definition of greatness for a product and again from the definition for a country. Personally, I think greatness in the modern concept for a country should include goodness. The Roman Empire could be argued to be one of the greatest (in the old sense as they did use their powers to promote and develop their own and their citizen's status and interests at the expense of vast numbers of "others".)

    So my personal definition is included in the OP.
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    Really? Wanna know how they wash their babies in Africa? They spray them with breast milk and let the goats lick them clean.
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    I'd have MORE respect for Starbucks if they would just own up to their own policy of booting non-paying black customers

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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    As the thread title says:

    1) What makes a country "great"

    2) Is there a greatest country right now?

    I personally think how a country treats its own most vulnerable is more important than its military power or its GDP. I think quality of life and life experience for ordinary citizens makes a country greater than how many other countries it can defeat in battle or the historical dominance it may have once had.

    I don't think there is a greatest country right now, though there are definitely some countries at the opposite ends of the spectrum - ordinary citizens live impoverished lives where they have little chance to affect or influence the direction of their nation or where significant minorities / sectors of society live shortened lives because there is little care or support for them.
    I know what has made America great.

    The individualist ideology set forth in the US Constitution. The exact opposite of Collectivism promulgated by Socialism.

    Ruggerad Individualism harnesses peoples desires to achieve while Collectivism make most apathetic.

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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casca XV View Post
    I know what has made America great.

    The individualist ideology set forth in the US Constitution. The exact opposite of Collectivism promulgated by Socialism.

    Ruggerad Individualism harnesses peoples desires to achieve while Collectivism make most apathetic.
    As you ignore one of the greatest opening lines of any document....

    "We the People....."


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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Valley View Post
    As you ignore one of the greatest opening lines of any document....

    "We the People....."
    Should have said "We the White landowners over 32"

    Sent from my Honor 8X using Tapatalk
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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Should have said "We the White landowners over 32"

    Sent from my Honor 8X using Tapatalk
    True but the meaning has (by accident) changed and developed. I take a huge pinch of salt where anyone claims the forefathers foresaw a multiracial society / multi ethnic equal opportunity society and wrote those lines with whites / blacks and American natives in mind.
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckiechan View Post
    Really? Wanna know how they wash their babies in Africa? They spray them with breast milk and let the goats lick them clean.
    Quote Originally Posted by trixare4kids View Post
    I'd have MORE respect for Starbucks if they would just own up to their own policy of booting non-paying black customers

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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    True but the meaning has (by accident) changed and developed. I take a huge pinch of salt where anyone claims the forefathers foresaw a multiracial society / multi ethnic equal opportunity society and wrote those lines with whites / blacks and American natives in mind.
    The forefathers were white racist sexist pigs.. like everyone from Europe was at the time. The only defence is "everyone was like that" but what pisses me off is the whitewashing of history to make these forefathers more than they were. Accept their faults and accept that today it is not accepted because **** changes.
    PeteEU

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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Lol. You can always count on Pete to bash the US.

    As consistent as Fagan, but with that special tone of entitlement that only a European can conjure.


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    Re: What makes a country "great" and is there a "greatest country" right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Valley View Post
    Lol. You can always count on Pete to bash the US.

    As consistent as Fagan, but with that special tone of entitlement that only a European can conjure.
    So telling the truth about society in the 1700s is now bashing the US? Grow up.
    PeteEU

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