What makes a Country Great?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell
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Sy Borg
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Sy Borg »

If, after the 11 September attack, the US government bled Al Qaeda of funds by focusing hard on creating renewable technologies to replace oil instead of wasting money on war, the US would have been great, and generally perceived to be. Instead they went to war to protect their oil interests and later invaded a sovereign country based on lies, just like Russia in Ukraine.

Generally speak, individuals can be great but groups of people tend to operate on a more primitive, self-interested basis. So shareholders of oil companies will never demand action to provide cleaner energy unless deemed ultimately profitable or action will prevent a company incurring serious penalties.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Tegularius wrote: June 29th, 2022, 6:29 pm ...but look at the U.S., still considered great and once indubitably so...
Really? When, and in what way?

I ask out of interest. [I have been unable to think of a single example of a great country, now, or in the past.]
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

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Sy Borg wrote: June 29th, 2022, 8:54 pm If, after the 11 September attack, the US government bled Al Qaeda of funds by focusing hard on creating renewable technologies to replace oil instead of wasting money on war, the US would have been great, and generally perceived to be. Instead they went to war to protect their oil interests and later invaded a sovereign country...
... to steal their oil interests. [Or are you referring to Afghanistan? 🫢]
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Sy Borg
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Sy Borg »

Pattern-chaser wrote: June 30th, 2022, 8:10 am
Sy Borg wrote: June 29th, 2022, 8:54 pm If, after the 11 September attack, the US government bled Al Qaeda of funds by focusing hard on creating renewable technologies to replace oil instead of wasting money on war, the US would have been great, and generally perceived to be. Instead they went to war to protect their oil interests and later invaded a sovereign country...
... to steal their oil interests. [Or are you referring to Afghanistan? 🫢]
Both. The US could have been great but they scorned the opportunity through short-sighted thinking.
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Luzephyr
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Luzephyr »

The quality of the people or ruling class, obviously. If that is wanting the country cannot be considered 'great', almost as a matter of definition.
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Chris_winW
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Chris_winW »

My take in "What makes a country to be great?" is that there is not such a thing as a great country since every country has it's own probems because the country are creted by man and man in it's own way will never be a great thing.
But that is just my opinion
popeye1945
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by popeye1945 »

Sushan wrote: June 3rd, 2022, 7:13 am America Great by Bob Dowell[/url][/i]



This author has tried to show what has made, and currently making America great. Despite America's greatness (or not) is a separate topic to discuss, this book gives rise to a much bigger question.

How can we say a country is great? What is greatness actually with regard to a country? Is it its history, current status, GDP, people, economy, politics, or something else? Or is this merely a word used to discriminate countries and their people? Or is greatness merely an illusion?
What makes a country great is in its keeping in harmony with the world community. By this standard, America is the opposite of great, and is indeed a blight upon the earth.
Good_Egg
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Good_Egg »

We can distinguish two main meanings of the word "great".

1) a synonym for large
So a country can be great in terms of being geographically large, or having lots of military might, or of making a large impact on world history

2) a term of approval
So a country can be great if it conforms with one's own tastes, or is particularly moral.

So the US is great in sense 1.

It's great if you like it there in sense 2a.

The interesting one is sense 2b. Is it a more than averagely moral country ?

To the extent that it has ideals that transcend self-interest, seeks to be a beacon of hope for the world, then yes. To the extent that it bullies other countries, and uses lip service to ideals to mask it's own self-interested meddling, then no.

The founding fathers had ideals...
"Opinions are fiercest.. ..when the evidence to support or refute them is weakest" - Druin Burch
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Sy Borg
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Sy Borg »

America wanted to be great again, as they were in the 1950s.

Russia wanted to be great again, as in the Soviet Union.

China wanted to be great again after "the century of humiliation".

If England wanted to be great again, they would hark back to the British Empire.

Hitler wanted Germany to be great again, as in before WWI, but screwed up to a gargantuan extent.

Most countries have stories of their glory days, and every now and then a politician will tap into national nostalgia and make grand claims. Then follows more of the same.

Realistically, most countries are great in a sense - grand tracts of the Earth, full of wonders and bounty. Desert lands like Greenland, Mongolia or Libya would seem far from great - but most nations have amazing resources and character.

Many nations have rich human histories, leading back for thousands of years. Some have fallen, some have risen. Consider Tunisia's place in the world. Carthage was one of the great ancient cities. Now it's a suburb of a nation falling under a corrupt dictator, with power blackouts and water shortages and struggles with food and housing.

Not everyone can become great again. Some have their time in the sun and gradually fade away.
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Tegularius »

Greatness for any country, assuming it was ever great or whatever made it great to begin with, is a temporary condition subject to corruption which may take a long time to complete based on how great it once was. Decline then becomes inevitable, along with a gradual withdrawal of respect from other countries. America is the prime example in the West of what can happen to a once acknowledged nation to one that now no one trusts or can afford to trust in spite of still striving to remain first among the main geopolitical players solely through its military power.
The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man ... Nietzsche
rahulverma
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by rahulverma »

Unless people are residents of the nation, people judge countries on five factors: morality, aesthetics, relevance, sophistication, and strength. Research shows morality as the main element that affects a nation's image in the eyes of the world.
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by A Material Girl »

rahulverma wrote: December 29th, 2023, 7:04 am Unless people are residents of the nation, people judge countries on five factors: morality, aesthetics, relevance, sophistication, and strength. Research shows morality as the main element that affects a nation's image in the eyes of the world.
Yes, this is true that scientific research clearly show morality as the main element that affects a nation's image in the eyes of the world, and I contribute to my nation's morality my individual very high religious morality: viewtopic.php?f=37&t=17171&p=452364#p452364
“We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.” — MADONNA
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The Beast
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by The Beast »

If I have a sense of property (mine, mine) then I would say that a great property is one of quality materials and a great land. It is a land of surplus foods (fertile) and it is rich in materials. So, a country maybe poor five hundred years ago and rich today due to the discovery of new materials. Basically, it is hard to find a country that was poor five hundred years ago and poorer today unless it is in Africa due to the mismanagement of the land. I could see other examples in our neck of the woods but…
Obviously. The mismanagement of resources makes a country/land poorer.
What is a great person? There is an obvious difference between people and land. Decent people do decent things. Can we conceptualize an opinion of a great person? How about knowledge, decency, fairness, and sobriety.
popeye1945
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by popeye1945 »

The colonial West has kept many countries in the Eastern Hemisphere poor by design, these countries are not poor, colonialists don't go to poor countries to get rich, only the people are poor due to colonialism and its slavery mentality. Enter a new reality, The BRICS, which says to the West enough is enough. A most unhappy West!
Amarachi Nwogo
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Re: What makes a Country Great?

Post by Amarachi Nwogo »

I think that what actually makes a country great is its standard of living. How the average people in a country lives determines how great the country is.
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