U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > World
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-30-2007, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 13,917,456 times
Reputation: 6875

Advertisements

One can often hear the phrase "Greatest Nation".
Having heard this for decades I have often wondered what is behind this phrase. I am interested in any and all comments.
Any nation can call itself the greatest, that's easy.
But first, see if you can follow this:
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the greatest football team.
Is it true? Probably not. For anyone to make such a claim about the Steelers would have to be very well informed about the strengths/weaknesses of all the other teams. That would be an informed evaluation.
Would you seriously consider that claim from Steelers fan who doesn't have a clue about the other teams?
Many Americans refer to America as the greatest nation. But none elaborate on why they think so. It's merely a nice sounding slogan to shout.
What I would like to know is what are the factors (without using proper nouns) that make a nation a great nation.
Is a mighty military the sign of a great nation? Prior to World War 2 Hitler's military was the most disciplined, well trained and equipped fighting force the world had seen. But did that make his Germany a great nation? During that era the Germans proudly waved their swastika flags and greeted Hitler with joy. While, at the same time, the Gestapo was collecting data on all Germans who opposed the regime. Is that a great nation?
So what are the factors that contribute to the making of a great nation? Is it the people? If so, please don't mention names, but describe what kind of people. Please don't simplify by saying "good people" or "hard working working people" or something similar. I'd like to hear something which has been thought out and evaluated. Something with substance. Things such as progress, advancement of civilization, enhancing the quality of life, generosity, being fair, willing to compromise, teamwork with other nations to accomplish common goals, honesty, ect. Add whatever you like.

Here's the part about the Steelers fan. Do you think Americans know enough about other countries to make a realistic evaluation of themselves?
For example, many Americans hate France, but do you think these same people could find France on a map, or tell you more than two factual sentences about France? Or any country, for that matter.
Is America the greatest nation because all others are inferior? Do you think that all others should feel shame for who they are? Would you say that America is the greatest because everyone else is an evil idiot?
When you look at other nations do you look down on them? Do you look for the things that are wrong with them? Would you talk down to them? Do you think they should apologize for being who they are? If someone from another country wanted to tell you something, would you listen or tell that person to shut up? Do you think that the customs or lifestyles of other cultures should be ridiculed?
Do you think that throwing dirt on others is a trait of greatness?
Enough from me, now it's your turn.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-30-2007, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Hell
606 posts, read 504,469 times
Reputation: 85
All countries are created equal
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 11:40 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,152,921 times
Reputation: 1784
Personally, I think it is incredibly arrogant for anyone to refer to a country as the "greatest on Earth". There are simply far too many factors to take into account, and unless one has lived in every single one of the countries on Earth, such a catch all pronouncement is purely speculative. I cringe whenever I hear politicians in this country say such a thing, not because patriotism is bad, but because doing so is basically pandering and attempting to sidle up to an easily influenced uneducated slice of American voters who are easily swayed by slogans. It's taking advantage of their own stupidity, stupidity that our "USA, IS #1!" culture helped create.

The fact is, yes there was a point where it could be safely said that the US was a country better to live in than most. I would venture to say that even as recently as 30 years ago, the US was a pretty great country to live in. I'm not saying it's not now, but my argument is rather that so are many other countries now. The US is no longer the only country offering freedom of speech, freedom of the press, women's rights, free primary education, freedom of religion, etc. These rights are now the NORM of Western nations and many nations go even further. I think it's of course obvious in certain situations that one country lags far behind another in terms of wealth, opportunities and rights. It's not exactly a big leap to say that the U.S. is better than Iran. However, we are not without our problems. We have insane crime rates unheard of in the Western world, one in six Americans does not have any health insurance, the least amount of vacation time of anynation, our media is increasingly ruled by biased conglomerates, we have a massive problem with obesity a stubbornly high for a developed nation rate of infant mortality and of illiteracy, and our children routinely lag far behind the rest of the world in knowledge of science, math and geography. Not to mention, look at who is in charge of this country....

So, I don't think that one can label any country as the greatest country on Earth as there are just too many different factors to take into account. New Zealand comes pretty damn close though .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2007, 11:50 AM
 
2,058 posts, read 4,311,699 times
Reputation: 1827
Any nation that:

- Listens to the will of the people
- Takes good care of its pepole
- Does not subscribe to imperialism
- Minds its own business
- Does not try to subvert other countries
- Does not believe in or participate in the meddlng into the internal political, economic and scocial affairs of its neighbors or other nations

Now, these are great nations, to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2007, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,243,252 times
Reputation: 903
The United States of America

I suppose that makes me arrogant, but none can compare to the USA, even with all her faults. Now let's get to work fixing the problems we do have :-)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2007, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Longueuil, Quebec/Brooklyn, NY
59 posts, read 133,541 times
Reputation: 63
I used to live in the US (from 1997-2004) and moved to Canada because I thought it was better But I am from Canada originally and have that bias.

But seriously, to each their own.

I have also lived in New Zealand and thought that it was about as close to paradise on earth as you can get. The environment is crystal clear; they are farther ahead than anyone on environmental stewardship and living sustainably. The people were the nicest and most hospitable I ever met who balance work and fun well. Their democracy is the purest (They have proportional representation and its easy to start a new political party if you don't like the existing choices.) They had come the farthest in race relations. There are poor people, but the breadth and depth of poverty is nothing like rural Mississippi or Arkansas. Their crime rates are incredibly low. Their economy has been booming in recent years (lowest unemployment rate in the OECD.) and it has spectacular scenery and clean, pleasant, working cities.

(Too bad my visa ran out.)

It's pretty hard to objectively evaluate and few can agree on criteria. Most developed countries offer good qualities of life for their citizens.

Last edited by toujoursdan; 05-31-2007 at 02:08 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2007, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
11,449 posts, read 13,917,456 times
Reputation: 6875
Quote:
Originally Posted by caution View Post
The United States of America

I suppose that makes me arrogant, but none can compare to the USA, even with all her faults. Now let's get to work fixing the problems we do have :-)

Somehow, I think the point of the original thread went over your head.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2007, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,243,252 times
Reputation: 903
I've been around the world and back again, and know the op didn't really ask a question. He made a point and asked a series of other things.

I made my point. You can discuss "who's best" and what categories make a country great until you're blue in the face. I have made up my mind.

Thank you for reading my point, and your condescending attitude is hilarious.

Last edited by caution; 05-31-2007 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-31-2007, 11:32 PM
 
1,158 posts, read 3,292,352 times
Reputation: 751
Again, judging the greatness of a place is more or less based on whether the environment there is congruent to your personality. To me, the U.S. is the best country in the world because I was born here and, even with its myriad defects, on balance, it suits me. There are areas in it I love and some I loathe. But I think that if you are really willing to work toward a goal or you have some new idea, you have the best chance of fulfilling your destiny in the U.S. while most other countries are bound up by outdated bureaucratic protocols and social practices that hinder new ideas and progress.

Japan is a great country in some ways and so is Korea and I love both a lot, but the U.S. has it all over them no problem.

That's just my personal opinion. As always, YMMV.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-01-2007, 12:28 PM
 
4,657 posts, read 7,613,772 times
Reputation: 1347
A few years ago my wife and I attended a real estate seminar and we had the pleasure of having lunch with an Indian fellow named Rocky (probably not his real name, lol). We got on this very subject. Since Rocky was an immigrant, legal, btw, I was interested in his perspective. He said that almost always the people that denigrated America the most were white americans and this boggled his mind. He said that if they went to his country for 10 days that they'd kiss the ground once they arrived back in the US. Rocky went on to say that America allowed you to be as successful or as lazy as you'd like to be, only americans were too stupid to take advantage of the opportunities.

Just one immigrants perspective.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > World
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top