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Measuring morality

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In the age of globalization, everything’s connected, and that’s wonderful. But so far, we’ve been more effective at globalizing problems than solutions. Consider climate change, pandemics, poverty, economic turmoil and corruption – every 21st-century global challenge you can name is created or complicated by globalization.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. As the Millennium Development Goals show, when we get our act together and start to behave like a single species on a single planet, we make progress. We really could be living sustainably and peacefully in a world where technology increases our knowledge, our culture, our connections and our solutions.

So what’s stopping us from making the world work better? The heart of the problem is the way we’re organized: as a collection of nation states in constant competition. Competition has created great prosperity, but it’s time to ask whether it’s really the best or only road map for our future.

Our politicians have the power to marshal the only superpower left on the planet – the seven billion of us who live here – but we tell them we want to live in a rich and successful country, and that’s what they try to deliver. Growth and prosperity are usually achieved at somebody else’s expense and by depleting the planet’s resources – and that’s leading us towards disaster.

I believe that we really want, and need, to live in good countries. And by “good” I simply mean a country that respects the common good – good as opposed to selfish, not good as opposed to bad.

Last year, I created the Good Country Index, the first attempt to measure how much each country contributes to humanity and the planet. It gives each country a balance sheet so you can see whether it’s a net creditor or debtor to the rest of the world.

To the surprise of many, Ireland came out on top as the “goodest” country on the planet, relative to the size of its economy, with high scores for its contributions to global culture, world order, health and well-being, planet and climate, and prosperity and equality.

Kenya ranked a very high 26th place overall, showing that contributing to humanity and the planet is about far more than just how much money you contribute to aid or trade. Libya, perhaps understandably given its internal problems, ranked last in 125th place, with very minimal contributions and substantial negative impacts on the world outside its own borders.

This year, I launched the Good Country Party. The party won’t stand for election in any country, but represents the estimated 10 percent of the world’s population who cares about the whole of humanity. That’s 700 million people who believe that nations can’t make it on their own, that nationalism is a dangerous and outdated idea, that collaboration is a hundred times more powerful than competition, and that foreigners aren’t enemies to fight or competitors to outdo, but members of the same human family who happen to have been born on another part of the same blue speck of dust we all inhabit.

We need a change in the culture of governance. Just as people have started to learn, in a few decades, that racism and sexism are unacceptable, so, too, can we help them learn that narrow, selfish nationalism is equally unacceptable.

We need to give governments and corporations a new dual mandate that requires them to work for their own populations and the whole of humanity, for their territory and the whole planet.

This is why I say that I no longer want to live in a successful country. I want to live in a good country, and I hope that you do, too.

© The Mark News

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Everything this writer talks about is what Jewish philosophy is about. I wonder if he is Jewish. Shalom

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

We need to give governments and corporations a new dual mandate that requires them to work for their own populations and the whole of humanity, for their territory and the whole planet.

I don't believe for a second this guy, with such a lofty title and position, believes such nonsense.

Governments want power. Corporations want money. They are the unholiest of unholy alliances. Thousands of times worse than the pre-industrial church and state monster.

The only way to create prosperity is to sever ALL TIES between governments and corporations. This NECESSARILY means no more donations to politicians running for office. No more revolving door between government and private industry (treasure department and banks, for example).

This NECESSARILY means governments giving up their power, and corporations giving up their ill gotten gains.

Which also NECESSARILY means those on the government dole give up their free stuff.

AIN'T.

GONNA.

HAPPEN.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YelnatsJun. 06, 2015 - 12:26PM JST

Everything this writer talks about is what Jewish philosophy is about. I wonder if he is Jewish. Shalom

How strange then that Israel is only number 37 on the Good Country Index. Is this another case of, "Do as I say, not as I do"?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sign me up. I'm all for a "good" country. Not as simplistic as it sounds. We live in the nuclear age where the military-industrial-scientific-complex plays nuclear roulette every day. While they are the power-brokers we are dependent on them to make the right decisions about our survival. What is the alternative? Extend our good will to the power brokers. Make friends with them. Invite them to constructive discussions and public debates. In every despot there is a human heart with the same potential for good and the same failings. It is our common humanity. Embrace that humanity. Use imagination, empathy and love. Their addiction is our addiction. Break our habits, find new ways, new energies. A minority of people make misery in the world. A minority of people have the power to generate good. Some will laugh and mock us in the beginning, eventually they will embrace our humanity. Check out Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. It is a template for goodness. Save Article 9. Bring it to other nations. It is a proven, living document-in-action. Heiwa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The heart of the problem is that far too many people are crazy, mean and selfish. Until we solve that problem, everything good that has been accomplished is at risk of being undone and has been throughout history.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What if I think climate change is just a hoax meant to siphon off trillions of dollars that could be used to help the poor and middle class directly, rather than some trickle-down homeopathy effect?

I guess I'd be barred from membership in The Good Party?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds like Zeitgeist stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did Susanne Collins read this guys books before writing Hunger Games?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Just as people have started to learn, in a few decades, that racism and sexism are unacceptable, so, too, can we help them learn that narrow, selfish nationalism is equally unacceptable." - Simon Anholt

A more fair, sustainable and healthy world is possible.

It is only when people give up on living better more healthy lives that they do the greatest harm to themselves and others.

Mr. Anholt has provided a platform for a better concept of ourselves, our nations and our world. Only the truly evil disparage the creation of what should and can be a paradise.

Godspeed Mr. Anholt, his proposition must be considered within the realm of a common desire shared and made a new reality.

Once upon a time the world was flat and hopefully, one day people will remember when people believed the world must turn on pain and competition as selfish justifications to inflict more suffering on as many as possible to please the fewest possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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