Re: Global Peace Index Rankings
I cannot say I disagree with the rankings in general. The US has really become a violent country, though some (not me) would argue we're violent for good reasons.
But I wonder what government acts are deemed violent and how they're weighted. Clearly, warring is violent, and oppression of free speech is violent, but so is taxation, or any law that forces people to act, or not act, in a way they would not do so otherwise. When it comes to being violent, the more laws a country has "on its books", the more wealth is forcibly taken from some people and given to others, the higher the violence.
Many "passivists" believe wholeheartedly in the welfare state, ignoring the violence required to impose it. It'd be nice if all such factors were included in these rankings. Taxes are pretty high in the US (we just pay for military activities all over the world rather than government medicine), so I don't think it would really help the US ranking, but it would probably knock down the more socialized countries when this violence against their population is figured in.
When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs.
- Maxwell Anderson