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babybadger's avatar

If one country was to come out on top to rule the world, which would it be?

Asked by babybadger (1790 points ) November 20th, 2011

Quite a few countries are going through crises right now – economical, political, social, etc. Which do you think is best fit to lead the world? Which would come out on top? What events would have to transpire in order for a third world war to occur? Big questions – any theories?

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51 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

Haven’t recent events shown that few countries are qualified to lead themselves, let alone the world?

babybadger's avatar

Yes @SavoirFaire , but if one country was destined to rule the world, which would be the best choice? Of course it wouldn’t last very long. Let me reword: Which country is most dominating at this time?

HungryGuy's avatar

Probably China. Everyone else is in debt to them.

Although both Canada and Australia are probably the most self-sufficient and independent of international economics. Either one would make good empire overlords :-p

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Occupy” the damned FED! “Occupy” the ones who got us into this mess… the damned elected representatives who tried to buy everyone’s vote by giving the store away.

bongo's avatar

Antarctica: it can only be used for peaceful purposes only, with no military bases are allowed…. sounds perfect to me. If the whole world lived by those rules it would be a very different place.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@babybadger Well, you’re basically asking me to name the valedictorian of summer school here. Also, I think the question of which country is most fit to rule the world and the question of which country would win in a fight have different answers.

In a fight, it’s going to be the US or China (assuming that they don’t destroy the entire world—I don’t see either going down without taking everyone else with them; they’d nuke the world rather than let anyone live to discuss their downfall).

If we’re talking about which countries have done the best job governing themselves, we need to ask what counts as good governing. If it’s making their people happy, then the Scandinavian countries have everyone beat. Not everyone would go in for that kind of social democracy, though.

@bongo I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but Antarctica is not a country. It’s a continent.

bongo's avatar

@SavoirFaire I know I did think that at the time but I still think it works.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@bongo No worries. GA’d it anyway. The basic point was still good.

Symbeline's avatar

I’d have to say China. As it stands, they have a lot of people by the balls when it comes to economy, and not just because everyone owes them money. They make like three quarters of what everyone owns. But that’s just on an economic standpoint…I have no idea how efficient their military is, (it is incredibly huge though) or what kind of military equipment they have.
That is, assuming, they decided to invade the world by force. Otherwise, that they are extremely self sufficient with food and provisions and play a critical role in global economics, I think makes them a good candidate for potential world rulers. Much more than a lot of other countries who just don’t have that kind of resource, or live in societies without the ’‘live peacefully in the shadows and wait’’ mentality lol.

Just throwing my one cent out there. XD Could be Russia, for all I really know.

@FutureMemory Lmao. XD

rebbel's avatar

They wouldn’t want to rule their lack of wanting anything to do with ruling others is, in my view, exactly one of the reasons that they rule, but Norway seems to be a great country.

MilkyWay's avatar

Hey, if Great Britian can rule like, half the world a hundred years ago, then they can do it again. Only now, they’d be able to rule all of it.
:P
If not, then I’d say China.

cazzie's avatar

The Norwegians are OK at ruling themselves, as long as their money holds out. If they ruled the world the Norwegians would have all the developing nations send in workers for doing their laundry and cleaning their houses and baby sitting their children while they go on holiday to southern beaches and enjoy their 6 weeks annual vacation days. They’d put the factories in Asian to work sewing national costumes (Bunad) for the real Norwegians and make all non-Norwegians wear some sort of emblem on their jackets and shirts so that they can’t be confused and mix in with the real citizens of the country. Oh,, wait.. they do all that, except for making non-citizens wear an emblem, but I expect that will come now that they are making all of us foreigners fill in a form outlining our education.

Don’t give Scandinavia too much credit. After WW2 Norway institutionalised children that were born here to a German father during the occupation. They determined that something must be fundamentally wrong with the children, due to their paternity. Frida Lyngstad from ABBA was one of these children, but she was able to run away to Sweden and live with a Grandmother.

flutherother's avatar

Lesotho would come out on top as it has the highest minimum elevation

marinelife's avatar

Probably China, sadly.

The_Idler's avatar

I’m learning Chinese soon, so I’m not a 3rd-class citizen in 50 years’ time.

cazzie's avatar

I vote for Canada. If ‘niceness’ was the biggest factor, Canada should win.

RareDenver's avatar

Somalia, those guys have really got their shit together

gondwanalon's avatar

@cazzie I’ve traveled around eastern Europe, South America, Australia, and parts of Asia and I must say that I received the worst treatment from Canadians. They are happy to take my money and give me cranky and crapy service. So Canada would be least likely to grow to world dominance from what I’ve seen of it.

I think that as of today no country is fit to lead the World. The World is too big and the many cultures too different and complex for one country to completely rule all. One country may someday dominate the World but there will always be pockets of resistance and occupiers to protest the fat cats, bureaucrats and SOB’s

wundayatta's avatar

The US still wins the culture war. You can have all the economy you want and all the military you want, but it don’t mean a thing if you can’t hoodwink make the people see what you want them to see. US wins and I don’t see anyone coming close to them, in terms of cultural influence, for centuries, maybe.

jrpowell's avatar

@CaptainHarley :: You need to really learn what the Fed is and what it does before spouting shit you got in chain e-mail. You have proven over and over again that you don’t actually know what they do or why they were created.

jellyfish3232's avatar

@The_Idler
I understood that! Chinese class is paying off!

john65pennington's avatar

China is a big threat to America. Thier cheap labor is making their industries billions of dollars.
This is money that is being drained from America.

And, not to mention their population.

The_Idler's avatar

@wundayatta The US isn’t fooling anyone in China, and if you ask most people on the street in China, they think their government generally does an awesome job. They acknowledge problems of corruption and conflicts of interest, but so does the government. That’s where they’re different to the US.

So that’s about 1,400,000,000 people the US is definitely not fooling.

[I deleted a tedious run-through of places less-than-enthusiastic about the USA]

Either way, by my very rough account, that’s at least half the population of the world, who are ambivalent at best about American culture and leadership.

I think the American cultural machine is very effective at convincing everyone that everyone else loves America.

You can talk about cultural power. Britain is still one of the biggest cultural exporters in the world. It helps that everything is in English, and we owe the continuation of English as global lingua franca (one of my most favourite ironies) to the Americans, of course. But that doesn’t make us world leaders. It just means that we make money out of foreigners coming to ogle at the remnants of our glorious past.

The_Idler's avatar

In 100 years, the US will probably be like Britain today. Their most valuable assets will be cultural history. The Chinese will come to see the Empire State Building, and say “Oh, how quaint”. They will come to see the famous sites of the Old West, all from the comfort of their Maglev carriages (designed by Chinese Engineers, built American labourers, oh the irony). They will pay a small fee to witness “traditional American gang battles” from the safety of their armoured tour buses, flying above the ghettoes (complimentary Tsingtao and chicken feet). They will visit the “real” Sherwood Forest Smallville where a traditional American folk-hero once lived.

They will mill about aimlessly in front of you, as you try to make your way to work. They will clog up your crumbling public transport infrastructure. They will take pictures of you and say reliably idiotic things. They will tell you how much they love America, and explain how they bought this “vintage” model of Spiderman from a homeless man who lives in the Statue of Liberty. They will say it must be real vintage, because “Made in China”. They will talk about your country like it’s a theme park.

But they’ll just spend so much fucking money. And money is what you need, since the Western-dominated global financial system was dismantled 75 years previously, and now everyone has to earn cash rather than print it.

It’s not so bad really, better than nothing.
But if you ask me, and most Brits will agree, it certainly doesn’t feel like being on top of the world.

mazingerz88's avatar

If one country was to come out, it would be the US. Those who understand freedom and how to have fun in life, would choose the US to lead the world. Those who do not and fight against the US would lose.

The_Idler's avatar

Mate, the USA is a fucking brutalist police state, with an exploitative and self-interested foreign policy and the most disgustingly high levels of socio-economic inequality in the developed world. Everyone knows this. Who’re you trying to kid, yourself?

Did I just get trolled?

mazingerz88's avatar

Add all the things you said, plus all the good things the US have ( and don’t tell me there’s none ) plus popularity and likabilty factor plus all the nukes, the US would come out on top.

whitetigress's avatar

I’m so over mankind.

The_Idler's avatar

The very best things about the US, that is public opposition to – and protests against – the worst facets of contemporary America, seem to actually be making things worse, as well as allowing new and disturbing elements to surface. Depending on how this pans out, America could become better, but things do not presently look promising.

Regarding the nukes, the Soviet Union made it a point to have more of them than anyone else.
They collapsed.

That you consider the USA – as an entity – to be “likeable” and “popular”, I find both hilarious and somewhat disturbing.

The_Idler's avatar

Don’t get me wrong, I think the USA still has great potential, but it is sliding in the wrong direction, and has been for decades now.

GracieT's avatar

I live in the US, but right now all I can think of is Rome as it began it’s fall from the place of prominence it occupied. If we have learned anything, we should shy away from having the hubris of Ancient Rome.

The_Idler's avatar

I think more like the British.

Hopefully you can go down in the same way, a Pyrrhic victory whilst saving the world from the next lot of Nazis.

mazingerz88's avatar

@The_Idler I’m glad you did not say ridiculous instead of hilarious. But I don’t see how it is disturbing unless you say it in jest. Human nature is all about popularity contests. I see the US as still popular, maybe not for all the good reasons right now, but since I live here and optimistic about its future, it has my vote. You on the other hand are cynical.

The_Idler's avatar

I’m British, I can’t help it. =]

I find it disturbing because it seems removed from reality.

I have viewed the US from a lot of different angles (by that, I mean I have spoken to a lot of different people in different places), and it looks pretty ugly from most of them. But that’s from the outside, looking in.

The USA is popular in the USA, at least, so you have that over Russia.

Some Brits do become very enamoured with the States though, usually those ones move there.
They’re generally considered a bit weird though, whereas it seems literally everybody wants to move to Australia or New Zealand…

In terms of popularity, I don’t think many countries would really count the US as their first friend culturally, except maybe Canada (all national relationships are love-hate by nature). Perhaps Japan too, but they’re also really racist and think Americans are just hilariously idiotic, loud-mouthed, gigantic pink monkeys.

In Europe, especially, no matter how much people like the Americans, not many will admit to it. But you’re right, I suppose, there is something quite compelling about how patriotic and “gung-ho” Americans can be. I don’t think many Euros identify with it, but it can be enjoyable, in a way.

ragingloli's avatar

Germany.

King_Pariah's avatar

I vote no one but IF I had to choose one…

Imperium of Man.

ragingloli's avatar

@King_Pariah
No. The Tau Empire shall rule.

blueiiznh's avatar

I would have hoped we would have learned from the “One country to rule the world” thing.
In a global economy, it has even less a chance to occur now.

The_Idler's avatar

Well, it’s obviously not going to occur right now, but this isn’t The End of History, you know.

dannyc's avatar

Whatever country did come out on top, as you postulate, they would quickly lead to a world-wide revolt, destroying every one in the process. Nationalism, patriotism, are just refined versions of tribalism.

rojo's avatar

Perhaps the concept of country is outmoded and what we should be asking is will the IMF or the World Bank end up ruling the world? And, are the major players behind each the same in which case I guess it wouldn’t matter that much would it?

King_Pariah's avatar

@ragingloli Ehhhh…. Trazyn the infinite will put them all into his collection as a memento of a bunch of upstart pansies. :P

TheIntern55's avatar

Well, I heard that, financially, the U.S is the healthiest horse in the glue factory. But if we were to choose an overlord, we should choose one that never declares war.
Switzerland, I choose you!

TheIntern55's avatar

I meant to say someone that everyone likes…..

blueiiznh's avatar

@babybadger who in your opinion is on top now?

babybadger's avatar

@blueiiznh – I really can’t decide. There are so many aspects to look at – economy, money, government, resources, technology, etc. that it’s hard to make a call. I thought it would be interesting to see what the jellies thought, that’s why I asked. :)

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