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6rant6's avatar

What is the longterm goal of nations of the world?

Asked by 6rant6 (13697points) February 7th, 2012

When things come up in the news, like China and Russia vetoing the Syrian resolution in the UN, it makes me wonder what their longterm vision of the world is. I know that many decisions countries make are based on what will be of most benefit next year, but there must be some consideration given to the long term view.

For example, if peace were the long term vision, a nation would probably do whatever is possible to prevent war.

It’s my opinion (and I welcome yours) that the long term vision the United States shares (gives/ forces on?) the world is that of individual liberty and its cousin democracy. The Muslim theocracies obviously are after religious orthodoxy. But what does China want to do after the world is theirs? What do the Japanese want, or the Russians, or India? Do smaller countries have any long term intent, or are they just hanging on for the ride, perhaps trying to become important in their region?

What’s your opinion?

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20 Answers

Nullo's avatar

I get the impression that most nations are primarily concerned with making it into the future rather than on a concrete goal. That requires being a bit wary of just about everybody else.
More immediately, they seek to arrange affairs to give them a more advantageous position.

TexasDude's avatar

To persist.

zenvelo's avatar

It seems to me that China wants two things: prosperity for its people, and to finally take its place at the table of nations. The first still has a long way to go, which is why they are able to get one hundred thousand new employees for Foxconn at moment’s notice.

The second is also emerging, as we have seen at the UN Security Council. But they are being wise in picking and choosing events to be involved in that helps them meet goal #1.

The Japanese want prosperity without any outside interference, but open markets for their products.

The Russians have the same goal as the Chinese, but their leadership is more fragmented.

Most non-dictator countries are just trying to keep the peace at home and provide for all their citizens. The dictator countries are focused on maintaining their power.

saint's avatar

To survive the nefarious schemes of others in the world.
By the way, peace is probably a goal everyone shares, but only if they get to manage the peace themselves. Thus, World Peace is a nice dream, and not a real goal.

Nullo's avatar

@saint Who drops their gun first in a Mexican standoff?

6rant6's avatar

Peace may be a goal of most countries, but it falls somewhere down the list after things like, freedom, economic prosperity and supremacy.

I would guess many people think “preserving national identity” to be an important state goal. But in a world of unrestricted international trade, free movement of individuals, absence of military threat – aka “peace” – what does national identity mean? Singing songs about national supremacy?

Sunny2's avatar

First, survival.
Second, power and all that means.

Nullo's avatar

@6rant6 Heritage is important to a lot of people. It’s a part of them, and they wouldn’t want to see it die.
I nationally-identify as an Italian-American. I think both of my countries are pretty cool.

wundayatta's avatar

I think most groups of people want to live as well as they can. They want to eliminate threats and maximize opportunities. They want to see their people do well and gain status in the world. They want their world view validated.

6rant6's avatar

@wundayatta This idea of validating the world view is very interesting. It may explain some of the tension between the US and China. China (as I understand it) has at its core that the citizen has duty to the state. In the US, it’s pretty common for people to think that the state has a duty to stay the hell outta my way.

So although things may seem superficially the same in the two countries – rising economic status, extreme prosperity of the few, general disdain for the social safety net idea, military potency – the accomplishments are held to mean something quite different.

flutherother's avatar

Most nations are at the developmental level of barbarians. They are not like people who possess dignity and tolerance and have hopes for mankind; they are run by politicians.

Zaku's avatar

I think too many modern nations are dysfunctional and disingenuous and too many of their politicians are too corrupt, to take any such discussion sincerely, and that should be one of the main concerns of the people who want positive developments in the future.

Compare to Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech to see an example of a difference from most modern politicians. Of course, this was in the context of World War Two, with armed fascist nations launching military conquests around the world…

6rant6's avatar

@Zaku I won’t try to argue that politicians as a group are enlightened beyond their own self interest. I hope there are a few. It does seem that the selection process favors the narcissistic, the deceptive, the connected, the unempathetic, the rich and the vain.

But many people do pursue careers in government that do not require election. Some do it to make the world a better place. Sometimes educators, scientists, and yes, even bureaucrats make a difference that way. Yes, some of those guys are asses, too.

I’m not sure who has more effect in the long run, the great mass of people employed by the government, or by those elected to run it.

wundayatta's avatar

@6rant6 I’m glad you find that interesting. In saying that, I think about nations as if they are people. Each has a personality and a life and history that inform that personality and I think that all are insecure, too. The cure for that insecurity is to have other imitate—which is more likely if they are a model for a nation that is demonstrably superior.

If they can’t be imitated, at least they want respect. Respect might mean having other nations refrain from meddling in their affairs.

I think most nations have a chip on their shoulder. China has the most people, but it is not doing as well on a per capita basis. It is not as productive. It has a history of communism that may have held it back, or maybe the current leaders want to find a way to show they weren’t held back—that communism has advantages over capitalism.

The US considers itself the world’s leader. It anointed itself. So the rest of the world sees the US as a brash upstart that has no manners. The US is like, what the fuck do we care? We’re clearly the best. Come on! Knock us off our perch if you can! In being this way, we don’t do ourselves any favors. We make it harder for people to be our friends, I think. Although we do have many admirers.

Every nation has its own mishegosse. We all play in the world arena together, and some of us don’t play so nice. Ok. All of us don’t play so nice. Except maybe Iceland.

Still, I think we all want to be admired. We all want friends. Our strategies for achieving these goals depend on many factors unique to each nation. But lets not underestimate the role that national psyche plays in determining how nations behave.

6rant6's avatar

Personally, I find those Icelanders a bit cold.

HungryGuy's avatar

I don’t know, but I hope it is to eventually propagate the human race throughout the universe.

Jaxk's avatar


Cancelling the space program is probably not in line with that goal.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Jaxk – Probably not. But I’m hoping it’s just a brief withdrawal due to the current economic crisis.

Jaxk's avatar


Me too. If we never get off this rock, we’re doomed to extinction.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Jaxk – Definitely. Well, we’re doomed to extinction anyway. But let’s put if off for 15 billion years instead of within the next million.

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