World Most Peaceful Countries - Global Peace Index 2012

The Global Peace Index of 2012 has just been released. I thought it was great timing to learn of this just after yesterday's blog entitled, Bringing American Democracy, Freedom and Culture to the Benighted World whereby I railed on American exceptionalism and the utter notion that American democracy, freedom and culture is particularly special - or even wanted in other countries.

On the Global Peace Index's web page, it says, "The Global Peace Index has found that the world has become slightly more peaceful over the last year."

Well, I am not sure what they use for criteria, but the results might surprise you. One that isn't a surprise is Japan at #5... and, surely, the USA must be in the top 10, right?..... Wrong!:

After that, the list goes through all the usual suspects... At #49 Namibia, #50 Ghana, #62 Jordan, #64 Serbia,  #70 Cuba...  Finally at #88 The United States of America; just after those beacons of democracy, Ecuador, Swaziland, and Equatorial Guinea....

See the entire list here.

Thanks to Ken Nishikawa


Anonymous said…
There are a number of reasons for the problems in the U.S.A. Visitors tend to view the U.S.A. culturally as a sort of "junior Europe" when in many ways, it is much closer to a Latin American country, especially when one considers that in many cities, it can be difficult to find someone who speaks English, instead of Spanish.

There is a saying, better to be a lion for a day, than a lamb for a lifetime. There are a great many young people in the U.S.A., who take it to heart, which in practical terms, means they would rather be part of gang and commit a tremendous amount of mayhem, than work to have a decent life and community. In certain places, $20 will get someone murdered.

FBI: Burgeoning gangs behind up to 80% of U.S. crime

It doesn't help matters when there are so many spiritually empty people in the U.S.A., both born in the U.s.A. and abroad, whose only desires are status and power.
Anonymous said…
Japanese people in particular claim that Japan is so peaceful because it is so very homogenous, and egalitarian. Why then, does the country next to the US, Canada outrank it? Isn't a better question, why is Japan so violent?
Dear Anonymous, I think it is difficult to imagine Japan if you've never been here but the nation is virtually an entire urban island. Perhaps it is difficult to compare Canada, a country with 100x the land area and 1/4th the population to such a densely populated nation. Last year in Japan, there were 84 murders.... In Chicago so far in 2012 alone there have been over 250….Being ranked 5th on a Peaceful nations poll hardly makes one of the most populated nations on the entire planet "violent."
Anonymous said…
"Canada is a highly urbanized country like other industrialized nations. Over 80 percent of Canadians were living in urban areas in 2006."

What does it say about Japan, when Belgium has almost a quarter of its population who were born from former French colonies, has a higher population density than Japan, and yet, has a rating within 5% of Japan?

The Japanese culture is very unique. Compared to other first world countries, it is peaceful, but the claims of many Japanese aside, it is obviously not the most peaceful.

Outside of children and teenagers, who wants to emulate Americans?
As to the US, as Freud said, America is the most grandiose experiment the world has seen, but, I am afraid, it is not going to be a success.
Anonymous, no one claimed Japan was most peaceful. You said "Why is Japan so violent?" How in the world does the country that ranks as #5 considered so violent in your vocabulary? Even Belgium, as you say, has a higher population density than Japan... Yet is still ranked more "violent" as you say.
Your logic is twisted.
Zanchito said…
It seems you truck a sensitive nerve somewhere, Mike. I don't see why people take it so personally, some countries have some things that are better than others. That should serve as an inspiration to improve, not to enter denial or attack.
Anonymous said…
any surprise that the countries on the top of that list have much stricter gun laws than in the usa? no, there shouldn't be.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous, not even close. China, next to the USA here, has extremely strict gun control. Meanwhile, in number 10 Switzerland, every household has a gun. This has more to do with societal cohesion and government than anything else. That's why the bottom of the list is populated by the vacation destination of Somalia.
Zanchito said…
The gun control issue is a bit more complex. Although I agree having stricter restrictions on gun ownership is generally better for the safety of most people, there's also an important cultural aspect at play too.
Anonymous said…

are we talking violent crime or crime in general? but alas you are correct. you don't need a gun to commit a crime, violent or not. but, i would take a guess that many of the violent crimes in america involve guns. as far as the swiss, there are always exceptions.
If guns are responsible for crimes and murders then I suppose video cameras are responsible for child pornography?
Anonymous said…
i never said that guns were responsible for crimes and murders. of course not. you could have tons and tons of guns and zero people and i think there would be no crimes committed with or without guns. guns and video cameras are tools, just like hammers and computers and other tools that allow a person to get things done or to accomplish a task. you don't need a gun to kill someone. but it sure makes it easier than stabbing someone 30 times to do it. guns are also a good tool for suicide. ;-)
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