What makes a country better than others?

Any metrics according to which countries are deemed better or freer than others are entirely arbitrary, set by countries that happen to have the most influence and want to glamorise themselves.

The creation of such charts proves nothing, and tells us more about the people who would make them than any of the countries on them. You would only engage in that sort of measuring contest because your own regime has a serious problem - its obsession with the others - which is bad enough behaviour for us to write off your regime as the worst of the lot. I will not need any analysis of these Indians who have been shot by the cowboy, to be able to tell that the cowboy is the worst person present.

Who makes these charts?

The defenders of the economic core basically define success into existence, manipulating the structures of knowledge so that our very perception of success is favourable to their national and class interests. At present, the world's economic core is still largely based in Western countries, even if it is slowly shifting towards China.

Few will deny that it is a pleasant life in the West, when compared with many other countries. However, this is the result of centuries of stable police-order and the continuous economic plunder of weaker nations. We deny other countries the ability to enforce or normalise the sort of internal order that our countries achieved long ago, instead sanctioning or destroying countries that threaten to become powerful or more state-like before they can join the club. Countries that undergo a necessary nation-building process but violate human rights along the way, rather than being seen as being in a developmental stage to true statehood, are treated as abominations by us at some opportunistic moment such as a civil war. We plunge them back to the state of nature, as in the case of Libya in 2011, forcing them to have to develop into a polity all over again.

Interrupting the story of another nation

A supreme irony of Western bombardments of other countries is that our own standards of civilised behaviour are the result of the most brutal enforcement of order in our countries, and our own perfection of the art of mass murder. Somehow, we seem to believe that a country like Syria needs no Lincoln in its own history, its civil war is unacceptable, and it should instead have suddenly become a fairly developed capitalist country with no intermediate stage. In reality, the evolution of Western states relied on fairly authoritarian methods and incredibly deadly weapons to get to where we are. The main reason we deal with mass protests and avert civil conflicts better than our supposed moral inferiors in poorer countries like Libya and Syria is simply due to having developed (through murderous experience) safer technologies of repression like teargas and rubber bullets, along with better-trained security forces.

The West's talk of the faults of other countries is dishonest, anyway, and just a set of lines for the West to play its role of gunslinger in a conflict. We discuss "democracy" during the course of an intervention, only as a cynical deception aimed at our own population. There is no truth to the idea of our countries spreading democracy, whatsoever, as democracy by definition originates from a sovereign people and not from a foreign power or alliance structure. Any intervention, as occurred in Libya and Syria, is an offense against democracy.

Goalposts are moving

Metrics of success can be altered in order to pursue new aims. This was one of the goals of the Great Reset, advocated by those who gather at Davos. They wanted responsibility to the environment and society to be somehow measured as criteria of success, rather than just something like economic growth. One could see this as an attempt by Western countries to shift the goalposts, realising that they are being overtaken by China, so that they desire to alter the meaning of success so that they can go on convincing everyone that they are still more successful than China.

The adjustment of the metrics of success, in fact, discredits indexes that that try to portray some country or group of countries as better than others or more ahead. If one can simply convince people that other things are more important or better indicators of success and happiness than GDP, for example, then why is GDP cited to prove anything? A country like Cuba certainly will rank ahead of the US in a number of ways (healthcare, anyone?), so why does the US not surrender to the superior nation?

To conclude, what (or rather who) makes a country successful is the person writing the criteria that will be used to assess success. It has nothing to do with preventing armies of homeless people on the streets, reducing child mortality, providing free healthcare, or any other thing that might be most pleasing to people.