Saturday, March 26, 2011

Small Countries Are Beautiful Countries

"A small group of peaceful, sustainable, cooperative, democratic, egalitarian, ecofriendly nations might lead the way," says the Second Vermont Republic's Thomas Naylor, to "call for the nonviolent breakup of the United States, China, Russia, India, Japan, and the other meganations of the world" — A Community of Small Nations for a Sustainable Planet.

I'll set aside whatever objections I may have to focus on the list of countries he chooses: "Such a group might include Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland," he writes, praising the fact "that they are tiny, very affluent, nonviolent, democratic, and socially responsible," and "also have a high degree of environmental integrity and a strong sense of community." To his credit and theirs, the author also notes, "Once considered classical European democratic socialist states, the four Nordic states in the group have become much more market-oriented in recent years."

Of our favorite on the list, he writes, "Not only is Switzerland the wealthiest of the lot, but it is the most market-oriented country in the world, with the weakest central government, the most decentralized social welfare system, and a long tradition of direct democracy." Mr. Naylor also looks beyond Europe: "Three other small countries which might also join the party are environmentally friendly Costa Rica, which has no army, ecovillage pioneer Senegal, and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan."

The Switzerland of Central America, I have to admit, often beckons me. I speak the language, or rather could again after a few months, and like the idea living in a country with a holiday named Día de la Abolición del Ejército.

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

NYC would make for a great city-state.

6:19 AM  
Blogger T said...

If Flanders ever decides to break off from Belgium, it might be a contender in this group.

12:59 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

NYC, yes! Flanders, yes! The world could use about 10,000 Singapores, Monacos, Liechtensteins, Bruneis, etc.

10:22 PM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.