The moment you start to ask questions about things happening around you, the more interesting the results you get to see. Having lived in three different countries, I’ve had the good fortune to understand similar events from several perspectives to develop a viewpoint. One of the things that I find interesting is to understand why certain countries have “developed” while others are still “developing”. My interest was however in understanding people and their behavior as it is attributed to those two words.
When I read news articles and commentaries that use the term developed nations, I find it fascinating to understand how different people have their own take on how they interpret their nations and their qualification for being “developed” or “undeveloped”. In that mess, I fail to understand what the true meaning of a developed nation is? I personally believe that only a foolish person could have come up with such a biased view of the world in the first place. What has been developed in your nation that has not been developed in another nation?
If it is about industrialization, then yes, certain countries are surely developed. But, the larger interpretation of people in general is that developed nations have developed ideals, developed thoughts, developed behavior and a developed strength and perspective on worldly matters. This somehow has given many nations the license to decide on what are sane and truthful decisions in the world. This is where things fall apart. I haven’t seen a single case of a so called “developed nation” being all of this except for being industrialized. I have however seen many of these developed nations do senseless, childish and undeveloped actions that in no way qualifies them to be developed as human beings.
Assuming industrialization happened sometime in the 18th century, it is pretty difficult to understand how building an assembly of cars, rapid mining of natural resources or doing anything with iron and steel has made people truly advanced. Materialistically yes, intellectually maybe, but as a good human being, no way! The First World War, a bunch of European nations that fought among each other, was precisely a large scale event to remember because industrialized production of stuff that can kill humans faster and better were developed. The Second World War, fought again by the same old people not happy with the human capability to produce mass destruction, was another industrialized opportunity to build something quicker to eliminate something quicker. Unfortunately, my views are blinded by the fact that I’m ignoring a very basic characteristic of a human being – to be greedy and gluttonous in life.
After those historic events came the most childish prank, a reflection of human underdevelopment and the inability to grow beyond basic animal instincts for territorial greatness – the Cold War. Two nations fought a proxy war, generated lies, masked truth and most important of all, brought money into the orbit of war games. The result was a massive wastage of the human intellect in interpreting the science behind the atom to create a nuclear arms race in the world. A developed mind would have pursued peace as the world’s most powerful weapon for human development instead of a stockpile of disastrous toys. After that, there hasn’t been anything worthwhile to mention when it comes to developed nations. If humans have consistently done something in the world, it has been the ability to fight against one another.
A developed country should represent people with a developed mindset. Nothing apart from wisdom through knowledge can help a person achieve this status. It is the ability to act and think beyond an animal that makes a human being a developed person. Instilling a sense of fear among others by acts of intimidation or killing may make you powerful, but degrades a human being to levels below that of an ordinary animal. After all, even an animal kills only to satisfy its hunger, not for creating a status symbol. The capability to apply wisdom and restraint in your ability to deal with people around you is what takes you closer to being a developed human being. Sharing that profound capability to control your mind and the monkey that tries to uproot it, among other people creates a developed nation.
However, there is definitely an argument that is to the contrary. “Developed” nations are not messy, unclean and troublesome to live in as compared to other “undeveloped” nations. Hence, there has to be something profoundly great about the people of these nations that the undeveloped people in other countries lack. Even I had that notion in my mind, until I lived and observed for long enough in a developed nation. The answer merely goes back to a basic characteristic of a human being. When people get what they want to lead a life (food and shelter) they become happy. When a group of people become happy due to the ability to have these basic needs satisfied at an individual level, they become peaceful socially. When socially peaceful people live in a nation, they tend to do well to others within their group. When any of these benefits are threatened or uprooted, human beings behave badly. Sometimes, this comes at the cost of denying someone else the same comforts of life.
Today’s nations are merely reflections of this trend. The British lived happily when they got what they wanted even if it was at the expense of some other person’s lost resources and freedom. Today, when they see that comfort being shaken by other people coming to share it, they have complained. When Americans lost jobs to outsiders, the comfort zone was shaken and they have complained. Ludicrous immigration laws, trade barriers and several other biased human strategies are reflections of that behavior. In all these there has never been the case where people pursued greatness beyond basic human greed to achieve the true status of a developed person or a nation.
Past civilizations in India, China, Egypt, Iraq and the African continent had a structure that closely resembled a true developed nation. A nation where greed or its manifestation in the form of money was not what people yearned for to achieve human greatness! History unfortunately is only a collection of half-truths. So, with only a certain possibility, we can say that there were developed nations in the past, but for certain, there are no developed nations today, and given our downward spiral, there will be no developed nations tomorrow.