A Little Nap in the Graveyard

The Washington Times reports on the release of data by a group called The Institute for Economics & Peace. Before you look at the list, take a gander at the people behind the curtain:

The index is primarily based on 2008 data from the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the World Bank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and United Nations sources.

That gives you a good idea where this “data” is coming from and where it’s going to terminate.

Their methodology consists of the application of twenty-three “indicators” to each country. It goes without saying that when one considers the indicators themselves to be questionable, in this case by hewing to a strong leftist mentality, the findings will be equally suspect. Garbage in, garbage out.

The grand prize for peace, love and understanding goes to New Zealand. If you click on the news article at The Times and go to the comments, you will see that not all kiwis agree with The Institute for Economics & Peace. The Samoans among them appear to be a bellicose bunch. Some Australian commenters harumph that New Zealand won only because the sheep can’t talk. Naughty Aussies.

You can view the whole listing here.

The world is broken down into regions and nations are ranked within each region:

The definition of peace used by the Institute?
– – – – – – – –
According to these people, peace is “the absence of violence”. By that logic, every cemetery in the world is more peaceful than any given country could ever be. Theirs is the peace of the dead, the peace of hand-wringing “why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along” Birkenstockers, the kind who like to throw bricks through the windows of Starbucks to demonstrate their intense desire for world peace.

Oh, and if you believe that China deserves its ranking (#74), then I have a bridge you might like to buy. Honestly, you really need this fine bridge, and I could use the money for my favorite charity.

Here are the first twenty-five or so in the list. Some countries are tied, in which case they skip the following number. Thus, Germany is tied with Qatar at #16 so there is no #17 in the rankings:

Country   Rank   Score
New Zealand   1   1.202
Denmark   2   1.217
Norway   2   1.217
Iceland   4   1.225
Austria   5   1.252
Sweden   6   1.269
Japan   7   1.272
Canada   8   1.311
Finland   9   1.322
Slovenia   9   1.322
Czech Republic   11   1.328
Ireland   12   1.333
Luxembourg   13   1.341
Portugal   14   1.348
Belgium   15   1.359
Germany   16   1.392
Qatar   16   1.392
Switzerland   18   1.393
Australia   19   1.476
Chile   20   1.481
Oman   21   1.520
Netherlands   22   1.531
Singapore   23   1.533
Slovakia   24   1.539
Uruguay   25   1.557

Hmm… don’t you wonder how Norway feels about being yoked to Denmark for second place? In most cases those polite Norwegians would be too civilized to say anything, but in this case I’ll bet they’d make an exception for having to bear the indignity of sharing their space with those raucous Danes. Why, it would be akin to putting Minnesota and Texas in the same room.

Cuba is well ahead of the U.S.; according to the careful calculations of the Institute, we are #s 68 and 83 respectively. So Cubans are willing to risk death at sea while clinging to a leaky inner tube headed for America, and yet their native island is a haven of tranquility compared to Miami?

As I said, this group measures the serenity of the cemetery.

7 thoughts on “A Little Nap in the Graveyard

  1. Your criticism is valid Baron but… you know… the list seems quiet plausible to me.
    So, what’s the puropose of the post? I am afraid I didn’t get it.

    Not that I am saying this post should be outlawed or something, I found it somewhat interesting, I even like your last phrase and all; I’m just afraid I did not get the big picture…

  2. It’s interesting that all the first 20 nations on the list are small, with the exceptions of Japan and Germany,perhaps they learned something from WW2.
    One of the factors in the study was the size of the nation’s armed forces, New Zealanders are cheating here, they have let their defences run down as they confidently expect Australia to defend them.

  3. mace–

    Notice that this Institute does not take into account the immigration problems
    many of these countries face. It is as if they don’t exist.

    Small homgeneous countries would tend to have less strife to begin with…in fact, you’d think Japan would be #1, given their matter-of-fact race superiority and their refusal to take immigrants.

    Interesting that no one holds these matter-of-fact views against them. The Japanese simply get a pass. If other nations and races were given the same break, it would go a long way to reduce the frictions and fractions we currently endure.


    You didn’t notice that it wasn’t the Baron’s post. I can see why; I haven’t been posting much.

    However, to explain your puzzlement: the post doesn’t *mean* anything. I simply like lists and comparisons and I enjoy trying to comprehend the underlying assumptions behind “best” and “worst”.

    In general, if any given post seems pointless to you, take a glance at the author. It will probably not be the Baron.

  4. Dymphna,

    I agree with your comments in regard to Japan, one of the most racially exclusive nations on the planet.Could you imagine a multicultural policy in Japan? Most Asian countries are like Japan to an extent,however it’s Western countries that cop all the criticism.I’d also agree that cultural homogeneity is an important factor in internal harmony.Here in Australia we’re facing problems of increasing crime rates,I think it’s due to an excessive level of immigration,in the past we expected immigrants to assimilate( our version of the “melting pot”)now multiculturalism is the fashion,to our detriment.

    I find the list very interesting too,we don’t know how the researchers weighted certain factors,I’d guess that the large defence expenditure of the US pushes it down the list.
    The other point I should have made is that many small nations are usually under the protection of the US and can afford to spend less proportionally on defence.

    Remember the old saying “Lies,damn lies and statistics.” More lists please.

  5. Er… sorry Dymphna.
    You haven’t post much and I haven’t been much over here as well.

    And I like stastics and comparisons too. Just aking… where’s Croatia? I just have this preference that Croatia may be my private El Dorado. Slovenia does not ring any bells, unfortunetly.

  6. “New Zealanders are cheating here, they have let their defences run down as they confidently expect Australia to defend them.”

    Yep, in this case we probably deserve the sheep jobs.

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