15 Top Characteristic Acts of Powerful Nations (Part 1)
15 Top Characteristic Acts That Make Powerful Nations (Part 1)
A nation is a self-organized network of people with common agenda, cause, economy, justice system or interest, who collaborate by sharing ideas, information, and other resources. All nations are madeup of individuals. Basically, every nation should understand the creed, ‘We are society because we are individuals; and we are individuals because we have society. So we must use our individual rights and freedom to promote, protect and project our socety. And then use our society’s laws to project, protect and prove our individual abilities and make-up. We must see the expression of our individual as an expression of the society. If these two don’t knit, then we have a society that is weak—a society that in no time self-destructs’.
Now, some nations are more powerful than others. This is due to a number of factors raging from acts, ideologies, leadership, economic productivity and cultural practices. Below are top characteristic acts that make powerful nations.
1. Laws and Administration of Justice
Every human social historically have a set of governing laws. These laws are made to curtail the behavior of the people and maintain order. And it is believed that nobody in the land is above the laws. The reason for laws is to give everybody within the society social justice—a feeling of belonging and equality. Then the strict adherence to this laws bring about social justice. Benjamin Disraeli Said, “Justice is truth in action”. In Socrates’ words, “Nothing is to be preferred before justice”.
In 1955, Martin Luther King Jr. in response to an accusation that he was ‘disturbing the peace’ through his activism during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery was quoted saying “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice”.
2. Pursue of Freedom and Application of Social Liberty
Freedom is one of the most desired social commodities. While it’s obvious we can’t live with total freedom. We can’t quell the need for it either. In most constitutional societies, citizens’ freedom are contained in the highest book of laws—the constitution. This book for most countries defines the extents and limits of expression.
One unique thing about powerful countries is individuals recognize and respects freedom of the society in expressing personal freedom. The collective freedom of the nation are held-high; which involves relinquishing some of personal freedom so the society stand. Freedom is an expression of rights. However, it’s not just an expression of rights but also an expression of innate ability, craft, talent and creativity. Powerful nations harness freedom by making provisions for individual expression—of craft, talents, creativity, speech, ownership rights, and rightful defense of these expressed potentials. According to George Washington, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth”.
3. Value for lives
Live, undoubtedly is the most priced property within a nation. While it’s a bias to consider live as a property. It’s obviously the way nations see its people. Interestingly, lives has no equivalent among other national properties. It’s most valued and also one of the index of national power. Characteristically, the value of lives vary from country to country. A country with people who rose above mediocrity—people who establish in-depth values—people who develop moral encourage to stand and defend their rights—exploring government established institutions without feeling intimidated, victimized, denied, oppressed or trivialized enjoys more values for lives. If instruments of laws are not effective. If instruments of education are not effective. If instruments of security are not effective. The value for lives is reduced. The US President, Donald J. Trump demonstrated US value for lives of her citizens when he went all out to rescue Otto Warmbier—a 22-years-old student of University of Virginia held hostage since March 16, 2016 by North Korean Government. Although Otto Warmbier died, the effort demonstrated clearly US value for lives of her citizens. Powerful nations placed high value on all life and no effort is spared to ensure lives are preserved, secured and extended.
4. Economic Independence
A nation’s economic independence is the control of its wealth by a majority of its citizens. Its means local ownership of resources, means of production and utilization of natural resources. Economic independence of a nation produces true political independence of a nation. Political independence is just a façade without economic independence. Herbert Croly said of America, “Let it be immediately added, however, that this economic independence and prosperity has always been absolutely associated in the American mind with free political institutions”.
No nation world over, can lay claim to power without economic independence. One of the most obvious characteristics of powerful nation is economic independence. Economically, powerful nations are self-sustaining. What are the fundamentals of these economic independence? Huge human resources, technological skills and advancement, market patronages and advantages, financial capital base and foreign reserves.
5. Strong State Institutions and Roles
What made a nation? Is it a powerful leader figurehead or powerful institutions? This is debate-able question though, because national successes are most times linked to powerful figurehead. Powerful figureheads, however, do not make powerful nations. They only make powerful regimes. That’s an exact description.
That been said. There cannot be powerful institutions without powerful or strong figurehead leaders. This makes the debate an interesting one. To make this argument worthwhile, we’ve to consider nation as group of people with transitional leadership system—democratic and monarchical transition or military toppling. What happens between regimes and over period transitions define whether nations should be classified powerful, weak or unstable. For nation to be classify powerful, it has to be relatively stable over a long period; and witness some major leadership transitions. This is where the role of state institutions come in. If institutions are not strong and stable. They imitate character of each throne assuming leaders. Hence, what powerful nations do is to build strong institutions that cannot be hijacked by individual figureheads. This is such that the ‘will of the people prevail’ through institutions effectiveness.
6. Strong Security and Military Foundations
Security is a top criteria in the classification of nations. When we talk of security, one picture comes to mind—military formations. That, however, is one and a weak way of looking at security. No doubt, military formations are important part of national security and provide both internal and external defense for citizenry. This formation is not the first security defense.
A powerful nation understanding its first security base is secured individual civilian-military—I prefer the use of “Individual civilian-military” because it depicts better picture for me. It must be clear a country’s military foundation is not just military men in uniforms. It’s the patriotic civilians willing to take up military role in defense of their nation for no personal benefits. Yes! That’s the phrase, ‘Personal Benefits’. Most powerful nations defense this baseline military foundations. Effective military is made up of effective, patriotic and selfless civilians. Until the civil people are secured. The military base is weak. And military servicemen are reflective of that weak society.
7. Vast Knowledge Base and Its Industrial Applications
Knowledge is a body—of information, ideas, skills, technical arts, talents and education—both innate and acquired with potential to transform the human society. According to Francis Bacon, “Knowledge” he said, “Power”. This no doubt applies in all fields. You can’t acquire power without knowledge whether at individual or national level. Of course, knowledge can’t speak. So we get to know their existence through applications. It’s what nations do with knowledge that earn them power.
First off, powerful nations are knowledgeable. This knowledge translates into growth through industrial applications. Why industrial applications? Because that is where value is. For most powerful nations, industrial application of knowledge is a culture—culture practiced by both individual and nation. No nation will be powerful if knowledge within its shores and boundaries are not well harnessed, protected, applied and commercialized. According to Andrew Jackson, “Internal improvement and the diffusion of knowledge, so far as they can be promoted by the constitutional acts of the Federal Government, are of high importance”. Knowledge is the weapon for internal improvement—of individual, nation and industry—and powerful nations priced this with utmost importance.
8. Faith and National Creed
In one of my facebook status, I wrote something profound about faith. It goes: “The first time I heard about the word faith. I knew it’s some sort of seed—seed planted on no ground and in no field—a seed planted deep within souls; and it explains why something that is not in existence have to exist”. For me, this explicitly describes the characteristics and beliefs of a powerful nation. A nation’s deep belief in unseen—what is not in existence, sets the tone for their behavioral creativity. Somehow, it becomes their inborn creed.
When we hear about America’s dream. First off, we find ourselves in the “Yes, I can”, “I can do”, “We can” state of mind. Faith and national creeds are like goodluck charms. They tend to decide what happen to people.
“We are one nation. United under God!” Their children grow up believing there is an American dream or that they are God’s people. Do I need to remind us we’re humans and we’re taught ways to think? Yes, we are taught the way to think! If we’re taught as children that we can achieve anything through hard works, dedications and value creation. We live our adult lives thinking and figuring out ways to create values through hard works. Powerful nations lives through faith and national creed. They don’t live only through evidences—they believe in ideas. What about Israel? “God’s own people”.
Leadership as an act of stewardship is a goal of prosperous nation—nations where properties, resources and the environment would be looked after for the enjoyment of future generations. It would be a nation where conservation of our natural resources is not just a public relation exercise but birthed out of our deep conviction that saving the planet is saving our children’s lives. It’s the duty of leaders to inspire and motivate the people. If the leaders define or show their aversion for wastage. The citizens through unnecessary and unsustainable projects dwindle personal and national resources. In this way maintaining what already existed like parks, buildings and roads becomes difficult. Such society would willingly sacrifice economic gain and threaten environment. Leaders play vital role in deciding fate of nations. Powerful nations are blessed with above average leadership.
10. Characteristic Cultural Values
Cultures are part of human society. We can’t exist without them. History has loads of cultural records—both good and bad. Culture is one of the powerful tool for most powerful nations. What differentiate weak culture from strong or powerful culture?
First I could like to talk about cultural promotion. Powerful nations promote their culture. They do it with high sense of esteem-able pride. They sell its characteristic values and value it themselves. One thing I observed about powerful nations is that no act is little or big. Every act is valued. The importance and role of culture of values cannot be over-emphasized. If we don’t value our cultures. If we don’t develop the culture of value. How shall we garner enough power to become powerful? Many nations rose to power not by becoming powerful but by recognizing the power of value and promoting same as consumable to order nations. This is what I called ‘Characteristic culture of values’. In a recent speech, Donald Trump, President of the United State emphasize this point, “Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph”.
11. Strong Currency and Economy
Most times, what we look at as economic currency is notes marked as “Dollar or Euro or Pounds or Naira”. However, the real economic currency is the “Value of the people”—their production capacity, their consumptive tendencies and cultural behavior. As I said in one of my articles, ‘A nation’s currency cannot be stronger than the character of her people’. Whether currency or economy, everything boils down to values. Do the people have values? Do they create values? Do they respect values? Do they promote values? Do they allow values to exist and prevail over cheap satisfaction? These are fundamental to power of a nation and their hierarchical ranking in world.
Powerful nations have strong currency and economy. But it isn’t all about currency or economic ratings. They have strong character and productive capacity. They create values for others to consume. They respect values and ethics as national fundamentals and cultural practices. Value is a symbol of power and identity—and powerful nations create and promotes values.
12. Deplomatic Ties and Allays
In Robert Greens’ 48 Laws of Power, law 10 state “Infection----avoid the unhappy and unlucky”. This book is written explicitly for all forms of power—political, economic, social, national and individual. Although, this particular rule of the book focuses on individual associations. The warning is true and applicable to nations. Powerful nations know and apply this rule in their formation of allays and diplomatic ties. Powerful nations create diplomatic ties with other powerful nations. You’ve heard of G20? Exactly the association of powerful nations.
13. Corporate and Business Allegiance
Nations world over have in-grain of business and corporate interests. These interests form the bases for formation of corporate and business allegiance. In these allegiances, the over-riding interest is national benefits. Leaders ask what their country is going to benefit from corporation and business partnership. In the words of US President, Donald J. Trump, “Every other nation on earth protects its own interest.. America is finally going to do same”.
14. Diversity of Men and Ideas
When we mention the word “diversity,” typically we think of race, religion, gender, and ethnicity. Diversity, however, is less problematic when we consider the cognitive differences in ideas, knowledge, information, skills and talents which create better business outcomes. In a diverse groups, there are diverse ways of representing ideas, problems, situations and symbols—classifying, interpreting information and coming up with solutions or predicting results become expression of individual uniqueness. The collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts—U.S. is a prime example of this diversity, with people from varying cultures and backgrounds. Scott Page writes, “While cognitive diversity doesn’t do much for routine tasks (e.g., sealing envelopes, flipping burgers), it’s a key performance variable in situations that require teamwork”.
15. High Quality Scientific and Technological Research Drives
Innovative are both research and technologically driven. A strong scientific research and technological development are some of the characteristics and focal drives of powerful nations. These research and technologies are commercialized to support both industrial and economic drives. This does not create employment and empowerment but and security and defense backbones. Kofi Annan said, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace”. Powerful nations engages their young ones in scientific research and technological developments. The more advanced in technology a nation, the more the likelihood of being a powerful nation.
It's my hope this article will help leaders in building powerful nations.