“Vision of Humanity,” an international organization dedicated to “global peace,” “inclusiveness,” “cooperation” and “social equity,” has just issued its 2009 “Global Peace Index.” The “index,” along with the description of the organization and its “analysis,” is actually rather funny; although I am sure its advocates and staff take seriously its work to improve chances for world “sustainability.”
Interestingly, there is no mention of “freedom” or “liberty” in the website for Vision of Humanity, but there is a listing of so-called “endorsers.” Among its many endorsers are former President Jimmy Carter, businessman Ted Turner, and actor Michael Douglas (identified as a “United Nations Messenger of Peace”).
Political and social freedom play no role in Vision’s analysis of the world’s most peaceful and least peaceful nations. Therefore in the eyes of this organization, tightly-controlled societies, including totalitarian states, would tend to outrank countries whose citizens enjoy much freedom. Indeed, the Peace Index ranks many totalitarian states ahead of the United States as preferred, “peaceful” nations. Some of the countries ranked ahead of the U.S. (#83 out of 144, and barely ahead of Kazakhstan) might be attractive destinations for certain persons fed up with our country’s “un-peaceful” status, including New Zealand (#1) and Canada (#8). However, other more “peaceful” countries — including Cuba, China, Ukraine, Vietnam and Botswana, which are all ranked ahead of the United States – would be unlikely destinations.
It appears the peaceniks at Vision for Humanity have a lot of time on their hands, but little, if any, understanding of freedom, liberty and the many other attributes that make the U.S. such an attractive destination for citizens from around the world — including from those nations ranked ahead of America on this silly chart.