are slovenia and US failed states?

June 28th, 2013 § 6 comments


Slovenia (Photo credit: phault)

I bet you’re instinctive answer was yes. how cynical of you. it seems everyone’s favorite sport last two years in Slovenia has been complaining about life and politics, without having any broad perspective on the state of the world.

Slovenians seem to live in a mental bubble, where they compare their own poor fates and lives with the imaginary paradise.

Foreign Policy actually does a proper analysis of all countries in the world every year, and ranks them from most failing to least. they even create a color-coded interactive map of failing states for all the cynics and others, who like to complain a lot.

Short answer to the question from the headline is no, Slovenia is 16th least failing in the world, based on indicators like quality of living and such. read the methodology if you care.

I love datasets like this one, if you assemble them with care and if you actually make them complete, they have the power to perform reality-check.

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§ 6 Responses to are slovenia and US failed states?"

  • Avid Reader says:

    “Short answer is the question” read somehow weird. Prolly you meant “to the question”? 😛

  • Marko says:

    Odd tags on this post. Would be great if there was a direct link to the report.

    There’s plenty I would dispute about report, but in a way it’s not important. I disagree with premise itself. I don’t complain because I would compare Slovenia with some unattainable ideal. I complain because it is so far from what was attainable and even of what still is.

    If the amount of resources absolutely wasted in last two decades, political culture and general apathy does not affront you, then I hope it’s just because you are not paying attention.

    I worry when best minds are leaving or have left. I am certainly far from happy when I see friends and family have miserable exploitative jobs, but I guess they contribute to “success” by not screwing up unemployed numbers more.

    Cynics don’t complain because there is nothing to complain about expected state. Only those who still think it could be better do and the last thing they need is to hear they should get over it.

    • Bostjan says:

      great comment, thanks!

      technical note: there was a direct link, in the paragraph where the report was cited.

      I am deeply saddened by what we actually and potentially lost in the past 20 years, but those are still ideals, images of perfection in our minds, that cannot be real. in reality we would always end up with a compromise, and people would complain.

      my message is not that people should shut up and get over it, but that they should see the forest, and stop furiously complaining about things that don’t matter – minor improvements in health care, when 3B people don’t have access to clean water is ignorant and insulting. why didn’t occupy movement anywhere on the world come up with real demands?

      I believe complaining is creating an echo chamber that is defocusing the society from real problems. the problems that are actually causing the bad will. why do people complain about high taxes at the bar, and don’t take receipt from the plumber? why do people suffer in miserable jobs, but when asked what they would want to do, they have no idea.

      and btw, I don’t blame those people if they complain. their lives are hard. but those engaged in public debate and media should know better, and elevate the discussion to level of comparable facts. and fact is, people in Slovenia have surprisingly good quality of life. I’d like to see them try to survive in NY.

  • Marko says:

    I won’t argue how much we lost to corruption and general waste (even though I believe it’s billions), but do you honestly think it was not realistic to lose only half of whatever you think we wasted? Or “only” 3/4? And if that was possible, which surely it was, then wouldn’t that at least mean that it is possible to be angry without chasing some ideal? And if it wasn’t, shouldn’t you be angry at a system that is so wasteful?

    Not that I think striving for ideals is in any wrong. Only small things can come out of small goals.

    I work daily for societies who have far less than ours. What I want is for them to rise not us being happy that we are not them. And things are definitely worse then they used to be. I have a private dentist because it’s almost impossible to find one that isn’t. My health is fine, but this is not true for people close to me and it seems it’s almost impossible to have any serious treatment (or even specialist examination) that doesn’t involve half a year of waiting. Unless you pay which a lot of people can’t.

    It’s very easy for those of us who have a luxury of choice to berate those who with practically none. Or think that our life is somehow representative of how others live. Clothes are indeed cheap and poverty isn’t so obvious anymore.

    There’s no shortage of people around me who know what they want, but have no way of attaining it even if they scale down their ambitions as much as possible. I would find it downright cruel to suggest to them they should be pleased that it hasn’t gotten worse yet.

    • Bostjan says:

      I actually think we want to say same thing, but are focusing on different ones.

      If i understand correctly, you argue i shouldnt look down on less fortunates when they complain, and i agree. I am arguing that the more fortunates should focus on root causes and act, rather than complaining as well.

      But Sadly, the only way we would have lost less was if actual people, who had something to say, stood up and acted on their words, or if complaints echo chamber didn’t stop and kill those who did.

      I think we lost as much as we deserved.

      And i am sorry, 6 month waiting is still not worse than nothing at all, and much much better than being left in front of ER with a heart attack or no clean water. 80% of slovenians live better than 80% of the world. Whether they feel so or not.

      Are you sure those societies can rise and that ours can prosper without interruptions at the same time?

      Lets talk about things that society should change, to enable itself to rise. My only point is, actions, not complaints are needed for it. And some sense of the forrest.

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