It is pretty clear that, given the choice, a very large number of people would prefer to go to North America or Europe to live and raise their families. What matters, is why? It isn’t just wealth; that’s plentiful in say, Saudi Arabia. What is it? It seems to come down to the combination of opportunity and decent living conditions.
A signal element in those, obvious from a world map of the levels of corruption in the planet’s various societies, is the low levels (comparatively) of corruption in both of these target places. And as the map shows, we must add Australia to our targets.
This suggests that, if you wish an enriched society in general, it must be a relatively honest one, which seems sensible enough to need no further evidence. Next, one might wonder how these places became more honest than the rest of the planet? That’s easy too, if presently annoying to many; it was by virtue of Christianity first and particularly, the Reformation (or Protestant Revolt if you prefer) later. It is unarguable that the most honest places speak English or some variety of German.
It is also obvious that these places have pretty much abandoned those Christian rules by which they used to live. It has not been much remarked yet, but that abandonment is showing up in these now changing societies. Regular political scandals and the new normality of Congressfolk retiring as millionaires is a part of that.
Another part is illustrated in a recent news story. The U.S. government is fitted with corruption/fraud watchers called: “Inspectors General.” It is their job to find and report wrongdoing in the bureaucracy so as to prevent or at least, extirpate it. To further this, they are provided extraordinary authority to investigate and they are outside the regular supervision of the departments for which they are responsible. Over the decades, they have provided a lot of news headlines. And they have contributed no little to the integrity of American government.
But too many Americans have abandoned their Christianity now and too many Congressfolk are retiring rich. Those old Romans used to ask: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” which amounts to: Who will watch the watchers?” That phrase came along long before their Christianity. And to this day, no human society has provided a lasting response. Least of all in an America where we now hear that Inspectors General have taken to ignoring and whitewashing wrongdoing instead of reporting it.
So our clownish species appears to be providing the universe the entertainment that has been its wont. The wealthy, honest places drawing the poor from elsewhere are changing and as those new arrivals multiply, will have come to resemble the places from whence the migrants fled. Ultimately, we seem unable to escape ourselves … an enduring act in the Cosmic Comedy.
We will be grateful for any suggestions that we are too pessimistic.