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WEALTH! The First Rule of a Great Civilization
It talks about how western countries are superior because they are relatively uncorrupt. Which is true. But I wonder, are these third world countries more real, more natural in some ways? Could you argue that a certain amount of corruption isn't so bad? Is it not more real to live in a country that is somewhat gritty and a bit rough around the edges?
I think a certain amount of civilization is necessary, but I also think it's good to not try too hard to paint over human nature, even though that comes at a price. I often think that western countries are like factories, while non western countries, as long as their infrastructure isn't too bad, are like playgrounds. People are more genuine, but also they can be corrupt, and quite nasty at worst, but at the same time the good people can be really good. Meanwhile in western countries most people are in the bland zone somewhere in the middle.
Is it possible for a culture to have the right balance between both extremes? I think Mediterranean / Latin countries (or some of them) are the closest to a perfect civilization. Rich / interesting cultures and history, a sense of enjoyment, and enough civilization / infrastructure to not make life too hard, and not too rich or poor.
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