Friday, November 21, 2008

Clever countries

Small countries throughout history have really had two choices -- be clever or become a province of some bigger country. In world history, that's meant everything from marrying off the daughters to every conceivable ally to "Hi, I'm NEUTRAL!" to "You know this drug/spice/dried leaf I just got you hooked on? If you conquer my country, you won't get more of it..." 

They're all clever strategies. (Ethical... well, that's for another day.) 

Big countries needn't (but really should be) clever. They'll endure without much help because the momentum and mass just keeps rolling. But small countries have to work harder. This may explain the Netherlands' 17th and 18th century dominance of European trade; and England's late 18th and 19th century. 

It's kind of like being the kid in school who gets picked upon -- the kid can get violent in return, get cheeky and survive through wit (when the bullies are laughing, they can't hit...), or become so abject a target that there's no point bullying. 

I just realized how very sad it is that the world really can be equated to a 4th grade classroom...

1 comment:

Arlin Godwin / delphiniumBLUE said...

Hi C. Edwards! My name is Arlin Godwin and I had a little trouble tracking you down---but I got an email about the comment you left on my blog a week ago or so...and anyway you mentioned a song of mine called "Terrible Things Done" and I just wanted to send you a copy of it as an mp3 file if you can give me an email address to send it to. You might be on my list and I just wasn't able to find you but I SO appreciate people who take the time to write and track me down and who really seem to dig the music so...let me know where I can send the track.

MY email is PEACE.