This is something I’ve thought of quite a bit in terms of New Zealand’s success in controlling coronavirus. Some posters here seem very insistent on attributing good portions of that success to immutable things like its island geography. Others seem just as insistent on pushing back in their belief that any major nation in the world could have easily copied NZ’s actions and had their success.
It’s my theory that this struggle is so important to some people in the former group because they think the latter group is passing moral judgment on them: “Oh, those stupid, selfish Americans, they just don’t care about other people. We New Zealanders are just better people, and that’s why we’re not dying of coronavirus right now.” It struck me how much this dynamic reminds me of debates over other things that happen in the US, health care and firearm availability being obvious examples.
I know I’ve started a past thread asking a similar question, but it was long ago, and wasn’t quite this angle, so I think I can restart it here: are some nations just made up of “better” people, morally, than others? Are the people in the United States uniquely selfish or greedy or ignorant, compared to any other individual nation in the world, or does it have more “bad” people proportionally than any other? If so, how did this come about? What can governments, or any citizens, of “bad” countries do?
I know there are a lot of nebulous word definitions here; feel free to work that into any thoughts you may have.