This is half-and-half about politics as well as writing for me... I was wondering how does one build a "Great" nation? I live in the US so I looked to it's example, but this nation was founded on theft, violence, yada yada. I looked to other nations that are considered great like Britain, Russia, China, etc. Same thing. I look into the past for great nations like Egypt, Rome, and the like... Same thing. No doubt, these nations have produced many things that are good. Even Nazi Germany- during it's brief imperial reign- produced a good many things. I often wonder if they had won, would they be the US of today? Would they brush aside their violent past and tell others to forgive and think of the future and all the good they bring to the world? The underlying theme is that these great nations- without exception- were able to do these great things because they slaughtered so many and took on the excess resources needed to allow a civilization to devote time to things like arts and sciences. So then I'm wondering about the conflict regions around the world- like countries in East Europe, in Africa, Asia, South America, etc. These are countries trying to rise. They are often characterized as violent and chaotic. We want them to be great. We want them to follow our example. But are they following our example? Is the foundation of any great nation violence? Would my country exist if it had not taken land from someone else... Abused and pillaged others for it's own gain? This is a serious question, I actually am looking for counterpoint because so far as I know, every nation that rises to respectability did so off of great violence and I'm wondering if I'm wrong before I fly off with it.