Indicator of Civilization

If you like lists and/or comparative sociology, you’re going to like this.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking of the factors that make one society/nation/herd/group of people more or less civilized than another. This index looks at Human Development in a more cultural way, independent of how rich the group is on average or how clean their water is, even though there is usually some correlation.

And since most of these are intangible and consequently very hard to measure, I’m not going to do any kind of ranking. But some obvious comparisons will pop up in your head while reading this.

Of course, this is subjective and by no means authoritative. So any comments, suggestions, or notes; especially critical, are welcome and encouraged.

(and sorry about the formatting. blame wordpress.)

  • Prevalence of “national ills”
    • Prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual repression
      • Prevalence of marital abuse and arranged marriage
    • Prevalence of Religious zeal/fanaticism
      • Acceptance of unbelievers and heretics into mainstream society
        • Admission of unbelievers and heretics into key positions
    •   Prevalence of smoking, alcoholism, and drug abuse
    • Prevalence of littering, vandalism, public urination, etc.
    • Prevalence of homelessness
    • Prevalence of administrative corruption
    • Social acceptability of any negative points in this list
  • Popular social consciousness
    • Consciousness of global, national, and local current events
    • Consciousness of mental disorders and illnesses
    • Consciousness of environmental issues
    • Consciousness of recent and current scientific breakthroughs
    • Consciousness of the basics of civics, sociology, psychology, economics, and political science
    • Consciousness of safe sex & birth control
  • Technological, scientific, and intellectual advancement
    • Literacy rate
      • Digital literacy rate
        • Prevalence and strength of digital security
      • Percentage of adults fluent at a second language
      • Percentage of adults with a tertiary education degree
        • Percentage of adults with a post-tertiary degree
    • Availability and accessibility of non-degree educational resources
      • Popularity of non-degree educational resources
    • Relative number of scientific innovations/publications
    • Relative severity of brain drain
      • Relative number of students pursuing degrees abroad
      • Relative number of international students hosted
  • Income inequality
  • Prevalence and strength of inexplicable traditions
  • Relative strength of artistic and cultural productions
    • Relative number of cultural or artistic works influential abroad
      • Value of cultural tourism
        • Average satisfaction of tourists
  • High average health & fitness
    • Popularity, prevalence, and esteem of sports and physical activity
      • Relative competence of national sports teams
      • Prevalence and acceptability of hooliganism
    • Universality, accessibility and strength of public healthcare
    • Obesity rate
  • Prevalence of volunteer culture
    • Prevalence of community-serving or environmental hobbies (i.e. Gardening)
  • Population explosion
  • Prevalence of discrimination in popular psyche/mentality
    • Discrimination according to gender, age, religion, caste, national identity, etc.
      • Established hierarchies or assumed superiority, based on or influenced by any of the above factors
  • Prevalence of censorship
    • Number and severity of social taboos
    • Number of banned, censored, or taboo books or works of art
    • Prevalence of censorship in the media, Internet, etc.
      • Freedom of the press
  • Crime rate
    • Violent crime rate
      • Rate and severity of terrorist activity
        • Relative number of terrorists generated
      • Relative size of arms/weapons industry
    • Relative size of drug/alcohol industry (incl. legal)
      • Relative size of tobacco industry
    • Relative size of prison population
    • Number of victimless crimes punishable by law (e.g. recreational drug use)
  • Strength of cross-cultural/international relations
    • Cross-border trade value
    • Cross-cultural communication and dialogue
    • International cooperation and contribution to world order (e.g. Contributions to UN peacekeeping forces; mediation in international crises; development aid)
  • Popular understanding and application of civics
    • Established, sacrosanct, and respected rule of law
      • Equality before the law
    • Universal distribution of decision-making power, through voting or otherwise
      • Accessibility and approachability of government to the average person, i.e. through community policing
      • Directness of democracy
    • Transparency in government processes
    • Universal Trial by Jury
    • Stability of government
      • Inclination towards violent rebellion
    • Balance of laws concerning business, labor, and entrepreneurship
    • Size of bureaucracy
  • Prevalence of renewable energy use
  • Relative strength of military
    • Privileges granted to the state military, relative to other government institutions
      • Degree of independence given to military
      • Privileges granted to service(wo)men, police officers, and/or veterans
      • Military participation in government
    • Occurrence of unilateral military action abroad
  • Smoothness of debates and arguments
    • Possibility of the escalation of an argument to a riot
  • Relative number of citizens with depression, PTSD, etc.
    • Relative number of suicides caused by these diseases

Largely inspired by the Good Country Index, so thank you guys.



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