In man’s early days, one tribe would only fight against one other neighbouring tribe at any one time. The same applied when tribes became empires and. later, when empires became nations. One against one.
All that started to change about 250 years with the development of large, highly mobile — and extremely expensive — artillery regiments when independent nations began to associate in brief alliances in order to fight wars. Since then, any individual country — particularly if European — might have been through a succession of alliances. In effect, though, it is still one against one.
In the last 50 years or so, with the advent of multinational corporations, and the internet, and increasing individualization of both customers and countries, we now have a new situation where a country, with its own unique blend of skills, is in competition with every other. It does so by means of a positive balance of imports and exports and also, by means of taxation, how much it can attract good businesses than can bring more profits and employment. It is now one against all.
By far the best strategy for any country is to identify intellectual brilliance proportionate to population — and to ensure adequate training — more than any other. Further, a country needs to make sure that as high a proportion as possible are welcomed into its various social elites which take all the economic and social decisions..
In order to do this, a country must endeavour to select as many children at the time of puberty when they show clear signs of high intelligence and, equally importantly, equable personality — products of both good genes and good parenting — and make sure that they are encouraged and not hindered from then onwards.
Such children a slightly likely to be found proportionately more often among the present elite in any country — but only slightly so. Elites are not yet as separated from the masses as they are already tending to be in some of the advanced countries. The fact is, because chromosomes are chopped up — and parents’ packages of genes redistributed — every fertilization, brilliant children are almost as likely to be found in the masses of a population than in the existing elite. So long as present gaps don’t widen too much further.
Appreciation of the talent that is currently being lost in the non-elite part of the population is now seeping into governments’ consciousness, particularly advanced governments where competition for survival is fiercer and ambitions of success are sharper than most. There are already signs that great changes in education, particularly education in childhood so far, are now taking place in advanced countries. We’re likely to see revolutionary changes in the next 50 years.