I had a question about the moral values of nations, what are they really?

When I'm thinking of what the high level values of a state are such as China, I always assume that they want to make their populous as happy as possible. I don't really think this is the case but what is then the truth in reality?

I'm uncertain about the answer but also what questions to ask, if anyone has any thoughts please let me know! Some questions I've thought of are the following: What do you think the average Chinese politician values morally?
How do you find out what the average Chinese politician values? What is the incentive structure for politicians?

The question of how individual moral values affect divergence from the incentive system is particularly interesting to me as this can help predict the effect of placing a system in one country compared to another among other things. (how would an average person in China use a totalitarian state compared to an average person in Indonesia?)

(It doesn't have to be about China)

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2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 2:05 PM

There is some survey work on this subject, like this World Value Survey, and various other results, like that citizens of communist/totalitarian states exhibit lower levels of social trust, if I recall correctly.

Intuitively I'd say that a lot of people convert nationality into part of their identity, and people value identity. And while I think nations should be more like an organization searching for the happiness of its citizens, or a decision process machine, the identity often plays a large role.