The silver rule has sometimes been described as the golden rule in a negative form. It is the golden rule without the gold. "What you do not wish done to you, do not do to others."
The iron rule is the rule of power and force. Its motto is: "Might makes right." One can do what he is big enough to do.'
The silver rule is present in various forms in other religions, before and after the Christianity. The examples include:
'This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.' (The Mahabharata in Hinduism)
'Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.' (The Udana-Varga in Buddhism)
'No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. (The Haddith in Islam)
The iron rule is universal globally with or without the sanction of highest religious books. The fact is that these three rules of human conduct or their absence have shaped the destiny of humans all over the world since the religions arrived on the planet. But we will analyze them in modern contexts as they apply to the West.
First of all economic equality among humans is not at all possible; neither in the West nor in the Rest. One can attempt to make all equals by making them more inefficient and unrewarding but even that would fail as it would not be sustainable over the longer-terms. But in a thriving capitalist economy, usually it is the most talented who gets maximally rewarded. Social and religious equalities are the dreams every Western society see but even in these fields there, equality, as of now, is possible among quasi-equals.
President Barack Obama's much talked about economic patriotism - whereby most of Americans' evolution shall be highly correlated—notwithstanding, the fact remains capitalism requires wide distributions and not too much regulation and over-governance. The fact is the markets have their own laws and they generally speaking don't count on emotions and sacrifices.
European social market is an innovative idea but such cannot be applicable to the US, if it wants to continue dominating the globe. Selfishness is the dominating theme and because of patriotism not too many Americans would like to lose too much of their money. They cannot earn much because of patriotism either but because of solid fundamentals based on market economy, individualism, rule of law, and above all, on proper minimum regulation.
So, obviously there cannot be much equality among the nations. Sure, Jesus' golden and silver rules are historically more for individualistic purpose than for state-purpose but in weak sense they could be applied, even in the past, on nations in peace, in conflict or at war too. Let's restrict our discussion to states and institutions. The fact is that among the Western nations there is quasi-equality but within the West the other nations don't wish to challenge the might of the US, like many other non-Western nations do. Rationality is the mantra; Western people usually accept the basic reality. If not they, at least their states do.
Now the modern world is based on various treaties, like the UN, the NATO, the Bretton-Woods, the G7, the G20, the Maastricht and host of others. These treaties are mostly consistent but as a rule they follow iron rule instead of golden rule of Christianity. The very basis of these treaties is to impose order and structure the globe and for those purposes hierarchy is very much needed.
But the uniqueness of Christianity is the preaching of golden rule as both iron rule and silver rule are almost universal on earth. Does that mean that Westerners, particularly the Whites among them, are not sincere and honest about Christianity?
The debate is similar to one centered around whether Christianity preaches capitalism or socialism. The answer to the second question is when during Jesus' time or time earlier to Common Era there was no technology, capital and entrepreneurship the preaching of Bible would appear socialist in many aspects to contemporary readers but definitely and surely it has many capitalist contents too.
Similarly, golden rule is applied to the international treaties to the extent possible. Treaties; global, regional and local, espoused by the West are humane and consistent to the extent they can be.
Obviously when nation-states are not equal in size, talent, innovation, and capital-generation, they cannot have same positions in the global world-order.
But still the globe follows rule of law and accepts structure whereby the nation-states follow particular rules and procedures as enshrined in the treaties. In this context Western states follow laws fully and rarely any among them violates so.
As reciprocity is more of a desirable thing in international relations, it is very much there though responsibilities of each nation-state are different due to differing capacities. Silver rule is the inverse of golden rule and it rests on accountability and reciprocity.
I think that iron rule is getting diminished slowly, but surely, though the dominance of the US is a welcome sign for the entire community of nations, most of the time, in most of the places. There are certain exceptions to the perfecting situation and they mostly include US's relationship with many Islamic world.
Let me warn all the probable readers that they shouldn't choose between Republicans and Democrats as good or bad Christians in the context of these three rules. Those who are Christians among them are mostly equally committed Christians though they differ on many counts because of political opinion.
Republicans are conservatives and Democrats are liberals. Sure, there is a measurable and perceptible difference between the two over the commitment towards Biblical ideology but the fact remains that both can opt for war, if the situation warrants; in American, regional and global interests- the thing that should matter most to the outside world.
Iron rule is more applicable to Republicans but still the Democrats would not shy away from asserting American hegemony. True, President Obama is a bit different. I think that the humanity needs to believe in the reciprocity while keeping its understanding of the differences among the nations and societies intact. One who gives more would expect more.
Since majority of treaties were signed before the dawn of modern consciousness, before the end of cold war, many of them may need revision and even rewriting. But the golden rule of thankfulness whereby those who offer more should be acknowledged and thanked more should not be forgotten.
In this regard let me tell you that Federal Reserve Bank is not an arbitrary imposed institution and its ability to print 'indefinitely' depends mostly on two major things: American innovation and the Pentagon's military might.
Sure, the US has the capability to export its inflation to the outside world and also to write off part of the debt of its citizens because of the Fed's 'indefinite printing power' but that is possible because there is un-satiated demand globally for the USD which is largely based on the American ability to create new technology and invent newer products.
Also, there is a balancing factor as the cheap plastic money printed by Fed to buy bad public mortgages and government's securities reaches the other world too and many American depositors indirectly suffer by loosing interests on their deposited money.
But let me admit that the UNSC does indeed require reconstruction. Veto powers won't be sacrificed but the UNSC needs to be expanded and India has a very strong candidacy to be in the expanded UNSC. As far as special drawing rights (SDR) - basket of currency used to replace USD's almost monopoly - is concerned, that is possible but economic principles and not growing consciousness and consumerism induced nationalism should be the reasons for desire for such changes.
All BRICS nations should worry that if they use their local currencies as the trading currencies among the nations, the Western investors, led by the US, would possess much more of their currency and because of that they can affect the monetary polices of many nations round the globe.
The West produces a lot more, therefore, it would posses relatively more currency of any trading nation and this is the law of economics and politics. Now Western tendency is to share but for its own benefits. But then it benefits most of the participatory nations and that is the beauty in itself. The Western dominance; politically, economically, militarily, and institutionally, is mostly good for the world. And this is based to some extent on the three rules for human conducts.