A Swedish Dilemma

A Swedish Dilemma

Chrisopher Caldwell of the influential US magazine The Weekly Standard came to Sweden in the middle of the winter to see how we are coping with the issues of the welfare state and immigration.

Always an astute observer, his reflections as now published in The Weekly Standard are certainly worth both reading and discussing.

17 Responses to A Swedish Dilemma

  1. simulev skriver:

    Are you, by recomending this specific article, admitting that there actually might be a smaller problem with recent immigration? Welcome to the can of worms in that case that you just opened.


  2. Sven K skriver:

    A consequence of an overall non-referendum based immigration politics is that most Europeans would characterize immigrants of today as intruders. Mr. Bildt, however, seems to rely on europeisation rather than democratisation, but in small countries like Sweden and Denmark, an almost full islamisation might occur within 30 years from now.

  3. Martin_P skriver:

    Rojas offers the best explanation of the Swedish problems, namely segregation, especially in the job market. There is too little interaction between native Swedes and immigrants for integration to occur.

    Add to that a very long wait for a work permit for recent arrivals, and a passivising welfare system.
    And of course the fact that we mainly let asylum seekers rather than labour immigration into the country…

    Economic dynamism and a more flexible job market are the only ways out of this fix. The new arrivals are needed to keep a sensible workforce once the baby boomers retire. We will also need to raise the pension age and maybe shorten the studying time for the young.

    The fears of ”islamisation” are ridiculous. The immigrants are not much less secular than native Swedes.

  4. Anonymous skriver:

    The most proper action would be repatriation, since no Swede outside Sjobo kommun was offered the possibility to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the governments immigration politics, which was rejected by 67% in Sjobo 1988. Today the resistance is even higher, about 75-80% in the rest of the country.

    This is a very dangerous situation that could trigger an uprising for democracy in Sweden at any minute now. Ethnical conflicts cannot be disarmed by EU-membership, claiming there are no nations left, just commersial regions where all become happy spending money.

  5. Carl Bildt skriver:

    I just want to agree that fears of ”islamisation” are ridicolous.

    I lived for two years in a Muslim-dominated city in a country from which a very large number of refugees to Sweden came.

    It was Bosnia in Sarajevo.

    Although I guess most people there in some way would refer to themselfes as Muslims, they were no different than the people around me in Stockholm that in some way would consider themselfes as some sort of Christians.

    And in Sweden – although not underestimating some of the difficulties they might have had coming here – their big number has most certainly not lead to a wave of Muslim takeovers of anything.

    As a moderate party member, I am now represented in the European Parliament by a lady that came from Bosnia not that long ago.

    She’s a European and a Swede and a champion for the same ideas that I’m standing for.

  6. simulev skriver:

    Bildt states:
    ”I just want to agree that fears of ”islamisation” are ridicolous.”Yeah, just like an earthquake in Iran, or a tsunami in Asia was impossibility I am as always impressed by the self-proclaimed prophets that claim they can predict the future which such certainty.

    Especially when Islamist themselves are pretty clear, again and again, what their goal is. Global world domination. Then again certain Europeans was pretty sure that the ”greatest war” was WW1. Until WW2. Less than only one mans age ago.

  7. Anonymous skriver:

    The islamisation of Europe, that Mr. Bildt seems to advocate, has already caused tension, violence and social costs that should be taken more seriously by our politicians. But once in power, no retreat whatever the costs…

    We cannot have faith in those intellectual dwarfs rejecting facts/statistics, and even denying people their fundamental human and democratic right to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this madness.

    The challenge of our time is to prevent another bloody battle for democracy in Europe. A new empire built on repression will not last for long, once people decide to get rid of it.

  8. Robert Daguillard skriver:

    A couple of things,

    In his remarks on the Swedish welfare state, Chris Caldwell like a good conservative casts doubt on the idea that solidarity — meaning an extensive social safety net — generates prosperity. In fact, it CAN do just that, as long as the international context and the lack of outside competition allow it to.

    Look at Germany, for instance, where the Social Market Economy has ensured social peace for decades, prevented strikes and allowed the FRG’s economy to become one of the most powerful in the world. That was until the opening of Eastern European markets in the early 1990s brought the pressures of globalization closer to home and made Germany’s high labor costs clear for everyone to see. Nonetheless, there is nothing to suggest that solidarity CANNOT create prosperity under any circumstances.

  9. Robert Daguillard skriver:

    I forgot to add:

    Caldwell says there are a little under 1,1 million foreign-born residents in Sweden. But how many of them are Scandinavians or Northern Europeans and how many of them come from developing countries or from Southeastern Europe? It’s important to get a clear picture — as I highly doubt Sweden is about to be overrun by millions of turban-clad Madrassa graduates who carry shoulder missile launchers in their luggage.

  10. Sven K skriver:

    The costs of workers in countries with low standard of living cannot be compared to our wealthy conditions. It´s like apples and oranges. Germany represents a higher level of income, or amount of solidarity, since it can afford it.

    Too much solidarity would lead to lazy workers and stagnation, the case of Sweden. It is perhaps possible to quantify the maximum amount of solidarity generating most standard of living. On the other hand, less income or slavery, might be as effective as well, and this seems be the in accordance with some EU pleaders’ viewpoint.

  11. Anonymous skriver:

    There is a broad spectrum of Islamists living in Sweden, and they are a fast growing population of about 400.000, which is a lot.

    There are Sunnis proclaiming Jihad on Swedish websites, secular Islamist as well (but you never know their intentions).

    It is not the number that makes a threat until there is an overall pro-Islamic uprising, which might come (Sweden will most certainly have its intifadas, like the rest of Europe). Only one or two of them is enough, however, if they are determined to create chaos.

    So we wouldn´t have let them in in the first place, that is if the Swedish opinion was taken into account, but it wasn´t due to a well established left wing political dominance.

    This democratic failure now acts like a millstone on our politicians necks, our economy and future as well. There is, however, a simple way out. Just let the people vote Yes or No to this repressive politics, and then act accordingly.

  12. Carl Bildt skriver:

    It seems as if Islamophobia is running rampant in the blogosphere…

    I don’t have the exact breakdown of the figures for the app a million foreign born that are supposed to be there in Sweden.

    One of them is obviously my Italian wife.

    The biggest single national group by far have always been those born in Finland.

    And of so called Muslims I suspect that the biggest group is still the Bosnian one, which is roughly as secular as most Swedes are.

  13. Anonymous skriver:

    Well, I didn´t recognize Mr. Bildts wife as a muslim…

    We have to consider overall figures, though. Comparing Fins with Islamic groups is a divertion from subject and historical facts. 400.000 Islamists in Sweden is a well established figure in this debate, from which politicians have deserted, as from their own people, culture and religion. Bosnians and other ‘secular’ Islamic groups are keeping our police busy as well, and thus prepered for Jihad.

    It is time to review our national rights and act accordingly.

  14. Ulf_N skriver:

    Will Sweden bee the new Jugoslavia? in the feture.Is there any contry Islamic practice can accept the democratic rouels,

  15. Anonymous skriver:

    Hopefully the fast growing Swedish society of muslims will accept our rules, but this seems to be an open question to everyone except the Swedish politicians, who let them in…

    So they might have got the answer.

    In the context of the Koran there is no doubt, however: the Koran will never change, and the goal for Islam is to rule the world, at any price.

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  17. lloydcc skriver:

    First I will say I am Bosniak, before I was in Bosnia until 1992 and in Denmark from 1992 to the 2004. After that I get good offer for job, so now I am in France.

    First I will agree with Mr. Bildt about Bosnia, and how he say secularism there. Bosnia is even today more secular than any western country.
    I must say that is only what I agree with Mr. Bildt, especially I disagrees with him about future of the Bosnia with so-called ”Serbian” republic inside. That thing must not exist in any part of the Europe.

    Now about welfare system in Scandinavia?
    Like someone who lived in Scandinavia, I must say that I was not able to see that welfare system.
    It is bubble.

    Before I arrived in Scandinavia, I was thinking I will found computerized public transport, but kind I was disappointed. Of course I arrived from Bosnia, so only reason why I came was becouase of the war in my country, not becouase of the money or anything else.

    First I was lived in small town near German border with Denmark, so I was able to see differences between two countries. In statistics Denmark like all Scandy countries were better than Germany, in reality that was not case. So I suggest that all people from Scandinavia don’t read advertising articles in theirs newspapers, or read stats which are BTW false in many parts, but when they visit other country that they look how quality of the life is in those country. So I was visited a lot of the European countries, including all Scandy countries (excluding Finland), plus almost all Western countries in Europe, my impression that best quality of the life was in former Yugoslavia. I was paying every year in Denmark top skat (tax) so you are able to know on which level
    I was there. But I was not near, or I am not near life what for example my parents had in former Yugoslavia, when they was in my age. Not just them from former Yugoslavia. For example in former Yugoslavia, mayority of the people when they were 40 years old have ownership on for example two flours house, without any debt to bank or what ever. On west, peoples debts are enorme, they paying theirs debts to bank in late 60-s, so almost all life.

    Least former Yugoslavia in something was OK. Of course political system there was terrible.

    Anywhere I think main error of the Western countries is because they think that they are able to control immigration policy, so when theirs businesses need extra workforce from East or Africa or where ever, they want import them, when they don’t need them, they want to expel them? That is wrong. Immigration is something what is very difficult to control, so politicians from West hide from theirs people that businesses and so-called welfare system need immigration to keep things on same level, if ”baby produiction” is on small level in that country. Just remember, when I was in Denmark, every year payments for pension fond rised. Why? Because people in Denmark (West also) are older and older, and someone must earn pension for older people. So Westerns governments need young people (read immigrants) to fill plaice’s where domestic people missing. Of course I never heard some politician that say, we need import people if we want to keep on this level. When crises like this one arrives, than of course immigrants are not welcome, and problems immigrants vs. Domestic population may start. Usually right parties, like Dansk Folkeparti or Venstre, use that to win election and problems start. So immigrants on papers have the same rights like domicile population, in reality that is not case, so more problems arrive. Extremism produce extremism and circle is closed.

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