A bit of op-ed that recently landed in my mailbox astounded me. Bari Weiss's Substack newsletter Common Sense offered Swedish columnist Paulina Neuding's look into modern Swedish society , which opened with the gob-smacking stat that Sweden, a nation with 10M people (about the same as Michigan or North Carolina), has had nearly 500 bombings since 2018.
As in hand grenades, IEDs, and the like.
That's apart from shootings, which are also way up. Associated with this violence is the sharp rise in gangs and gang crime, which has turned multiple neighborhoods into "no-go" zones where even paramedics (who only ever help people) are not safe, and where Sweden’s equivalent of New York City's "brownies" - traffic cops/ticket writers - have ceased their operations. Imagine - a government giving up on revenue because its revenuers are at risk of mayhem and death.
This shocking decline in civil order is directly tied to unassimilated immigration. Nearly a quarter of Sweden's adult population is foreign-born, a fraction that eclipses America's 1890s immigration-wave peak of fifteen percent or today’s fourteen percent.
It has ushered in a right-wing government in a legendarily progressive country.
When did progressivism, and why did progressives, embrace abandonment of citizens to criminal predators? Protection of citizens is among the most fundamental roles of any responsible government, but there, here, and elsewhere, the act of protecting citizens from predators is now considered reactionary-right-wing and therefore anathema. Complaining about crime is now deemed racist, in a culture where calling someone a racist is the quickest and surest ways to shut him up.
Regular readers may recall my recent bit about the vital importance of immigration to this (or any) nation's future. Sweden's problem will be cast by some as born of immigration, but this overlooks a critical aspect of progressive immigration philosophy: multiculturalism.
Imagine telling someone "come on in, but we don't want you to embrace our nation's philosophy. Instead, we want you to retain the same attitudes that created a place you were desperate to leave." How does that make any sense?
Yeah, I know, foolish me looking for sense or sensibility.
America's success in accepting huge waves of immigrants is inextricably tied to the "melting pot." People came here came for the American Dream, not for an extension of the conditions in the lands they left, and were encouraged to embrace the values and principles of their new home even as their ancestral cultures enriched it.
"Melting pot" has now been deemed racist, colonial, appropriative, and much else out of the woke-xicon, and those who advocate or extol it are Bad People.
So it went in Sweden. As Neuding notes, while many immigrants (over a third of whom are from Middle East nations, and many more from nations that don’t share what we might call Nordic values) have integrated into Swedish society, many others have clustered in segregated and unassimilated areas. Similar stories out of France inform us of unassimilated neighborhoods and nearly 50% unemployment among young immigrant men, where Western values are spit upon, and where unrest and resentment foment. In Sweden, the outcome is gangs competing for turf and descending into savagery.
It is an unfortunate truth that saying "savagery" will draw "racist!" retorts from the Best-and-Brightest that birthed this mess, and those retorts will cow too many people into grumbling acquiescence.
Sweden has long had a reputation - no matter if undeserved - as a place where people tend toward suicide in the winter. The irony that Sweden's progressive policies are a form of societal suicide is not lost, at least on me.
This serves as a cautionary tale for America and other western societies. Unassimilated immigration is dangerous - both for nations and for the immigrants themselves. Immigrants who don't learn the fundamentals that made this nation great: the primacy and sovereignty of the individual and the protection of individual rights and liberties, who don't learn the language, and who don't integrate into existing neighborhoods or interact outside their immigrant clusters, are destined to lag the rest of the population. I’ve witnessed this lag first-hand in my own “community,” i.e. Greek immigrants, where those who didn’t learn English or assimilate into the broader culture quickly hit economic and other ceilings.
While previous waves of immigration did cluster among their own - any long time resident of NYC's outer boroughs knows which ethnicities live where - those waves were here for the American Way. Crucially - the people at the top of society didn't tell those waves "stick to your old world ways because the American Way sucks." They expected assimilation, they expected the new arrivals to embrace the order into which they entered. The sheer mass of those waves ensured cultural contribution - thus the Melting Pot.
Domestic migration tells a similar tale. Those fleeing the epicenters of progressive policy in favor of more liberty and governments that punish criminals instead of disregarding victims shouldn't bring their affinity for that leftism with them. That they do is a problem, and it has spawned plenty of rhetorical backlash from the locals, with distrust and disdain for the “leftugees” that ruined their previous burgs.
Multiculturalism and other progressive "-isms" are rooted in the notion that there is no "better" or "worse," only "different." This is nonsense. Liberty is better than slavery. Individual rights are better than Marxist philosophy. Life is better than death. Some forms of government are horrific, murderous, and impoverishing, while others are merely annoying. The American Experiment spawned countless emulations, while the "progressive" forms that sought to go beyond capitalism killed over a hundred million and sank billions into misery. Relativism is bullshit, and the -isms that derive from it are similarly bankrupt.
Until that becomes understood and accepted by the cultural arbiters, good people will continue to be preyed upon by humanity's worst.
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