The worst refugee crisis since World War II continues. People are entering Europe through Italy and Greece, many of them with the goal of reaching Germany and Sweden. But why Sweden and not the other Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, and Norway?
Sweden lets far more immigrants get residence permits than its Nordic neighbors. This is because Sweden lacks the kind of traditional nationalism that you can still find in the other countries. It has been replaced by a reverence for equality, which will give Sweden trouble if the flood of immigrants don’t subside.
Differences in solidarity
The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet has done the math. Last year, 34,787 asylum seekers were given residence permits in Sweden. The number of permits given each year has been consistently high compared to the other countries, also if you count per capita.
Denmark has taken in relatively few refugees, between 1,500 and 2,000 per year since the middle of the 00’s. In 2014, on account of the growing pressure caused by the Syrian war, the amount rose to 6,104.
Norway has accepted between 4,000 and 6,000 refugees per year since the beginning of the century. As with Denmark the number has risen lately, to 7,540 last year.
Out of the four countries compared, Finland is the worst from the migrant’s perspective, generally granting 1,000 to 2,000 people asylum every year.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, are trying their best to convince the other countries in the EU to be more generous toward refugees. The union’s attempts to impose quotas for every country has so far fallen flat.
Denmark, Norway, and Finland are pushing back. They want to limit the influx of refugees as much as possible with restrictive policies. For example, Denmark has cut benefits for asylum seekers by almost half, and they won’t be able to bring their family members to Denmark during their first year.
The result is that more and more migrants are heading for Sweden. Right now they are moving through Denmark, with the permission of Danish authorities, to get to the promised land up north. Syrians, who make up a large portion of the migrants, receive a permanent residence permit in Sweden since 2013.
Three big reasons
So why is there such a difference in migration policy between the Nordic countries? According to Marie Demker, a political science professor, there are three big reasons for why Sweden differs from the rest: lack of classical nationalism, long experience of immigration, and party political consensus.
The Swedish nationalism is not of the same character as in the other countries. We take pride in democracy, equality and civil rights. In for example Denmark and Norway there is a more regular nationalism which refer to the people, the history and the culture.
About the party political consensus on the immigration issue, Marie Demker tells Svenska Dagbladet:
There has never been a fight between the Social Democratic Party and the leading right-wing party. There has been an agreement on these issues. They have agreed on the need for regulation, and the need for immigration.
The road to hell…
Marie Demker is spot on in her description of Sweden and what Swedes hold as the greatest virtues in society. If a classical nationalism was mainstream here at some point in history, it has by now been relegated to the far right.
Today Swedes value democracy, civil rights, and equality. But their country has been formed by nearly a century of socialist politics and propaganda. And in socialism, democracy and civil rights come second to equality.
When socialists and most Swedes talk about equality, they mean equality of outcome. Whatever a person does with his life, he has the right to get as much as every other guy in the end.
While it’s fair that everyone should have the same opportunities from the start, it’s anything but fair that they end up equal. But socialist ideology has made Swedes blind to this obvious fact. They have been taught self-denial and self-hatred.
To give away your hard-earned wealth to someone else means you have to deny yourself—your needs and desires must matter less than the next person’s. And self-denial becomes a lot easier if you hate yourself.
Too many choices
A great illustration of this point is a column in Svenska Dagbladet (9/12) by Karin Thunberg. The title is, “The latest weeks have changed the perspective.”
She says that the picture of the dead boy washed up on a beach has made people more engaged in the refugee crisis, and want to help in some way.
But close behind creeps the shame over everything that us privileged so easily take for granted. Just to have a home that we don’t risk needing to leave head over heels.
She is ashamed of herself for having more than others, completely disregarding the hard work that her ancestors and she herself did to put her in that “privileged” position. She calls it “absurd” that she has so many alternatives to choose—she can’t even pick from a menu at a fancy restaurant anymore.
Starter, main course and dessert, or main course and dessert—or maybe just main course? […] I haven’t eating anything yet but I’m already tired to death from all of these choices that I neither can enjoy nor exploit because they are—too much.
Here we see the self-denial at work. Although she has every reason and opportunity to enjoy her life, she can’t do it if the options she has aren’t available to everyone else. Her pleasure turns into self-hatred as she’s sipping expensive wine, contemplating how unjust it is that others are sipping salt water at the bottom of the Mediterranean—“the world is still deaply unfair”.
The most decisive thing in a human’s life is not negotiable: Like where in the world we are born. Who we get as parents. If we have a chance to survive even our childhood, reach adulthood.
She thus ends her column by going full socialist: We can’t do anything about our lives. They are fixed from the start, and you can’t change it no matter how hard you work. She hasn’t earned her wealth and prosperity, and poor people never deserve their poverty.
Some are privileged and some are not. Naturally the discrepancy has to be evened out to make the world fair. The rich must therefore give, and the poor have every right to take.
To view equality of outcome as the ultimate good becomes a problem when great numbers of poor refugees cross the border into your society.
As immigrants are people too, with the same human value as Swedish citizens, they also have a right to be equal. The logical conclusion is that immigrants must be equally wealthy as Swedes. When more and more refugees are asking for help, Sweden’s altruistic morality, and its economy, is put to the test.
Christ himself would have been astonished by the level of self-sacrifice displayed by the Swedes. But they don’t believe in him anymore. Instead they put their faith in socialism. For the original sin of white privilege, they will never cease to repent.
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