Dark lands: the grim truth behind the ’Scandinavian miracle’

By Michael Booth | theguardian.com

Don’t miss the additions, comments and critique of this Scandinavian expose below the guardian article.

The following is from the guardian:

Television in Denmark is rubbish, Finnish men like a drink – and Sweden is not exactly a model of democracy. Why, asks one expert, does everybody think the Nordic region is a utopia?

For the past few years the world has been in thrall to all things Nordic (for which purpose we must of course add Iceland and Finland to the Viking nations of Denmark, Norway and Sweden). “The Sweet Danish Life: Copenhagen: Cool, Creative, Carefree,” simpered National Geographic; “The Nordic Countries: The Next Supermodel”, boomed the Economist; “Copenhagen really is wonderful for so many reasons,” gushed the Guardian.

Whether it is Denmark’s happiness, its restaurants, or TV dramas; Sweden’s gender equality, crime novels and retail giants; Finland’s schools; Norway’s oil wealth and weird songs about foxes; or Iceland’s bounce-back from the financial abyss, we have an insatiable appetite for positive Nordic news stories. After decades dreaming of life among olive trees and vineyards, these days for some reason, we Brits are now projecting our need for the existence of an earthly paradise northwards.

I have contributed to the relentless Tetris shower of print columns on the wonders of Scandinavia myself over the years but now I say: enough! Nu er det nok! Enough with foraging for dinner. Enough with the impractical minimalist interiors. Enough with the envious reports on the abolition of gender-specific pronouns. Enough of the unblinking idolatry of all things knitted, bearded, rye bread-based and licorice-laced. It is time to redress the imbalance, shed a little light Beyond the Wall.

Take the Danes, for instance. True, they claim to be the happiest people in the world, but why no mention of the fact they are second only to Iceland when it comes to consuming anti- depressants? And Sweden? If, as a headline in this paper once claimed, it is “the most successful society the world has ever seen”, why aren’t more of you dreaming of “a little place” in Umeå?

Actually, I have lived in Denmark – on and off – for about a decade, because my wife’s work is here (and she’s Danish). Life here is pretty comfortable, more so for indigenous families than for immigrants or ambitious go-getters (Google “Jantelov” for more on this), but as with all the Nordic nations, it remains largely free of armed conflict, extreme poverty, natural disasters and Jeremy Kyle.

So let’s remove those rose-tinted ski goggles and take a closer look at the objects of our infatuation …

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Turning Their Backs on Sweden’s Welfare State

By Per Bylund | Mises Economics Blog

 

As noted by e.g. Reason.com, Yahoo! News recently reported that Swedes are increasingly turning their backs on their globally lauded utopian welfare state. While very little known, Sweden’s welfare state “worked” through the early 1970s thanks to deliberately preserving capitalist institutions and expanding its scope at a slower rate than the country’s overall economic growth. This changed in the 1970s, which necessitated several devaluations of the currency in only a few years intended to “boost” exports, and then a somewhat lost decade in the 1980s.

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Swedish Divers Unearth ’Stone Age Atlantis’, Ancient Relics from 11,000 Years Ago

In a compelling find, divers in Sweden have discovered an ancient underwater site, and recovered relics dating back to the stone age. The discovery, deep beneath the Baltic sea, is described as one of the earliest Swedish settlements, but rarer still as the people of the time were all nomadic and without traditional villages, thus the finds are ’one of a kind’.

The relics are apparently in remarkably well preserved condition due to the water and the black, gel-like ’Gyttja’ sediment. The divers have unearthed items such as animal bone carvings, flint tools animal horns, and even rope.

The site’s age, 11,000 years, is on par chronologically with the much recognized and celebrated Turkish site – Gobekli Tepe. The Baltic site might not be as elaborate in terms of what has been discovered so far, but more work needs to be done to see what is actually down there. So far, the silence from Swedish authorities and the cultural departments is astonishing. There’s no recognition or encouragement of this find. Perhaps this is because Swedish authorities are loathe to recognize Swedish accomplishments, and even admit to ’hating’ Swedish culture, and all things to do with Norse history.

This is all the more reason to shine a spotlight on the hidden history of the deep Baltic site and the ancient peoples who came before.

More on these incredible discoveries below…

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Lexbase – Site lets Swedes snoop on friends’ criminal past

Comment: This article from the local shows the latest example of a long string of registers and measures that have been taken in Sweden to erode all forms of privacy and individuality. There is no privacy in Sweden. Period.

It’s a stalkers paradise. First you have the prospect that several “yellow pages” type websites post your full name, birth date and residential address on their websites. You have to write to them to request them to take it off and continue to hide it. Utility companies and phone companies also regularly submit your information to these sites so you have to continue to keep your records off these websites and/or request directly to those who are in a position to share your address to not share it with any third party. I’ve seen several people (women specifically) who has expressed tremendous fear once they were being stalked and realized that all their details were available on 6 or 7 websites (at least). It turns out that it takes a number of phone calls and a number of days waiting to get your details off, from these websites. Great, right?

There is also a fully accessible car registration number registry where you can find people’s name and full address based on their cars registration number alone, another stalkers dream.

Did you know that in Sweden people’s tax returns have been public since 1903. Copies of the Taxation Calendar, which lists the earnings of those with middle to high incomes, are printed and made available to anybody. Do you want to “spy” on what your neighbor makes? This means that quite regularly the Swedish “newspapers” you’ll have full listings of “who makes the most in your community/town”.

Yep that’s right! Great for people who are both stalkers and robbers, so they know where to go. I guess it’s the governments way of helping to “equal the playing field.” So that if (read: when) Robbin Hood shows up, he’ll know what house he should go to.

Sweden is a model society and the sheep are used to it. They have no clue. If this was done in America (where people have known what is known as individuality and privacy) or in most other countries, there would be an outrage. All I hear is silence .

The paradise of Jantelagen is coming to a country near you, soon.

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