BRUCE BAWER: POLYGAMY AND OPEN BORDERS FOR THE VIKINGS?
No matter how much jaw-dropping news of dhimmitude one may read from day to day, originating in virtually every corner of the Western world and bringing shameful and outrageous tidings of virtually every imaginable type of capitulation to Islam, it seems that one always ends up exclaiming: “Those crazy Swedes!”
Here’s the latest bit of folly from the land of tasty little meatballs, cheap but excellent Ikea bookshelves, and highly efficient wartime Nazi collaboration. Last month a committee of Sweden’s Center Party – which was founded exactly one hundred years ago to represent the interests of farmers and of decentralized government, and which is currently one of the four parties that make up the country’s “center-right” (pause for laughter) governing coalition – issued a report apparently meant to be viewed as bold and visionary.
This is, I might note, a party whose avowed ideology is a baffling mishmash of pragmatism, utopianism, individuality, and something the party itself calls “ecohumanism,” which it defines as a “green social-liberal ideology.” It professes – remarkably enough for Sweden – that “Sweden should be a functioning market economy, free from any hint of a planned economy” and that “only a policy that embraces entrepreneurship can make it possible for people to realize their dreams. The individual’s initiative, enterprise and responsibility are the foundation of economic progress.”
Entitled “A Sustainable Future – A Proposal for a New Policy Program,” the party’s new report was also an ideological mixed bag. Many of the proposals seemed conservative or libertarian: institute a flat tax; alter the inheritance laws so that parents, who under current law are obliged to leave at least half their estates to their kids, can instead leave their dough to whoever they want; allow home schooling.
But the report, in what could either be interpreted either as touches of extreme libertarianism or as sheer dhimmitude – or both – also called for the legalization of polygamy and for Sweden’s borders to be opened up completely so that anyone, from anywhere, can move there. Indeed, at second glance, the call for new inheritance laws looked mainly like an effort to adapt Swedish law to sharia, and the stuff about home schooling came off as a sop to Swedish Muslims who seek to protect their children from the baleful influence of public education.
Plenty of Swedes were outraged by these proposals – although many seemed as outraged by the idea of a flat tax as by open borders, as outraged by the suggestion that people be allowed to write their own wills as by the proposal to permit polygamy. The uproar got so bad that Annie Lööf, a twenty-nine-year-old who is head of the Center Party and is also Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise, had to return from her Thailand vacation to do damage control. (It is common in Scandinavia for ridiculously young people who have worked their way up the ranks from their parties’ youth divisions to be put in charge of government ministries that are in control of huge and complicated things about which they barely have a clue – having spent their short lives absorbed in party politics and learning about virtually nothing else.)
After Lööf’s return from Thailand, the party set about altering the wording of its proposals to quell the criticism. A new version of the report, dated February 18, presented the revised party program. Flat tax? No, no – just flatter tax. Open borders? Well, what had plainly been a specific proposal to remove barriers to immigration was transformed into a vaguer, more abstract declaration of the party’s opposition to any obstacles that prevent individuals’ free movement around the globe. Lööf maintained, however, that the tamer new version of this proposal didn’t represent an abandonment of the previous formulation of the idea and insisted that the Center Party’s long-term vision still incorporated the idea of open borders.
As for the polygamy proposal, it was dropped unceremoniously, although the youth division of the party still won’t let go of it: “We think it’s important for the individual to decide how many people he or she wants to marry,” Hanna Wagenius, head of Center Youth, told Aftonbladet.
Yet the revised report that was issued by the party after the return from Thailand of Ms. Lööf (which is, as you might already have noticed, fööl spelled backwards) is still pretty inane. Consider the new version of the party’s wisdom on immigration, for instance, which appears under the heading “Migration enriches.” It begins as follows;
For centuries, people have come to, but also left, Sweden. Between 1850 and 1930 about 1.2 million Swedes took ships across the Atlantic as a result of poverty, poor harvests, and religious persecution. Today, people are looking instead to us in Sweden.
As if the emigration to the U.S. and Canada a century ago of hard-working, freedom-loving Swedish farmers – people who would never have imagined asking their new country for a handout, and who were not enemies of, but grateful beneficiaries of, North American democracy – could be compared to the hordes who have swarmed into Sweden from the Islamic world, gobbling up welfare benefits and forming sharia enclaves. The Center Party’s wisdom continues:
Sweden was, and is, a prosperous country, thanks to extensive exchanges with the outside world….Limiting exchanges with the outside world also restricts Sweden’s ability to develop.
The answer to which, needless to say, is that there are good kinds of exchanges and bad kinds of exchanges. To suggest that profitable international trade can be equated with a self-destructive immigration policy is an insult to Swedish voters. Finally, there’s this:
We live in a multicultural society. It is a strength. Open borders decrease the distance between peoples and strengthens the contacts between different parts of the world. Without immigration, Sweden would be a poorer country – economically, culturally, and intellectually….The reciprocal free movement within the EU should be extended to include the whole world.
These confident assertions – every single one of them – could hardly be further from the truth. No country on earth does a better job than Sweden of disproving the claim that multiculturalism is a strength. Immigration has plunged Sweden toward bankruptcy. The introduction of Koranic values into twenty-first-century Sweden represents the very opposite of cultural enrichment. As for “intellectually” – intellectually? What’s striking is that even a supposedly more or less centrist party is capable of such classically suicidal far-left Scandinavian malarkey.
Yes, the proposals for open borders and legalized polygamy have been nipped in the bud. But that’s not the point. The point is that a number of people in positions of power actually thought that this nonsense would fly in the first place. And at the rate things are going, unless history takes a major turn, it will fly in the not very distant future.
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