I have lived in Sweden enough to appreciate it and I have known a Swede for such a long time that he is practically my brother. It could be my bias, but I believe Sweden stands out amongst the Scandinavian Countries. Not just because of history and traditions, but also because of its people, who, in my opinion are hardworking, considerate, and most importantly live within their means, optimizing on everything – a lesson that the world should learn. So, behind that often thought to be, reticent persona lies warm people who will not only open their houses but their hearts too.
But each country has an Achilles heel. And for Sweden, it is its misplaced concepts of extreme liberalism. JFK quoted Dante’s Inferno that “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” And there cannot be a better example than Sweden in current times. And why it is saddening is because it is not even “true” neutrality or moral superiority. Instead, it is a weird concoction of liberalism, wokeism, non-participation in the world order (yet remain silently aligned), and a deep-seated urge to pontificate due to an underlying belief of being better. This panopticon guides its policies, welfarism, and attracts all kinds of people (asylum seekers, refugees, on-the-run champions of liberalism, free-speech enthusiasts, etc) to it. And to its credit the country has accepted all without prejudice. But now it is so drunk on this heavy cocktail that while sitting on the top rungs of Human Development Index, it is slowly turned into open orgy of religious unrest and social imbalance.
The irony is that this has got nothing to do with the native Swede who is still working hard to put food on the table but is beguiled into some greater narrative. The powers that be and their agents discuss deliberate while the nation erupts in riots. The same Greta Thunberg who had time to tweet on false-flag farmer agitation all the way in India has said nothing. Sweden’s Independent Research Institute misperceived an “Ant-Islamic” slant in India and so in its Democracy Report of 2021, publicly derided and castigated India (the largest, the most vibrant, and diverse democracy on the PLANET) as an “Electoral Autocracy” shaming the Indian voters and questioning their intelligence. That same Institute is surprisingly silent today. Perhaps, it is still trying to make sense of the stone pelting and warm glow of the burning streets of Linkoping (pronounced – Lin-kshor-ping).
The Swedes I knew were socially responsible and law-abiding lot. That same law-abiding country is up in flames and no one has said a damn word. I am not holier-than-thou. I am not that knowledgeable or that worldly wise. And I may be biased in my opinion and clouded by my emotions. I do know that all countries have issues and no place is picture perfect. But I also know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Thousands of years ago, some wise guy noted in the Holy Veda that Ati sarvatra varjayet: Excess of anything is bad even if it is good. Dante came much after the Vedas and versed his famous work, and then JFK who arrived recently quoted Dante’s work, but all three instinctively hit upon the same central idea which I think the world and more so my dear Sweden should take note. I wish you well my friends. I pray that you tide over these troubled times and step out of the false simulacrum.