Moral Superpower or Jealous Neighbor?
The Kungsleden is an over 250-mile long hiking trail through Europe’s last wilderness. The trail beings north of the polar circle in the Swedish town of Abisko. There, the trail snakes southward across Swedish Lapland, where herds of reindeer, moose, lynxes, and bears get in each others’ way. The hike rewards the wanderer with breathtaking views, desolate valleys, and wild streams of melting snow water that debouch into lakes and rivers. These are the veins that provided for the indigenous Laplanders, the Sami and their reindeer herds, for thousands of years.
Rich Like a Troll
Arriving at Teusajaure, a mountain hut along the trail, positioned at the base of a waterfall pouring into a massive lake, I spoke to a woman who revealed a national taboo. To outsiders, Sweden is known as the open-border country that has welcomed a great number of guest workers, asylum seekers, and refugees. But, as the result of years of economic depression, since the year 2000, large numbers of native Swedes have themselves left for neighboring Norway to find work as economic migrants. Every summer, tens of thousands of Swedish youths cross the border looking for jobs they think will make them “rich like a troll”. Many have emigrated permanently. The Norwegian capital of Oslo alone counts over 50,000 Swedish guest workers, over 10% of the city’s population.
What happened? In the past fifteen years, an age-old hierarchy suddenly turned around. For centuries, a formerly richer Sweden had been exploiting its Norwegian neighbor as a sort of colony for natural resources. It had been the Norwegians who would come to Sweden looking for jobs. But from 1969 onward, things changed when Norwegians discovered large reserves of oil just off the coast of their country. Today, Norway has become the eighth largest oil exporter in the world. It has brought the population of barely five million inhabitants unprecedented prosperity.
In the pre-oil boom era, Norway was considered to be the poorest country in Europe, essentially a Third World country whose long winters would hold people captive between frozen fjords, cut off from the outside world. In winter, many Norwegians would experience hunger, fearing the real danger of starvation. But thanks to the oil, they now manage a national pension fund worth over $750 billion USD, the largest investment fund on the globe. In cash, every Norwegian citizen can claim a pension bonus worth $150,000 USD.
The Norwegians now wield so much money they don’t know what to do with it. And that hurts their neighbors’ feelings because, for the past few centuries, Swedes had felt assured of their dominant economic and cultural role in Scandinavia. The regional power Swedes had amassed had become so self-evident that the country didn’t even need to wage any more wars to defend its status quo. As a consequence, like Switzerland, Sweden stayed neutral during World War II, allowing for German troops to march to Norway without offering resistance. If the enemy doesn’t want us, the Swedes figured, we’ll let them take our neighbor.
Pride Before the Fall
In absence of undiscovered natural riches of their own, the Swedish economy has fallen behind that of Norway. In only the past fifteen years, Norway’s gross national product rose to twice that of Sweden. Because of its strong economic growth, Norway is currently experiencing a labor force shortage that forced them to call upon Swedish replacement workers to supplement it. After all, Swedes are a highly educated people, and their language is very similar.
Conversely, because of their newly discovered wealth, many Norwegians no longer feel like slaving away at jobs they can hire a Swede to do for them instead. The norvégien riche prefer to spend time letting off a long-suppressed national pride. They enjoy rubbing it in, too, now that Norway is Scandinavia’s richest country. For a change, Swedes must come and do their dirty work. A popular Norwegian clothing brand was called Anti Sweden. Popular musicians depict Swedish guest workers as ‘effete drunks’. In response, other Norwegian artists produced a documentary explaining that “Swedes are people” too.
(It is interesting that white people of different denominations can freely discriminate each other without having to fear legal action.)
A Moral Superpower?
For their historic arrogance, the now ‘second-rate’ Swedes have been dealt quite a kick in the crotch. The loss of status hurts but precisely this loss offers an explanation for the excessively ‘progressive’ politics the country has chosen to pursue. What Swedes could not acquire with black gold, they solved with black people. While Norway was busy drilling for oil riches, Sweden tapped into an endless stream of cheap economic migrants, mostly poor and socially dependent people from Islamic countries. Sweden has found in mass immigration a means to turn its receding economic tide.
That point of view shines a different light on the land of IKEA and meatballs. To the outside world, Swedes have traditionally marketed themselves as a moral superpower. Driven by nothing but Christian altruism, supposedly, Swedes have transformed their country into a global refugee camp, only to accommodate floods of strangers in need of a so-called better life—a life young Swedes can’t even find in their own country anymore and are trying to find in Norway. Sweden is bullshitting immigrants into doing their slave labor.
Migrants coming to Sweden are being exploited, just as was once the case with the Norwegians. Asylum seekers who fall for the promise of a house, a car, and perhaps a natural blonde wife, will soon find themselves chiseling iron ore in the northern city of Kiruna. At one time, the Swedes enslaved the native Laplanders there. Today’s slaves are African, Asian, and Middle-Eastern ‘refugees’. They provide cheap labor to Sweden’s upper castes while the Swedish taxpayer picks up the social tab. Sweden has adopted the American way with privatized profits and socialized costs.
The Decline of the West
This Scandinavian microcosm mimics what we can see is happening at a larger scale between Eastern and Western Europe. Like Norway, Western-European countries have enriched themselves by tapping into global markets, cranking up globalism while Eastern-European, Middle-Eastern, and African migrants have been invited to donate their labor to Western industries. For over half a century, the West has been able to enrich itself at the expense of migrant workers who, much like modern slaves, came to do its dirty work. Al over the world the geopolitical shifts such mass migrations have set in motion appear to join in the same dead end: a stagnating global economy.
Just like Sweden, the US-led West haughtily considers itself the natural cultural, economic and moral center of the world, much to the annoyance of other world civilizations. In reality, Europe and America have long given up on a vision for the world. The Idea of Europe has burnt out and underneath its glossy lipstick, the US doesn’t look much better than a failed British colony. When the ancient Greeks invented direct democracy 2,400 years ago, they couldn’t have suspected Western man would fritter his freedom away in the manner we have done.
Westerners are living in denial, refusing to accept they have passed their cultural peak.
For our survival, we will have to get back to work. Let us be inspired anew by the Spartans’ preparedness to fight, by the architects of the Roman Empire, by the Germanic women who cheered for their men behind the lines of battle, by the brave Crusaders, Columbus’ travels, NASA’s engineers who safely returned dozens of men from their trip to the moon. Let us tear down the present. Let us rethink our values, decide on a new Idea for Europe and come together to build a bridge between our glorious past and a glorious future. In any case, what is self-evident is that we will build that bridge ourselves.