Dear foreigner, Beware of Childcare, Swedish Style!
For the Swedish elections, the utopian Swedish family policies have not debated. After forty years of them, the Swedish electorate is so indoctrinated and dependent on the State and its economic steering that the dominating parties see no reason to relax the oppression to accommodate the still-objecting minority.
But for other countries it might be worth looking closer at the Scandinavian childcare Utopia.
Swedish family policies are based on socialist values put forward by Marx and Engels, and by Sweden’s Alva Myrdal in the 30s. Its was finally defined in explicit writing by the Social Democratic Women’s League in the early 70s in their manifesto titled “Familjen i Framtiden” (The Family in the Future). This document establishes family policies as a necessary foundation for the socialist society the League and its parental party was aiming for and concludes that human rights must come second to that greater good.
The societal engineers of the then ruling party discovered early that, to reach the goal set, parent-child bonds had to be broken and the family unit shattered. Consequently, the Family is no longer a legal concept in Sweden. From this follows that legally, the population consists only of private individuals, that parents are only one of many potential caregivers to children and that children’s rights are defended by public servants, not by their parents.
Taxation and welfare systems consider individuals only, not families. All adults, whether with families to support or not, are highly taxed – as bachelors – and public-sector workers do most of the child upbringing in almost free day-care centres. Parents, who insist on continuing to look after their children even after expiry of their 240 days of parental leave, loose all benefits, even the right to basic survival money.
On the basis of the mantra “in the best interest of the child”, social workers and public caregivers can easily find “risks threatening a child’s development”. Consequently, many are the Swedish parents who have lost their children to foster parents after the child having complained to the authorities about their parents’ strictness or unsuspecting parents themselves having consulted the government’s experts on how to deal with an unruly child.
Perhaps surprisingly, this socialist family policy is supported also by our so-called conservative and liberal parties. These parties have recently pushed through a law banning home-schooling, concealing its violations of fundamental human rights by stressing the overarching political goal: equality of outcome for all children.
With extremely high bachelor taxes and no consideration for the economic burden of supporting a family, practically all families in Sweden need dual incomes to reach subsistence level. This means that children must be left to caregivers other than their parents. In order to safeguard “high-quality” collectivist childcare, the day-care centres promoted are highly subsidized. A day-care place may cost some € 12-20 thousand a year but parents are asked to pay only a tenth of that or less. Thus, the cost, to parents, of a child in public child care is usually less than the cost of food and nappies. Consequently, not even black-sector nannies or grandparents are able to compete with the state in childcare.
With “educational material” like “Världen i förskolan” (The Preschool World) and “Barnens Kärleksliv” (The Love-life of Children), Swedish authorities in the past openly tried to convey socialist values to children, which, when discovered, raised criticism. Today, indoctrination in day-care centres seems subtler, justified only by the need to convey “democratic” values to toddlers.
An official study of Women’s Work (SOU79:89) concluded that the cost of care for two children in a day-care centre equals the value of a full-time, low-wage, job, the care of three children the value of a full-time, high-wage, job. The political ambition behind the study was to show that the “day-care for all” system was profitable to society on the grounds that the average parent leaves “only” 1.4 children to day-care and so could produce a higher value on a paid job. The fact that these data also means that a parent who cares for two or three kids in their home contributes fully to society, was not, and still is not, recognized in Sweden.
Since the official interpretation of the figures is the one our courts go by, a protesting mother of six was forced to leave her kids to day-care in spite of her pointing out that as many as eleven people needed to be healthy and germ-free at the same time in order for her to be able to leave home for work.
As can be understood, individual preferences and values do not have much room in this system. Protesters gathered early against it. A large number of polls over the years indicate that about two out of every three people want more freedom of choice in child care. The Family Campaign protest movement collected 70 000 protest signatures in the early 70s but was nonchalantly ignored by our socialist government at the time. So are a number of other protest organizations, which have continued to argue for freedom of choice. With very little resources and the socialist Nomenklatura working against them in politics and the media, they are fighting an uphill battle.
The system efficiently transfers wealth from victimised families who pay some € 100 000 extra in taxes for day-care services they never use during their working life of some 30+40 years, to those who take advantage of the system by getting dual incomes, pensions, social security and almost free child-care, but since our media people largely belong to the latter group, they are reluctant to bring this gross unfairness to the attention of the general public.
As early as in 1979, Professor Jörgen Westerståhl in Gothenburg found “the discrepancy between the projection of popular opinion on childcare preferences by the media and the actual facts of the matter, fascinating. The opinion held by two thirds of the population, becomes, at least in the ether media, all but invisible”.
Falsifications such as “a homemaker does not contribute to the costs of day-care she chooses not to use” are common, and faced with a choice between freedom of choice and gender equality by female work for money, the latter is bullhorned out as being more important, i.e. as being more important than parents’ legislated right to choose care and education for their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions.
Even Sweden’s largest “liberal” papers toe the line by promoting socialist doctrines over liberal values and the above-mentioned human rights.
Consequently, with the help of false liberals and the Nomenklatura in the media, the Swedish day-care system survives in spite of a majority of people being against it, leaving a tenacious non-surrendering minority of approximately 20 per cent of small-child parents badly discriminated against.
That kind of treatment of a minority, which in actual fact is a huge majority if the right questions are asked, is not in keeping with generally accepted principles of the kind of representative democracy most Swedes, interestingly enough, think they are part of.
So you foreigner looking to Sweden for a model in family policies: beware of brainwashing, similar to what has afflicted a majority of my countrymen and -women! Make sure you examine the downside too!