SWEDISH – CHILEAN commentator Mauricio Rojas writes (May 15th) about his explaining to foreigners about the best and the worst in his second home-land Sweden. The heading of his article (in Swedish) is translated: The Swedish Community requires its price. The best is the unity among Swedes, he writes after starting his article with:
I’m on tour south of Santiago to introduce my latest book, Diálogo the conversos (Konvertiters dialogue). It is written with the Chilean novelist Roberto Ampuero and is about our lives in Chile before the brutal coup in September 1973, our long journey through various European countries and our transformation from a convinced communist revolutionaries to the Liberals.
One can suspect that Mr Rojas conversion from convinced communist to liberal was influenced by his experience in his new home country, socialist Sweden.
He continues, on what he thought was best in Sweden:
what I … highlighted was the strong community spirit, in terms of both the best and the worst with Sweden.
The best of this spirit is the basis for the genuine feeling of belonging, of community, mutual respect and solidarity, that I admire so much in the Swedishness.
and then about the worst in Sweden:
it was very difficult to imagine that the same spirit also could be the root of the worst in Sweden. My explanation forced me into a relatively long journey in Swedish history and culture in order to be able to make sense of the community also requires a price and that price is not small in terms of the right to deviate from the dominating Community norms and consensus.
To explain the ”Jante law” origin and crucial was not easy, as it concerns the entire battery of cultural resources to avoid conflicts that Swedes use to protect the community spirit. I also spoke about the ostracism and other collective punishments against those who persist in challenging the prevailing consensus. I spoke about the narrow corridor of views and expressions and about idealists chocking with the ”system” and labelled querulants, and many other things that are not easy to understand for those not familiar with the Swedish community culture.
Mr. Rojas is a polite and modest person, although with a sharp eye and fabulous productivity. He has adapted so well to the ”Swedishness” and ”narrow corridor of expression” that he does not explicit on absurd Swedish gender equality making women adapt to the male norm leaving the responsibility for the children to the State. Nor does he mention the Swedish violation of a number of Human Rights aimed at protecting the function of the family and the parents´rights.