Earlier this month there was an election in Sweden, with an unusual result: a party that had no representatives in the Riksdag until 2010, won enough votes to hold a balance of power, and the existing Socialist party's prime minister, Stefan Löfven, lost a confidence vote last week and so resigned. Shambles prevails; details here.
The upstart is "Sweden Democrats" or SD, and its main appeal is its immigration policy: to end the massive influx. The other parties (there are seven) hate them viscerally and call them neo-Nazi (a slur, for they purged themselves of some traces of that several years ago), for an open door to refugees has long been one issue on which all have agreed. The result in recent years has been ugly, with dramatic rises in crime (and krime) in the areas near the ports of entry in the South West, where Muslim newcomers have created enclaves.
The trouble is that of the carrot and stick. Middle Eastern residents have been driven to leave their countries by the violence caused by US and European government intervention, all of it relating to the State of Israel. They have headed North, in huge numbers, and have been met in some countries - Germany, Norway and Sweden most notably - by generous welfare handouts. The country's 10 million population now has about 1.5 million not born there, and (more significantly by far) raised in an alien culture and usually not bothering to learn the language or to integrate.
I visited last year, and spent a day with an elderly family friend who was being enabled to remain in her home thanks to a home helper, furnished by that country's longsuffering taxpayers. His name was Jamal, and he was very efficient as well as cheerful and friendly. He arrived shortly after I did, and wasted no time but set about tidying things away, ensuring meds were being taken, operating the vacuum, and preparing lunch. He is one of those Muslim immigrants and very clearly an exception to that general rule.
He spoke no English, but after having reached the country two years previously had taught himself to speak Swedish fluently - a great deal better than I can - albeit more slowly then the natives and with a smaller vocabulary. That made it all the easier to understand him, and since it was our only common language he and I were able to converse.
I asked Jamal why he'd left his native Afghanistan and he told me it was impossible to get a steady job, there was so much turbulence (the "bad" kind of chaos.) There's the nominal government, then several wannabe governments (FedGov propaganda calls those "warlords".) There is the Taliban, though Jamal dismissed them as a trivial ("3%") nuisance; and there are the occupying US forces, whose stay Trump has unfortunately prolonged. I didn't get to understand what Jamal did or would like to do, but he's clearly talented and ambitious. Age, low 30s. He's married, but his wife lives in Iran! - my Swedish wasn't up to learning why.
So he hit the road, landing first in Turkey. "Why did you not stay there and find work?" I asked, reckoning the culture shock would have been much smaller. "I didn't have the papers" he replied, meaning Turkish work permits. So in its wisdom the Turkish government is forcing its taxpayers to keep refugees idle in a camp, instead of letting them contribute their skills to enhance everyone's living standards and retain some dignity. Such is government.
From there he joined the great refugee treck; across the straits to Greece, on to Hungary, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and eventually Sweden - staying a week or three in each and picking up a few words. Interestingly he said it was easy to do that and that all those languages were "very similar" - except Greek! He'd encountered some really nasty people on the trip and spent some nights in police cells. And so to his present abode, where he's working to build up a life.
Even though he traveled and arrived with a large crowd, Jamal is the type of immigrant who will enrich the society he joins, rather than damage it. Such individual immigrants are no threat; they may have left their homes because of a "stick", but are not dependent on a "carrot" as a welcome; just an open border. In the coming zero government society, that's what they will find. The folly of the Swedish régime is to pay them not to work. And the SD Party has gained enough political power to get that changed. It may be in the nick of time.
The country has a long tradition of accepting refugees. Jews came in the 1930s from Germany, and in the 1940s Germans crossed the narrow straits from occupied Denmark after US and British bombers had deprived them of somewhere to live. Many stayed. All integrated, and their descendants today are not distinguishable from those with blonder hair and bluer eyes. In 1944 and -45 the Swedish banker Raoul Wallenberg used his influence in Germany and Austria to find as many Jews as he could and issue them Swedish passports, in a rescue operation even more effective than Oskar Schindler's. A quarter century later many Americans, unwilling to obey the draft to kill Vietnamese with whom they had no quarrel, headed instead for Sweden and settled. The language had to be learned of course, but with all these groups there was no great culture difference to overcome. This century, that changed; but the policy did not. Until now.
Jamal's example is but a shadow of the kind of migration that will take place when government has properly vanished. At that time there may still be sticks (foreign ones won't vanish at once) but the only carrot will be the opportunities afforded by a free society, open to anyone wishing to offer goods or services in exchange for gold. Penniless refugees will be welcome too, for every human being has worth, and skills of some kind, able to compete in the marketplace. But synthetic carrots, incentives funded with stolen money, will appear only in history books about the Government Era.