Did you know, as the following report indicates, that Sweden carried out forced sterilization on some of its citizens until 1976? And that government agents made weekly inspections of government-owned housing to ensure that windows were opened at certain times of the day, that no one wore shoes inside, and to check if everyone bathed, at least once a week?
Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez and their fellow leftists point to Sweden as a model for transforming the U.S. into a ‘Utopia.’ But a new book by Swedish author Elisabeth Asbrink, “Made in Sweden,” highlights the darker side of the Swedish welfare state.
Via NY Post.
When Elisabeth Asbrink invites you to visit her in Stockholm, Sweden, be sure to wear your very best socks.
“I hate it when people walk into my home in their shoes. In that way I am extremely Swedish,” she said. “We find it very, very rude.”….
In “Made in Sweden…Asbrink explains the awkward truth: Sweden’s no-shoes rule is not a quaint custom carried to the city from Sweden’s farms but the lingering effect of an edict handed down by its all-encompassing welfare state.
“In the 1930s, one of the first things the welfare state organized was housing,” Asbrink told The Post. “These were tax-paid flats, and the state wanted to control the inhabitants. So they had inspectors and actually sent them into people’s homes.”
The government issued extensive, exacting rules of conduct, cleanliness and behavior for its agents to enforce.
“The residents had to open the windows at certain times of the day. Everyone had to take a bath once a week,” Asbrink said. “And they were required to take their shoes off indoors.”
Anyone who refused to comply could be evicted….
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have heaped praise on Sweden as the political system of their dreams. They point to its cradle-to-grave welfare state as the source of a comfortable yet egalitarian way of life that Americans, they insist, should be clamoring to copy….
Not so fast, says Asbrink, who was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city. Her deep dive into the Swedish national character reveals a dark undercurrent threading through Sweden’s social paradise….
They don’t discuss the 63,000 of their fellow citizens who were forcibly sterilized, right up until 1976, to keep the welfare system free of children who might inherit mental or physical disabilities. “As soon as welfare is based on all citizens contributing,” Asbrink writes, “those who are not considered contributors become a problem.”
Swedes also suppress the memory of their nation’s willing collaboration with Nazi Germany during most of World War II even while technically maintaining neutrality….
‘Nowhere else has the direct link between individual and state evolved as far as in Sweden,” Asbrink writes.
“You don’t expect your family or relatives or friends or charity organizations to help if you become vulnerable,” she said. “You expect the state to help you.” Swedish parents have no obligation to their children once they turn 18. The elderly turn to the state rather than their adult offspring for support.
“This of course means freedom from family bonds or ties,” Asbrink said. “But it also means isolation. People feel lonely. There is a built-in depression that comes with this deal with the state.”
From the 1950s through the 1970s, that translated into some of the developed world’s highest suicide rates and had a noticeable impact on Sweden’s artists….
Alcohol offers a traditional escape from the emotional pall. But even Sweden’s drinking culture is constrained.
“The habit here is to drink on the weekend and not at all during working days. But then when you do drink, to drink a lot,” Asbrink said….