“In Denmark, there is a very different understanding of what ‘freedom’ means… they have gone a long way to ending the enormous anxieties that comes with economic insecurity.”
– Sen. Bernie Sanders
Denmark has become a talking point on what I would call, “the Fox News Right”, because it has long been touted by the democrats and the general left, as this sort of “socialist paradise”- and that if America would just adopt a similar program, everyone would be happy.
Personally, I have been hearing about this Scandinavian “socialist utopia” since my days of campaigning for universal/single payer healthcare i.e., “Medicare for all” about a decade ago. And of course, it came to prominence most recently with Bernie Sanders mentioning it during the 2015/2016 Presidential race- and continuing to do so.
So, the pretty Fox News teleprompter reader rattles off some fluff about economics in two vastly different countries, ultimately looking to “convince” the audience that socialism won’t work in America because of these other making the argument almost exclusively about socialism supposedly making people lazy and un-industrious; and hence, why it is bad and why it would be bad for America. Then the Danish politician refutes her very poorly constructed argument, and once again vindicates Danish socialism for starry-eyed Americans that dream of it being implemented here.
The problem is that the REAL reason why Danish “socialism”, or anything of the sort, would not work in America is NEVER addressed.
In a 2006 article out of the Migration Policy Institute (an organization funded by the Carnegie Endowment) entitled, “Denmark: Integrating Immigrants into a Homogeneous Welfare State“, the author states how in Denmark, “the welfare state was designed on the basis of a culturally similar citizenry, and the Danish economy has successfully adapted to a variety of international challenges by taking advantage of institutions built around a powerful sense of civic solidarity.”
Another interesting point comes from a 2017 article out of Business Insider on Danish immigration (Denmark having some of the more strict immigration laws in western Europe), where Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen is quoted stating:
“Roughly speaking, immigration from western countries helps government finances while immigration from non-westerners imposes costs..”
In other words, on average, people who migrate from countries with populations more like them are a boon to their country; while people who migrate from countries with populations less like them, will tend to be more of a drain.
It isn’t rocket science.
But apparently it’s “racist”.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it again, the real reason this Denmark-style socialism that everyone is praising wouldn’t work in the United States because we are NOT a culturally similar citizenry and we probably have less civic solidarity then we’ve ever had.
Socialism is based on providing for the common good. The common good is a consensus among a particular group of people in a particular place about what is right and good for their society to survive and thrive. This ultimately originates with the “ethnos“- the universe of shared meaning that a people has, which is rooted in its language, culture and traditions.
The more you have multiple languages, cultures and traditions within a society- particularly if these languages, cultures and traditions are incompatibly different or even hostile towards one another; the more difficult, if not impossible, it becomes to agree on a common good. If no one can agree on a common good, you cannot have socialism or any true variant of it.
What you will have instead is tyranny and empire.
Most people clamoring for this sort of universal socialism here in America tend to come from one of two camps: those who are motivated by envy, resentment and entitlement; and those who are motivated by the genuine, although often emotion-driven, desire to stop human suffering (both that of others and their own).
It is unfortunate that so many people in this country seem to suffer without things like affordable health coverage or what is considered a “living wage“. However we need to understand that this is the price of living in a society that is centered around self-interest and the satisfaction of desire.
We need to put our good intentions in the right direction.
The truth is nationalistic socialism can and does work. As a matter of fact, the most dramatic socio-economic success stories come from social nationalist nations like NSDAP Germany or General Park Chung-Hee’s South Korea.
But internationalist socialism; this notion of being entitled to a nation’s benefits regardless of where you’re from or what you’ve actually contributed to that society; does not.
But modernity is all about taking without giving anything back.
Give back to your people. Whoever they may be.
WR-ALDA’S Blessings unto you and yours.
WHY I WON’T FIGHT FOR “SOCIAL JUSTICE”
THE ART OF KINDNESS