Idyllic Sweden

TO COLLECTIVISTS, the perfect nation on earth is Sweden. They often point to it as Social Democracy in action. Sweden is the nearest thing to Nirvana for the Left.

It’s a nation of spectacularly happy people! Where taxes are high, everything is shared, and everybody smiles.

While that may once have been true, when it was still an homogenous nation, it is certainly not so anymore, not since Sweden dived into the Political Correctness Pond …

… and drowned.

This is a fun video. Unless you live in Sweden.

Cuba, yet again

WE VISITED Cuba for our 10th anniversary in 2012, and I posted a piece titled Cuba: A Communist Hellhole.

In spite of its being a hellhole for Cubans, you’ll never lack for collectivists outside Cuba who praise the place.

Most have never been there, of course, and those who do visit keep blinders firmly in position.

Recently, I came upon two articles in the PanAm Post written by Scott Beyer who had visited Havana and, like me, had found it sad and deplorable.

You’ll find Beyer’s articles, in sequence, here and here.

Communism is, of course, the final stage of “social democracy” and socialism (à la Bernie Sanders). All are philosophies that pipe-dream of making everybody “equal.”

Equally depressed.

Swedish sickness

SWEDEN HAS long been cited by collectivists as the perfectly functioning social democracy where free healthcare, free this-and-that, exist in a nation where everyone is happy. Overlook those killer taxes.

seIt’s my loony, lefty sister’s ideal nation* and it’s been praised in comments hereabouts too. Yes, Sweden does it right.

Travelling hand-in-hand with social democracy these days are other notions like open borders, diversity and multiculturalism. These latter stances are add-ons to the older philosophy of social democracy.

None of it works well, to state it mildly.

Multiculturalism is flushing Sweden down the johnny hole. Let’s take a break to watch this smart Swedish journalist expounding on the dismal state of her once-nice homeland:

The multicultural issue in Sweden, as it is in most of socially democratic Europe, is primarily Mohammedan, a dismal, backward, violent religion/culture that harbors no desire to integrate with others while simultaneously embracing Europe’s generous welfare systems.

Just this week, immigrant violence involving grenades in the Swedish city of Malmö has led to a huge increase in police presence.

A persistent claim in collectivist circles is that all cultures have value and are equal. This is arrant nonsense. Some are far superior to others. Related is the fact that a nation is a geographical area where citizens for the most part share religion, language, beliefs and skin tone.

Successful nations are homogeneous, not multicultural.

Oh, you can toss in a little salt with the pepper or vice versa, but only up to a point. My being in Mexico is an example. Passing that point, all Hades can break out, and Hades is alive and thriving in Sweden, sadly.

Two years ago, I wrote of similar problems in Nutty Norway.

For your further edification, here is a bonus video:

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* Her second-best place is Oakland, California.

Leaving Mexico

NO, NOT ME. Gadzooks! I’ll be here till I die.

But sometimes people from above the Rio Bravo move to Mexico, stay a spell, and then pack up and go back, after all the bother of coming here in the first place, and it is a bother. Culture shock too.

What inspires this post today is a recent blog entry from Debi Kuhn who lives with her husband, Tom, in Mérida. They’ve been in that sweltering city for 10 years, but are planning to pack up and return to the United States, an incomprehensible step, to my way of thinking.

Debi is a little vague on the cause of the return, pointing mostly at the difficulty of learning Spanish. And that can truly be a major problem. But it can be solved by moving to San Miguel de Allende where all Mexicans within the city limits are obligated to learn English for your convenience.

And the weather is way nicer than Mérida too.

The first two or three years, I would have returned to the United States had it been financially feasible. It would have required returning to the workforce — a horrible thought — due to the far higher U.S. cost of living. Living in Mexico is cheap. Don’t believe it when people say otherwise.

I moved south alone seven years before I was eligible for Social Security. I lived on a measly corporate pension of $540 a month, and I took up the slack with savings. And I lived just fine. When I got married at age 58, the two of us lived well on the same money for the next four years.

Time has passed, and I’ve grown used to Mexico. Culture shock is long gone. I feel utterly at home. Culture shock would likely hit me if I returned to America where I have not set foot since early 2009.

I like it here very much.

The language thing Debi mentions can be a bear. If you come here as a couple, which means you speak English daily, learning Spanish well enough to have conversations is almost impossible except for the very young.

Virtually everyone I know of who can converse in Spanish has either moved here solo or is married to a Latina.

flagIt takes time to acclimate to this very different world. But go back now? No way, José.

I love hearing burros braying in the distance at dawn, and roosters and dogs. I love sunrises over mountains that I watch every morning above this computer screen where I read the news from America and its ethnic conflicts, race riots, deficit spending and “social democracy.”

In an odd way, I even love the passing trains that gently rattle window panes in the middle of the night. I love the weekday morning exercise walks around the nearby plaza where sits a 16th century church.

I love that I can get a plumber or electrician or bricklayer or any talented workman to come to the Hacienda on a moment’s notice and do whatever needs to be done for a pittance of what it would cost up north.

I love that I can pay cheaply for traffic infractions on the spot without having all the bother of waiting in courthouses, even though that’s only happened once in 15 years. I still favor the system.

I love that our infrastructure improves daily, highways, shopping malls, and first-class, snazzy, inexpensive bus transportation nationwide. I love that you can fly an airliner anywhere — except to the United States — without being strip-searched and otherwise abused and humiliated.

I love that you can easily get a doctor appointment for tomorrow or even today in a modern facility, and when you leave you pay in cash and still have change left for Sears or Walmart or a café latte at Starbucks.

And I love that you can voice unpopular opinions without being fired from your job or socially ostracized or have your children turned over to the state. You may get punched in the nose, but that’s only fair.

I love perfect avocados in the outdoor market and high-quality, name-brand shirts with an invisible flaw that you can buy for eight bucks not far from where you just purchased those perfect avocados.

And I love that you never hear the words racist, sexist or transgender, and that television shows that regularly feature men passionately kissing other men are invariably beamed down from America, and that shows produced in Mexico feature manly men with mustaches, often clutching tequila bottles, sporting sidearms and punching other men, not kissing them.

MariawhoopiAnd women on Mexican television, from actresses to commentators to weather girls, always look like Penelope Cruz or Maria Grazia Cucinotta, not Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg or Rosie O’Donnell.

I love living in a PC-free world, and I love paying just $80 in property taxes on two homes and an apartment in Mexico City. Total.

I love that a beautiful, bright babe not much older than my daughter said yes when I asked her to marry me. I love it that when I pull back the bedroom drapes on summer mornings, I see a sea of golden datura.

And there’s the elegant, artsy Hacienda, which I could never have built or maintained in the United States. I do love that.

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I hope Debi and her husband, Tom, do not regret returning to the United States, but we will always welcome them back if they decide it was a mistake. For me, I cannot fathom such a move.