Europe, Must Reads, Social Science, World Affairs

The Attractions of the Clan—An Interview with Mark Weiner

Why are ambulances attacked by rock-throwing youths in Sweden? And how should Germany deal with a recent surge in clan-based crime? 

Mark S. Weiner is a professor of legal history, a scholar of multiculturalism and the author of The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom. Quillette’s European editor Paulina Neuding spoke to him in Stockholm, Sweden. Weiner is currently on a Fulbright scholarship at Uppsala University, where he is teaching about American constitutional law, collaborating with Swedish scholars of prehospital medicine—and riding along with paramedics in immigrant and other neighborhoods. What follows is an edited reproduction of that interview.

 

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Paulina Neuding: Sweden has experienced a rise in violence against first responders in recent decades, including rock throwing against paramedics in the country’s “vulnerable areas.” How do you explain this phenomenon?

Mark S. Weiner: The easy answer is that Sweden has a growing population of alienated young men, and ambulances are representatives of social and government authority. If I were a second-generation Swedish boy with an immigrant background living in an outlying suburb and experiencing the growing contradictions of Swedish society, I might be tempted to throw a stone at anything with lights and sirens. I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t happen more. Certainly the problems for the police are far greater than for the ambulance service. A colleague at Karolinska and I are beginning to gather data that we hope will put some objective numbers on what ambulance personnel have experienced—there are still a lot of unknowns.

My concern is that over the course of a generation you could see a much bigger problem, with Sweden developing the Nordic equivalent of Parisian banlieues, especially given the spatial organization of Swedish housing developments, the declining quality of public education, and the resistance to community policing models. Under such conditions, Swedish state legitimacy would begin to erode.

PN: You are an American professor of legal history who has been riding along with ambulances while on a Fulbright scholarship in Sweden. Can you explain that?

MW: A few years ago I obtained an Emergency Medical Technician license and began to volunteer for an ambulance service near my home in Connecticut. I’m still a beginner, but I’m compelled by the EMS way of life and attitude toward the world. Just as I was about to give a talk about Trumpism and the philosophy of history at an academic conference, a colleague had some medical trouble and I was able to assist him while an ambulance raced to the scene. That got me thinking about whether I could shed light on emergency medical services from the perspective of critical theory.

The traditional terms for evaluating EMS practices are efficiency of service provision, quality of care, and cost. But what if we also thought about the ambulance service in relation to the values of democratic society? What would we see differently? For instance, volunteer EMS programs and citizen medical preparedness can be understood not simply as components of societal “resilience” but also as vital to community self-governance.

When an ambulance arrives at an emergency, it’s a communicative act by the state to its citizens. As I was preparing to come to Sweden, I grew curious about how that communication might be transformed in a country undergoing rapid demographic change. I also wondered how the shifting ethnic character of the patient population here might affect the experience of ambulance nurses on the ground. I first came into dialogue with Swedish intellectuals five years ago around issues of multiculturalism, so exploring cross-cultural emergency medicine seemed like a natural way to bridge my past and present interests and to engage with the country—which is one of the many good things that the Fulbright program encourages.

PN: What kind of culture clashes have you observed while accompanying paramedics in Sweden? And what do paramedics tell you about their experiences?

MW: Paramedics and ambulance nurses in Sweden work on a very high level, and like EMS personnel everywhere they are very practical people. They don’t overthink things or turn their experience into ideology, thank goodness.

That said, one thing that I have heard repeatedly is how unusual it is for them to enter households with large, extended families—it’s so different from the small nuclear family tradition in Sweden. In their telling, the difference can be distracting. Most of them also report some uncertainty about how to interpret the way that people from non-European countries express pain. They’re sometimes viewed as overly dramatic. Whether that’s true or not, the perception is concerning because it raises the possibility of group-based under-diagnosis.

And then I have a suspicion that some immigrants may perceive the ambulance service in Sweden through the lens of what EMS meant for them back home. In many countries, ambulance services are much less skilled than in Sweden, and they may have different institutional relationships with the police, for instance whether or not they are required to report crime. I also wonder if the way that immigrants view the ambulance service here may have been influenced by their experience with public authority in general in their countries of origin.

PN: You’re trying to develop a typology for these problems. What can you tell us about that?

MW: My hope has been to divide an emergency response into its component parts (dispatch, arrival on scene, first contact with the patient, and so on) and then to learn when different cross-cultural problems occur and at what intensity, and then to offer a theoretical framework for understanding what’s going on. The challenges come in many forms, arise from different sources, and require different solutions.

Language barriers eventually may be mitigated through the use of hand-held translators, though we’re not there yet. Disorientation created by large family groups may require special simulation training for students. Concerns about cross-sex touching of patients by care providers may benefit from community intervention by religious authorities, or on-board knowledge about religious law of the kind provided by faith-based EMS providers like Hatzalah. Ethnic-based suspicion may suggest the need for minority recruitment into EMS careers. Misperceptions about the ambulance service may require educational modules for immigrants as a condition for residency.

This is a subject in which Sweden could be an intellectual leader. The country has a high-level ambulance service, a major tradition of academic medicine, and rapidly-shifting demography. But at the moment it will be hindered from doing so by the impermissibility of collecting statistics on the basis of race and ethnicity, and by the discomfort many Swedes have in talking about cultural differences.

PN: Let’s go back to your main field of study: What is clan culture and in what parts of the world can it be observed?

MW: What I call the “rule of the clan” is a form of socio-legal order that links radical constitutional decentralization to extended kin groups, or associations of fictive kinship, with a culture of group honor and shame. It tends to exist under conditions in which modern central government is weak, because in the absence of effective government, family groups and other collective actors tend to fill the remaining vacuum of power. You can broadly contrast the rule of the clan with societies governed by the liberal rule of law, which have modern government arrangements—for instance, professional, bureaucratic, neutral administration—and which take the individual as their constitutive unit, seeking to maximize individual autonomy along a variety of measures.

The rule of the clan exists along a spectrum. It’s at the core of very traditional communities that we commonly call tribal. It exists in the midst of more advanced but still incomplete or weak states, for instance in parts of the Philippines or Albania. It thrives alongside and often captures developing states, for instance under the Palestinian Authority or in former Soviet central Asia, where it sometimes goes under the name of “clannism,” to use a term from the 2004 U.N. Arab Human Development Report. And it’s present even within modern liberal democracies. Inner-city gangs act a great deal like traditional clans, especially in their feuding patterns—though of course not in their dedication to unlawful activity. Major corporations today likewise threaten to take on certain characteristics of post-modern clannism.

PN: Europe has taken in large numbers of asylum seekers in recent decades from clan-based societies. What do we need to know about the differences between Western individualist culture, and the norms of clan societies?

MW: People who have grown up under the rule of the clan have a very different experience with government authority than those who grew up in Sweden. This is a nation with a long and deep tradition of powerful state administration, stretching back to Lord High Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna in the 17th century through the development of the social democratic “people’s home” in the 1930s. The modes of justifying state authority here are rational, neutral and bureaucratic. Swedes are used to elite managerialism and social engineering. It’s part of the air they breathe.

Many immigrants don’t have that same experience. Often in their countries of origin public power is justified with reference to kinship, or there may be profound distrust of government per se. One of the great tasks of Sweden and Europe in the coming generation will be to create a bridge between those differing views of the state.

PN: You have also pointed out that from the perspective of someone who is steeped in a clan culture, Western individualism may not at all seem attractive. Why is that?

MW: All you have to do is read Émile Durkheim on suicide. Western liberal modernity presents a host of distinctive problems of social isolation and moral dislocation. I wonder how many people would choose to live this way if they chose from behind the veil of ignorance. Probably fewer people than we’d hope. In the end we’re all naked and afraid.

By contrast, there are lots of benefits to organizing society along clan lines. The rule of the clan possesses values of solidarity and social justice that most modern liberal societies have real difficulty achieving. That’s why we tend to romanticize them in popular culture. They’re at the core of our utopian imaginary. Western liberals shouldn’t ignore its attractions, but instead should incorporate them into their political vision.

PN: In Germany, a debate has flared up about clan-based crime, mainly in Berlin and the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. What do Western European countries need to understand about family-based crime and how it differs from other kinds of organized crime?

MW: The German journalist Maybrit Illner hosted an excellent program about this recently. Networks of family-based crime are tight and difficult to penetrate. That’s because their codes of honor and loyalty are linked to a mode of socio-legal order that exists independently of the state. We should be developing long-term thinking about the provision of public order with this threat in mind.

PN: Honor violence is a fairly recent phenomenon in Europe that has received a lot of attention in the past few decades. You say that we cannot understand honor violence without fully understanding clan culture?

MW: Such violence doesn’t grow out of individualism. It arises from a group-based culture in which people’s ability to work their will in the world is dependent upon the relative social worth or honor of their extended kin, and it’s linked in turn to a group-based socio-legal structure. Within that structure, honor violence makes sense—it has its own rationality, just like the reciprocal tit-for-tat of the blood feud. That doesn’t make it any less abhorrent from my perspective, but if you’re going to prevent the practice, it’s essential to appreciate what it represents.

PN: Attacks against ambulance drivers, firefighters and police—is this an equally common phenomenon in the U.S. as it is in Sweden?

MW: The United States is a big and diverse place, over 30 times the size of Sweden, so it’s hard to compare. And I’ll leave aside issues of police violence and violence against police—that I think is a separate issue, because police represent coercive as opposed to purely ameliorative authority. Obviously there we have a major problem.

But when we’re just talking about EMS and firefighters, there seems to be a difference. I have the impression that violence against firefighters in the United States—for instance, someone deliberately sets a fire in a home and creates a booby trap inside—arises more from idiosyncratic psychological factors of the perpetrators than from group alienation or ethnic resentment, say of the kind Sweden saw in Gothenburg around 2009. The same seems to be true with regards to the ambulance service. When the 911 system was created, there was a problem with long response times in minority communities. That’s how we got “911 Is a Joke,” the hit song and music video by Public Enemy, which cruelly slanders the ambulance service, though it may have done some ultimate good. Still, I think even that was a different kind of phenomenon.

PN: Why do you think that is?

MW: The United States has a much longer tradition of dealing with ethnic pluralism than Sweden, and ambulance and fire services have put in a lot of hard work to get things right. I also suspect that our programs of race-based affirmative action in employment play a role, though they generally violate European human rights norms and would be forbidden here.

PN: You have visited some of Sweden’s so-called vulnerable areas while riding along with ambulances. What was your initial reaction?

MW: Americans embrace the concept of ethnic neighborhoods as a positive feature of cultural pluralism, so the fact that I was sometimes the only white person around didn’t register as significant until I remembered that I was in Sweden. Rinkeby looked a lot like many neighborhoods in Los Angeles, where I grew up, and I’m looking forward to spending more time there. They certainly don’t look like “bad” neighborhoods as you’d expect them in the United States—though the only times I’ve visited with either the ambulance service or on my own have been during the day. In a Somali neighborhood in Gothenburg I walked into a bazar with a burly Swedish police officer whom everyone treated like a long-lost brother.

But statistics tell a different story about crime, and about political radicalization, as do newspaper reports about grenades and the new high-level trauma gear that I saw in the back of a Stockholm ambulance. And some things about these neighborhoods were really concerning. For one, their architecture. They seem designed to be alienating and depressing, but then that’s the case for a lot of Swedish housing. Also, although socially vulnerable neighborhoods are troubled by definition, I never saw a single police officer walking the beat. That probably hurts the vast majority of law-abiding community members who deserve public support. Finally, unlike in the United States these neighborhoods are very easy to ignore. In an American city, you can’t avoid encountering social alienation—it’s in your face every single day. That’s because our poverty is in the center, and the suburbs are places people go to escape it. In Sweden, it’s the opposite. I think that a person could live his or her entire life here without really encountering the ethnic problems of the suburbs. That creates an unhelpful political dynamic.

PN: Let’s talk about the “the Nordic gold”—i.e. high levels of trust between individuals, and between the public and the state. Is this something that you’ve experienced first-hand during your time in Scandinavia?

MW: Absolutely—it’s incredible, at both an interpersonal and social level. There’s just a lot less mutual wariness, conflict and friction than in the United States. If you’re at a dinner table in Sweden with people you don’t know, but to whom you’ve been introduced by a friend, the sense of being part of an in-group is deeply palpable, and very nice. I can’t tell you how many times people here have invited me and my wife to their summer homes on first acquaintance, or even to use them while they’re away. And the comparative lack of crime and the comfort people have in public places is wonderful. I suspect that at least aspects of this social trust were historically dependent on Sweden’s ethnic homogeneity, just as the greater social disorder in America stems partly from its pluralism. The trick for Sweden will be to maintain its high levels of social trust under its new demographic circumstances, which is one reason why I’ve advocated that Swedes embrace a thicker sense of national identity—one that’s as robust as it is inclusive.

PN: You have mentioned “The man behind the uniform” is a successful initiative. Can you explain that?

MW: The Man Behind the Uniform—Människan bakom uniformen in Swedish—is a community outreach program that developed in Gothenburg about 10 years ago in the wake of some violent incidents between immigrant youths and first responders. The program introduces young people to firefighters, ambulance workers, police, private security guards, and even tram operators, and it helps them learn about each other’s lives.

It’s very thoughtful and systematic, and though it’s just a small piece of a puzzle, I think it’s  amazing. In fact I think it could contain the philosophical seeds for a new Swedish national identity and self-understanding. By introducing young people with immigrant backgrounds to public authorities, it serves as a bridge between two models of kinship, between the rule of the clan and the people’s home, and it could help reconceive the people’s home for today. It could help foster a more complex and self-conscious sense of civic place.

PN: But what does it say about a society like Sweden that “The man behind the uniform” is suddenly needed?

MW: It’s a society under stress. But many people are also eager to solve its problems. And there are some creative thinkers out there, though mostly I think they’re working on the ground—there’s a lot of room in Sweden for the development of public awareness of ground truths.

PN: Finally, you define yourself as a liberal, and you also volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign during the presidential election. Is there a right-left divide when it comes to the willingness to speak about problems of multiculturalism, such as clashes between individualist and clan-based norms?

MW: My experience has been that I have much freer, more open and genuinely inquisitive conversations with intellectuals on the center-right than on the left in Sweden—and I’m eager to talk with absolutely anyone and everyone I can.

My concern is that the left here is closing itself off, and that its resistance to thinking about cultural differences is a progressive parallel to right-wing climate change denial and that it could eventually eat it intellectually from inside. I have the sad impression that public thinking on the left here is ossifying, which would be terrible for everyone, on the right as much as the left. Then again, I’m an American, and that sometimes creates an initial distrust that one has to work to overcome.

 

Mark S. Weiner is a professor of legal history, a scholar of multiculturalism and the author of The Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom.

Paulina Neuding is the European editor of Quillette. Her work has appeared in, among others, The New York Times, Politico Europe and die Welt. Follow her on Twitter @paulinaneuding. 

148 Comments

  1. the gardner says

    There are so many things wrong with the situation described here, where to begin? First, one should ask the Swedes how or if bringing these immigrants to their country has positively impacted their society.
    To what extent are the immigrants expected to adapt to Swedish standards of practice in society as a way of appreciating the opportunities and benefits they are being provided? If clans come en masse to a country with societal standards vastly different than their clannish ways, is there no expectation that they are the ones needing to adapt? What chutpah the author expresses for indicating the Swedes do all the accommodating. The author’s expectation that Swedes do all the accommodating to deliver emergency services is ridiculous. When an EMS person arrives at a home of an immigrant in cardiac arrest, he’s supposed to have to worry about whether touching the person will be insensitive? How long before immigrants are represented by legal social justice warriors who then sue Swedes for doing what Swedes do in their own country?. This author shows a shocking indifference to the value of Swedish society and makes a mockery out of the Swedish people’s generosity for accepting these immigrants and no doubt lavishing them with social and financial benefits. No good deed goes unpunished.

    • the gardener

      Some good points. The author doesn’t emphasize the necessity of new citizens to adapt to their new country. Apparently Swedes (like educated people the world over) seem oblivious to the fragility of what constitutes a viable modern country.

      All of this “sensitivity” toward the “needs” of immigrants is no doubt confusing and distrusted by immigrants – these benevolent people seem to have no respect for themselves, am I to believe they respect me? Did D,H. Lawrence go to far when he equated benevolence with contempt?

    • Kencathedrus says

      @the gardner: You bring up very good points. I don’t see why we can’t install a points requirement system that potential emigres have to meet before they can enter the country so that they contribute to the greater good. This is a principle that most European societies are built upon.

      This woman has more to say on the matter of immigration in Europe.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ERmOpZrKtw

    • Charlie says

      How much of Sweden’s problems come from supporting the Nazis in WW2 ? Without Swedish iron ore the Nazi regime would have had problems producing steel.

      • stevengregg says

        Supplying Nazis with iron ore in WWII and the current Muslim situation have no connection.

    • Johan says

      I’m an ethnic Swede living in Stockholm. What is the chance of me getting a Somali friend. 0%. End of story…

    • Stewie Griffith says

      Everything about this article shows the complete lie at the heart of the Multicultural propaganda – it doesn’t make us stronger and more united, it divides our communities and out societies into clans competing with each other for their slice of the pie. It doesn’t add to productivity, it massively detracts from it as something as simple as the provision of basic services becomes a complete logistical nightmare as the providers are meant to navigate across multiple language and cultural barriers.

      Multiculturalism is of benefit to one group and one group only, the cultural elite who sit atop our societies, of our nations but not part of our nations. A group who basically despise the underlying gentile people and culture of that countries they sit atop and view the populace as little more than cattle to be farmed for their benefit alone.

      Even more revealing is the fact that the cultural values that this elite group of businessmen and thinkers are drawn from are not even promoting their own in-group cultural values, rather they promote the same values that a farmer prizes in their cattle – docility, passivity and a tolerance to being milked for everything they produce. Look to every one of these wealthy businessmen’s ‘charitable trusts’ and you will see their idea of charity isn’t towards the residents of the society that they are withholding tax payments to, that could fund schools and hospitals, but to the importation of more people and more competing cultures – greater diversity equals greater division and inevitably greater conflict, all the while they will profit by having more heads of cattle to farm.

      The underlying society of Sweden, a product of ethnic Swedes, is being monetised by these elitists as is being done to every Western nations. The goal of mass migration and Multiculturalism ISN’T to increase the well being of the indigenous residents of those nations, but to smother their ability to project their cultural values into the future, by introducing a multitude of competing people and cultures, all of which will seek to project their own values into the future – eternal conflict will be the outcome from these policies.

      Gause’s Law of competitive exclusion, is a proposition that two or more species competing for the same limiting resource cannot coexist within the same time and space, at constant population values. It is the same for Cultures – Multiculturalism guarantees eternal conflict as different cultures and people will seek to project their competing values forward.

      In Tibet and Uighur the Han flooding into these culturally distinct areas is recognised by the UN as a form of Cultural Genocide, EXACTLY the same thing is happening in the West, only it is celebrated as Multiculturalism. The stability of our society the cultural inheritance that we and our kids should be enjoying, are being destroyed by the conceit of a previous generation who, convinced they posses superior moral values to their parents, grandparents and those who have come before, have chosen to throw open the doors to their nations and invited chaos to come and live with them.

      • Sydney says

        Nice point from @Stewie Griffith:

        “In Tibet and Uighur the Han flooding into these culturally distinct areas is recognised by the UN as a form of Cultural Genocide, EXACTLY the same thing is happening in the West, only it is celebrated as Multiculturalism.”

        But the UN played both sides against the middle and created the horrifying, totalitarian (don’t believe me? Read it for yourself), globalist Migrant Pact. The Canadian government (under totalitarian-friendly PM Justin Trudeau) signed the pact with ZERO public debate or consultation because it was clear that Canadians HATE IT and would NEVER have signed it if it had been put to a national referendum.

      • brian jackson says

        “A group who basically despise the underlying gentile people and culture of that countries they sit atop..” Wow, you are one confused, paranoid little gobshite. The Jews now run Sweden?

        • Kencathedrus says

          @brian Jackson: ‘gentile’ here simply means non-elite. It’s not a racist slur like you seem to imply.

        • Stewie Griffith says

          “The Jews now run Sweden?”

          Of course not, but by there own admission (and design) they will play a leading role in the future of Multicultural Europe.

          Just google “Barbara Lerner” from the Bond’esque ‘Spectre’ Foundation discussing the importance of their values in heralding a new Multicultural future to be imposed on Europe.

          When you start looking at where the bizarre notion that motivates a society to wake up one day and say “Hey, lets start importing other people and cultures into our own, so that their values can compete with our own” come from, then their influence is undeniable.

    • stevengregg says

      The problem is that the Muslims are not immigrants, but colonists.

    • Ardy says

      I was in hospital in Sydney Australia a couple of years ago and shared a ward with a young guy who came of his motor bike and did serious damage to his shoulder and broke several ribs – did not complain and claimed his pain, which the doctor mentioned should be extreme was OK.

      The next day he was replaced with a guy from an arab country, he claimed his pain level of much much more than 10! and his doctor told him that as it was a minor operation he could leave, he was still there 5 days later. He was a total disruption to the nurses and staff by making sexual remarks to nurses, trying to smoke in the toilets and was making phone calls at 3am.

      I found the contrast between the 2 patients amazing in their differences. I always wondered if it was just him or a normal response from people of his background.

  2. Anonymous says

    Europe is not immune itself to tribalism or infighting and I wish Sweden all the best with being able to include all the immigrants in a harmonious society. Italy was fragmented with it’s own warring states like Venice and Genoa but was able to unify under a similar culture, language and heritage in the 1800s.

    Cultures of honor and blood feuds were the normal way of life and were only recently diminished. Cultures of honor seems to only be suppressed by a Leviathan as the Leviathan enacts the retribution.

    I am somewhat pessimistic that you can convince Eritreans, Somalians and Ethiopians to unify given the religious and cultural differences among themselves. The amount of differences is just much greater than it was between the culturally closer Italian states as they unified.

    My biggest apprehension stems from the fact that it is hard to bridge the differences between Kurds and Turks in Turkey or even the Somalis and Ethiopians in Ethiopia what makes you think you can do a better job of unifying everyone when the nations they come from find it hard to unify given the differing ethnic groups.

    I think it is somewhat human nature to always look at the negatives in life as we tend to place avoiding negatives higher than optimizing positives. I hope Sweden can prove my pessimism wrong.

    • Simon says

      My answer will appear eccentric but I’m taking the risk.

      In my opinion, one of the best way to infuse a national feeling into newcomers is through aesthetics.

      Just as any contract, in order to be ratified, the social contract must rely on a tacit approval based on preexisting cultural conventions. Thus, I do not think that the welfare state or “patriotic constitutionalism” is a powerful enough vector of socialisation to assimilate those populations.

      Assimilation works through persuasion and seduction. Because the national feeling is prepolitical, you need to create a sentimental attachement to the country. One of the best way to do it is through the intrinsically appetitive power of beauty.

      But conversely, I do not think that apostasy is a pre-requisit for assimilation. What you need however is to socialize the immigrant religion by incorporating it to the local aesthetic, artistic and literary history.

      In the case of Sweden and islâm, this could be done in four simple ways :

      they should stop importing the women’s hijabs and imam’s liturgical costumes from China, India or Maghreb and have their local artisans sew and embroider it with their indigenous craftsmanship and ornaments.

      they should put a stop building mosques in this invasive ottoman-international style and enforce critical regionalism and folk art in the architecture of sacred spaces.

      they should make their immigrants study the founding texts of the indigenous culture (Edda, Kalevala …) and have them convey their islamic spirituality through european modes of versifications or narrations. Or, to put it simply, have them develop their Divan Öst-westlicher.

      Similarly, they should make their imams study theology with their national bishops. In Sweden’s case, it may be easy because there are many common grounds between reformed christian and islamic theology.

      Actually, if they gave up this dysfunctional american idea of mutliculturalism, the Nordic nations, with their state-recognized religions, would be better armed in the course to nationalize their islam than we, French, with our neutral secularism and over-politicized national identity.

      • Sean says

        @Simon
        I will grant you that I have never heard an approach anything like your proposal.

        What do you propose to do when immigrants refuse your ideas?

        What would you do when they tell you that you and your white racist ways have no right to tell them how to build a mosque to worship their God?

        • Stephen Phillips says

          Sean

          What would your response be to a guest in your house if they told you you had to abide by their religious norms and food and customs and that if you didn’t you were a racist and intolerant.
          The Swedish should tell them to take their racist, intolerant, misogynistic ways and leave for a country that thinks the same way they do.

          • Defenstrator says

            That’s a logical but funnily naive way of thinking. Due to the racist oppressor/oppressed the left has embraced they think racism can only go one way.

        • Simon says

          @Sean

          The question is not so much “when immigrants refuse your ideas” but “now you realize you should have thought about this before”.

          “Now you’ve accommodated beyond viability, how do you reverse the process of civil brutalisation and ethnoreligious secession ?”.

          It’s actually the question we are addressing in France. France is only liberal in appearance. In fact, everyone is troubled by islamic ethno-differentialism (through refusal of exogamy, through glaring clothing habits). Even the radical left is insecure on these matters.

          To put it simply, in France we tend to develop a policy mix oscillating between a reaching-hand cultural policy and a restrictive-to-repressive free-speech policy.

          Schematically, it would consist in three mechanisms :

          to cut short the import of imams from foreign countries,
          to develop a derogatory national interreligious theological seminary,
          to treat each imam refusing this cursus honorarum as a cult leader,

          I know this would be unacceptable in a “post-protestant” society but in “post-gallicanic” France, with our repressive anti-cult legislation and our scholarly certification of cult ministers, we are heading to this.

          I’ll attempt to answer your second question. The immigrant does not fluently speak the language of PC culture and when it does, it’s because of your social workers’ doctrine. The second generation of immigrants does speak this language, but only because its members have been through your liberal state education system and predatory capitalist thug culture.

          Basically, an immigrant is certainly not a “tabula rasa” but he’s above all looking for acceptance.
          This may sound indeterminate but, during this critical phase, you have to welcome him into your ways without indiscriminately forcing him out of his. Indeed, anthropological obliteration and a lack of hospitality will result in cultural insecurity leading to socio-economic violence and anomic born again phenomenas.
          The terms of the negotiations depend on what a given society is willing to accept and what it is not, depending on the importance of its customary laws and its historical theologico-political compromise.
          In France for instance, we refuse customary law and we have a dichotomic theological-political comprise. To put it tritely, we know that we do not want muslims to live along their marital statuses and we prefer the old Algerian wearing a fez above his suit than the young narco-islamist wearing nikes under his qamis.
          In fact, our model was functiunal until we decided to treat our assimilated muslim young girls as the private preserve of stayed-home muslim men and when we perverted the immigrants’ assimilationist and egalitarian claims into a “right to be different”.

          • Just a quick question. Why is it all the countries that have a “predatory capitalist thug culture “ have far better records in human rights than the ones that don’t?

          • Simon says

            @ Defenstrator

            Thank you for saying my remarks are logic. There sometimes is consistency in foolishness !

            Your commentaries are taking us far from the original subject but I’ll try to express my opinions in the most intelligible way. Remember that I’m not fluent in English !

            *

            By “predatory capitalist thug culture” I’m talking about the narco-economy taking place in France’s “banlieues” and elsewhere.

            I grew up in Marseilles, a cesspool city, a metropolitan favela in the South of France. There, clanic culture fuses with low-life aspirations. Those people are a despicable bunch of xenophobic, antisemite, vulgar and ignorant bullies. All they think about is brutal sex, conspicuous consumption, regressive masculinity. They are hermetical to everything that elevates and uplifts. One day, they wake up muslim and adds moral sufficiency and arrogance to their foul, anomic behavior. This level of brutality can not solely be blamed on socio-economic prejudice. The main reason is, I think, anthropological : they simply haven’t passed the same number of “civilisation of mores” stages than we, Europeans, have. They do not recognize higly mediatized power structure, only charismatic, traditional and coercive forms of authority.

            However I express reserves about the consubstantial link between the human rights ideology and capitalism, because there are several types of capitalisms and because, in spite of its appearilingly unanimous phrasing, the very notion of human rights is equivocal. Although I’m in favor of a heavily-rationalizied state and praise the moralizing effects of an incitative, free economy, I actually think that the thalassocratic and mercantilist anglo-saxon view of economic freedom is barbaric as well as its homothetic doctrine of human rights.

            *

            To add in my defence, I don’t think I am that naive in the sense that my view about assimilation works with its two hands : one that is extremely severe because I know who we’re dealing with (hence my restrictive views on free-speech and freedom of religion) ; one that is inclusive into the deepest levels of the human psyche because I think inculturation is the only way to create a functional, culturally diverse society.

            To speak about the only country I know, there’s no such thing as an ethnically pure and monocultural France. One of our more controversial far-right authors, Louis-Ferdinand “Céline” Destouche, even wrote, in the incipit of his novel “Voyage au bout de la Nuit”, that we are just a “bunch of [beggars] chased by hunger, plague, tumors and coldness. We stopped here, defeated from the four corners of the world, because we could not cross the ocean. This is who we are and where we live”.

            There’s no half-hearted policy in this matter: either we keep on failing and disintegrate, or we come out of this situation on top and unified, not only as a society but as a nation. In effect, as I tried to explain, neither ethny can act as a unifying force because it’s based on a lie, neither civic identity because it is not self-sufficient. That being said, the only way I know is through what T.S. Eliot calls “class culture” : something that reaches the depth of popular and folk culture (piety included) and the heights of western theoretical life (speculative mystics included).

            Hopefully in France, we have a long tradition of empathic islamology. We have a colonial past that disillusioned many of our humanitarian tendencies toward Islam unlike idealistic protestant countries such as Scandinavian ones or Germany. Nevertheless, both our knowledge in textual criticism and our theological turn in phenomenology make it possible for us to foresee a humanizing way of being a follower of islam by rehabilitating islamic hellenism even though, I must acknowledge, we have to start from scratch.

            The main problem is that both our legislation and our average mental landscape are too late. Our wilfully blind secularism refuses to interfere with religions in order to organize them at their expense, although we are rethinking our doctrine so we can deal with the islamic question. The remaining problem is the socio-cultural acceptability of such a shift in our not-that-ancient theologico-political compromise because, unlike protestant countries, French people are spiritual philistines and theological illiterates. Which is a shame, because in my opinion the assimilation of islâm goes hand in hand with the cultural recovery of the French mob.

          • Sean says

            @Simon

            The gist of what you are saying is that their lack of assimilation or integration is that we haven’t been accommodating or kind enough or explained our western ways clearly enough.

            I could agree if only one country had the integration problem, but all western countries are having this problem.

            Additionally, the one thing that people who have a similar viewpoint never seem to answer, is why aren’t there the same problems with other races? Why aren’t East Asian immigrants either first or subsequent generations having these problems? I don’t see them having no go zones or bleeding the welfare system dry or stoning ambulances. The same with non-muslim south Asians. The same with Jews.

            The Vietnamese boat people integrated well. We have many in Canada. They work and follow the rules and their kids do well in school and they had a tough start. Why don’t they behave like the Muslims described in the article?

      • @simon,

        Those ideas are blasphemous to many Muslims. But kudos for seeing the similarities in Reformed Theology and Islam. Both worship a God who has predetermined everything.

    • Stephen Phillips says

      Good luck to the Swedish if they attempt to nullify the enmity between some of the groups they have so foolishly allowed in.

      In 1989 the fighting broke out in Yugoslavia and I mentioned it to a second generation Slav I had worked with for several years. His reply floored me, he vehemently stated that the latest group to be slaughtered had it coming and he hoped they all got exterminated. This from someone who didn’t even live there or live in an expatriate community of like minded people. It made me question whether we should be so ‘caring’ and instead be a lot more pragmatic when we accept immigrants.

      • Simon says

        @ Sean :

        Well, I’ll try to go the point.
        I totally agree with the idea that there is a specific islamic problem.
        We should engage in comparative econometric and sociometric inquires in order to establish it factually instead of intuitively condemning it.
        What’s more, all those who think the islamic question in the West can simply be solved within a sociologist / economicist / humanitarian framework are wrong.
        Thinking that cultural accommodation and resource allocation will suffice is to underestimate the constitutive unsociable and polemical nature of islâm.
        The trick is that this fact is so massive and disruptive that we stand flabbergasted and intimidated in front of a society, Islam, built on such an abyssal and unfounded violence.

        That being said, we left the still waters of sociology and economy and entered the tumultuous waters of anthropology of religions or theological ethnology.
        In order to understand the current surge in violence within contemporary islamic societies, you just need to review two hundred years of socio-political ideas within the islamic world.
        But in order to understand the intrisically corrupt nature of islamic societies, you need to fracture the sedimentated discourse of islâm into what Giorgio Agamben calls its fossil, anthropogenetic level.
        There, you will have to deal with the foundational militaro-religious nature of islâm, and it’s a combustible component.
        Have you heard about a book intitled the Accursed share by French author George Bataille ?
        It’s no science but there are some luminous insights about the main difference between let’s say islamic, buddhist and industrial societies regarding their relationship to sacrificial violence and how it shapes their relationship to other human groups.

        But in the end the dilemma remains the same. You have three choices. One is rooted in 20st century biopolitics : you amputate. It’s the Chinese and Myamnarian choice.
        One is rooted in 21st century intercultural management paradigm : you accommodate at the risk of fragmentation.
        One is still to be invented. As I said, 20st century population management is against our current standards in human rights and I do not believe in the viability of the anglo-saxon multicultural model.
        Now, how do you impliment a humane treatment of populations rooted in an abysmal anthropological violence ?
        In my opinion, the relevant discursive formation to deal with such a problematic if you do no want to resort to extreme measures is political theology and general economy (which is an anthropology of human darkness).
        The only way to counteract the proselyte and expansionist nature of islâm is cultural containment through national-scale assimilationist policies (such as the one I tried to sketch) and international theologico-political treatises (see Nicolas Cuesan, for instance).

  3. Eurocrat says

    This is ridiculous, Guardian-like article. The most obvious issue is how both the journalist and the professor try not to mention the religion of the rock-throwing immigrants. There are Serb and Croat and Bosniak (Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, practicing secularised form of Muslim religion if practicing at all) immigrants in Sweden. You don’t hear they are throwing rocks at ambulance vehicles.

    How can you address the problem if you are not willing to address it in full?

    • Simon says

      Well, I’m not sure one would read a proposal such a this on the Guardian : ” I suspect that at least aspects of this social trust were historically dependent on Sweden’s ethnic homogeneity, just as the greater social disorder in America stems partly from its pluralism. The trick for Sweden will be to maintain its high levels of social trust under its new demographic circumstances, which is one reason why I’ve advocated that Swedes embrace a thicker sense of national identity—one that’s as robust as it is inclusive.”

      You’d rather read stuffs like “fuel their prejudice with public money and they will feel beholden to the mommy state”.

      • Eurocrat says

        So, the professor’s take is that not-long-ago very well functioning state should come up with a “trick” in order to preserve what it used to have.

        The fact is, Scandinavians are not good at tricks. They worked long and hard in order to achieve capitalist, a sort of free-market, inclusive societies that to some outsiders looked like socialist utopias. But – tricks? No! The biggest trick they ever conjured was to take vessels out of territorial waters in order to drink booze for fair prices. Change the tax policy – god forbid!

        Now it is crumbling down because they walked the talk of their ever-more-progressive politicians. And it is ok, because some of these politics were made just for the rest of Europe to look bad. To show how superior they are.

        It was pure vanity.

        • Simon says

          Well I don’t know. I’m not that impressed by secular scandinavian societies. I find them obscene and infantile.
          Scandinavians don’t do tricks because they’re too naive for that.
          Nevertheless as a French citizen living in a shithole country, I don’t feel entitled to teach them a lesson.
          They’ve decided to take this burden upon them out of self-righteousness : let them deal with it.

          To put it bluntly, they only have four scenarii, depending on how they arbitrate between humanity, idealism and realism :

          to pursue with the idealistic stance on accommodation (multiculturalism), which appears to be humane but is in fact suicidal;
          to engage in realistic accommodation (separatism among sectarian lines), which finally leads to the same outcome ;
          to resort to ethnic cleansing, which is personnaly not my cup of tea, because it’s both idealistic and inhumane ;
          to shift from progressive denial to realistic cultural and civic assimilation ;

          I can’t help but think that the last scenario is the most realistic and the most humane of the four, notwithstanding the fact that high modernist scandinavian societies have given up all the anthropological resources this kind of policy require.

          This is why the author gives them this simple advice : stop thinking of yourself as contractual condominium syndicates but re-engage with being a nation-state.

          • cassandra says

            The problem is that the non scandivians do not wish to be assimilated. Why should they? They have been told from the womb, over countless generations, that the way of their clan is the best way, and all other ways are offensive, wrong-headed and possibly criminal. Good luck with changing that with an anthropoligical resource.

            Of course, from the viewpoint of an unbiased observer ( posssibly an alien?), they might be ‘right’. The mores of the clan culture may be on some plane ‘superior’ to those of the liberal Englightenment, or even principled Christianity. The other fundamental fact, however, is that it is the aforsaid liberal society which is maintaining these non acceptors through their taxes.

          • Simon says

            You don’t have to be an alien, only an objective participant.

            Non scandinavians do not wish to be assimilated because there is nothing to be assimilated.
            The trick is that our liberal, economocratic societies are not made to assimilate but to disintegrate.
            What the liberal calls emancipation is, in fact, an ongoing process of disagregation through the atomisation of the workforce, the obliteration of indigenous cultures, the externalisation of solidarity mechanisms (be it by the bureaucratic state or the privat sector), the replacement of the public good for aggregated private interests.

            What we westerners have to admit is that they do not want to be shortchanged !
            Indeed, according to them, Muslim culture is more efficient in every aspect : as a nuptial market, as charity fund, as a organizing principle, as disciplinary mechanism, as an afterlife insurance.
            On the contrary, what they see in Western societies is that, being culturally weak, these societies make it possible for non-cooperating third parts to have their cake and eat it too.
            Anthropological resources, cultural idiosyncrasies are like tariff barriers. Identities are complex because they are made to enhance the motivation of applicants. Incorporating a complex culture require the candidates to desmonstrate an extra proof of their good will. This symbolic gesture works as a pledge of his will to collaborate.

            By endorsing the liberal myth of the abstract, universal man, Westerners have given up these kinds of soft leverage.
            No surprise they make it possible for non acceptors to live at their expense.

          • Sean says

            “to shift from progressive denial to realistic cultural and civic assimilation ;”

            You say this is the most realistic. Sounds wonderful in theory. How exactly would you achieve it? What does the path to cultural and civic assimilation look like?

            If the generations born in Sweden are more radical than their immigrant parents, what are you going to do? You can’t deport them.

            I don’t disagree with the concept but the reality is if Muslims or any other non western immigrants do not willingly go with your plans, you must use force to ensure compliance.

          • Peter from Oz says

            SImon
            You make some very good arguments. I particularly like:

            ”Indeed, according to them, Muslim culture is more efficient in every aspect”
            I would add that the ”them” in that sentence could also be the progressives. What I have noticed about progressives is that they often suffer from what I call conservatism-by-proxy. This condition involves a respect for the traditions of other cultures. Thus progressives always harp on about how Australian Aboriginal culture is 40,000 years old. And endless middle class (in the British sense) women who would never be seen dead in a church in their own countries will vist temples in Asia and on their return regale all in sundry with how ”spiritual” it all was.
            Could it be that progressives have an unconscious wish to make society more traditional and conservative, but because they can’t actually commit to conservatism themselves they are importing muslims to do it for them? From what I have seen of the feminists they certainly have a secret conservative agenda as far as sex, prostitution and pornography are concerned.

          • Simon says

            @ Sean : I think I answered to your question about the “how-to” of cultural and civic assimilation in my previous comment (a policy mix oscillating between an elitist and reaching hand cultural policy and repressive cult and free-speech policy).

            @ Peter from Oz : about “conservatism-by-proxy”, which is a funny way to put it, I think there are two dimensions.
            One is about the current secretly conservative agenda behind PC feminists and communautarians. In order to understand it, you just need a sixty years-old historical window. What is happening in my opinion is an attempt, by those who took part in the 60s cultural revolutions, to auto-correct their flawed permissive system by reconstructing a normative system. This new regime of norms lurks toward the archaic in its way of enforcement (peer pressure, public shame, inquisitorial thinking …) but stays hypermodern in its vocabulary (deconstructive hermeneutics, constructivst anthropology, contractualist interactionnism …).

            The Second, dealing with the westerners’ tendency to self-neglect themselves on a cultural level and fall into the adulation of foreign cultures, requires, in my opinion, an archeological long-term and in-depth analysis.
            I think there is a continuous thread, starting with the Greeks and the Romans borrowing Asian gods to the humanists’ appeal to primitive populations, which mutated into 19th century exotism and tourism. There’s an analogy to explore between the european nobility inviting savages and saracenes in their courts, human zoos displayed at colonial exhibitions, young “petite bourgeoise” thinking zen buddhism is the best way to treat cellulite and prevent burning-out at the workplace.
            What is latent, I think, is a core structure of ambivalence, who systematically idealizes to self-deny and appropriates to trivialize.

          • swalter says

            Simon, what you have written (below) about the benefits of clan societies is sensible. I wonder about cultural dilution and critical mass. How many practitioners and what degree of cultural role diversity is needed to raise a functional emigrant clan society? Is it even possible when the clan society exists in the context of a larger society and culture that doesn’t share its values such as the Swedish case at hand? Or are such attempts doomed to sub-functional approximation of the mother clan?

            And what about the bidirectional nature of mixing which inevitably takes place? What Swedish institutional values will be incorporated into the emigrant clan society? Is there a natural logic to a given clan that will resonate with some alien practices and not others?

            I wonder about the state of the German population that emigrated from Turkey two or three generations ago? What does their assimilation (or lack of) look like? Same question for the North Africans in France or the South Asian communities in UK?

    • Sydney says

      @Eurocrat

      I’m a Canadian [ex-far left] centrist. I wondered, reading from paragraph to paragraph with my jaw gaping, what produces Weiner’s astonishing naïvité and/or willful blindness? I can’t fathom it. Can pharma produce a vaccine against it? Because it’s killing the West.

      Halfway through I realized, like you, ‘Oh, I guess this is what’s published each and every day at Slate, Vox, Daily Beast, NYT (that I once subscribed to until I couldn’t take it anymore), and as you noted, the Guardian.

      I think Lebanese-born Canadian professor (science? economics? I forget) Gad Saad calls this willful blindness, ‘Ostrich Parasitic Syndrome,’ or something to that effect. Check out Prof. Saad’s YouTube videos.

      Weiner is beyond hope. I suspect he already took a rock to the head.

      • Simon says

        @ Swalter :

        I think you pose seriously real and good questions and plant three unevitable concepts : critical mass, cultural dilution, bidirectional mixing. What’s more, the comparative and evaluative approach toward integration policies you sketch, mixed with an anthropology of the diasporic condition, would be salutary.

        But good luck to establish a research protocol ! The main problem is that this kind of study can not be devoid of an axiological bias. It’s not a problem to me because, at a meta-ethic level, I defend the realism of virtues and values. But it’s way more complicated for contemporary methodological (if not moral)-relativist sociologists.

        Off the top of my head I would say that :

        critical mass is a curve modelizing the arbitration between :

        the social acceptance of cultural dissonance by the indigenous population,
        the level of acceptable criminality by the indigenous population,
        the level of social criminality directly imputable to cultural diversity,
        all three depending on the demographic variability of a given minority.

        In order to measure a sub-functional diasporic condition you have to :

        find the marginal unity of acceptable cultural conservation for a minority …
        … until the minority is no longer able to take part in the indigenous macrosocial landscape …
        … and inevitably falls into criminality and anomic behaviors (drug and human trafficking, attempts on property and casualties …).

        the extent a given minority is open to cultural dilution and the extent an indigenous population is willing to be contaminated by the mores of a given minority can only be dealt case by case through structural analysis of particuliar, intercultural societies. I think there are intrinsic anthropological isomorphisms that make it possible for different populations to interact peacefully in spite of their cultural, religious and ethnic differences. The aim of the research is to isolate these ethnological variables in order to determine the conditions of possibility or impossibility for a functional and enriching intercultural long-term interactions. It might be homothetic cosmogonies, compatible work ethics, openness to intermarriage, belonging to a common linguistic family …
        I don’t really know but it’s a field of study worth to be openned !

        In the case of France, I would say that we are confronted with an indigenous population with a very low rate of cultural bidirectional mixing acceptance because of its antireligious secularism and a sub-functional diaspora with a very low rate of cultural dilution because of its attachment to traditional values, its own sense of cultural superiority and honor, an anthropological background with a high propensity to antisocial behaviors mixed with a maintained traumatic colonial souvenir.

  4. John V says

    My God. Isn’t there a different word that you can use besides inclusive? It’s such a cringey word with so much negative baggage. You need to be more self-aware and pick up on all the eye-rolling and face palms that it provokes when you use it. And you can throw diversity and diverse in with it. The left does indeed ruin everything that it touches. Including these words.

    • Anonymous says

      “Inclusive” means every sports team must have 50% non-athletes and 50% athletes. For every male and female restroom, there must be another one for transgenders. And equal restrooms for the thirty other genders.

      Soon, every family will be government-mandated to be racially diverse and inclusive – just like every school and neighborhood must be.

      • cassandra says

        Except the private paradises of the rich . Not much equality or diversity in Amal Clooney’s waterside estate.

    • Jayden Lewis. says

      Yes, it is not the Swedes job to “include”. It is the job of the immigrant to adapt and assimilate to the society they chose to live in. They are free to go back to whatever sh!thole they came from and be clannish.

  5. Erica from the West Village says

    This is what happens when well-meaning but uber-naive politicians of the left promote Diversity through external characteristics hoping to create a Utopian society.

    In fact, there is no such thing. There are individual interests and group interests and if enough people cobble their interests together, you might have national interests.

    Kumbaya politicians are very very dangerous for ignoring the type of behaviors exhibited in this article. They think if we can all just get along in a progressive structure that intersectionality will calm the most brutal beast and tame the DNA Inside us that remembers to ‘circle the wagons’ when danger is nearby.

  6. Anonymous says

    With World War II over – Scandinavia built the perfect society, the envy of the world.

    And just when everything was going perfectly – they made a fateful decision to put their abstract progressive principles into practice in a huge way.

    They must have thought – “Hey, mass uncontrolled third world immigration works great in the USA – let’s try it here !”

    They must have thought that all the extra Islam would be just a minor detail, too. Yup, they would all come in right off the boat and magically “become Swedes”.

    What could possibly go wrong ? What ? Mass rape ? Arson, anti-semitism, throwing rocks at first responders ?

    Quick call the news media and let them know about the new government policy of deflection and denial ! Can’t let people know what is going on !

    Start calling people “racist” ! Keep the lid on this boiling over pot !

  7. dirk says

    Something I missed in the analysis; Sweden (but also Denmark and Norway) never had colonies , like England, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium,Holland and others had. That explains much about their naivete and unexperience/uneasiness with diversity problems. I once worked for the Danish Embassy with colleages in a development project in Africa, they treated, paid and considered the locals just as equals, other Danes, whereas for the Dutch embassy (with a centuries old tradition to work and live in colonies with different tribes and clans of ” indigenous”), this was not so. There, it alwas was “us and they”, and the Danish did (maybe “as if”) there was no such difference.

    • John says

      Yes. The Scandinavian societies have been rather insular and homogeneous for most their history….especially since at least the middle ages. The most difference they experienced were with the Anglo-Saxons well before the Norman Conquest. They seem now to take far too much for granted.

    • Owntown Dart Scene says

      To be more accurate, Sweden did attempt colonization. See the “Swedish Gold Coast” in what is now Ghana, and New Sweden on the Delaware River. But in very short order they lost these incipient colonies to rivals, mainly the Dutch.

      • Owntown Dart Scene says

        Oh, and there was that whole business with Finland. Sorry, it slipped my mind. In my defense, it only lasted a few centuries.

        • You left out Swedish Pomerania. If you want to stretch the point a bit, everything between the Elbe and the Vistula Rivers, and from the Baltic to the Black Seas, was, in the opinion of the Goths, a Swedish colony.

    • Peter Schaeffer says

      Actually Sweden had a considerable empire in the Baltic states until Peter the Great took it away (of course the history is more complex). However, the Baltic states were rather similar to Sweden in culture, economics, religion, people, etc. They really weren’t that different that Sweden. Indeed, Norway has a actually part of Sweden until quite recently (around 1900). How different are Swedes and Norwegians?

      At one level it is easy (too easy) to explain Sweden’s poor performance with immigration on a lack of colonial experience. However, that argument is actually nonsense. Other European countries (the UK, the Netherlands, France, etc.) with lots of colonial experience are doing just as badly as Sweden. The real problems are deeper.

      • dirk says

        In the NLs, we had until about 1990 a rather strict separation and an active, subsidizing policy to secure the immigrants their own ambience, culture, language, schooling and lifestyle, we didn’t even realize that their muslim faith was so important for them (we thought that they would secularize and westernize soon, like the catholics also did). This has changed completely since ca 20 years, and now we try to close down their salafist schools (without succes, because they know the freedom of education laws better even than we do) , and mistrust their salafist mosques. We are flabbergasted, because, what seemed to be no problem in the colonies (with strict separation, and even different adat laws for the populations) now all of a sudden seems unsurmountable for our free, egalitarian, democratic society. I wonder whether the history in these issues are similar in Sweden, I doubt so, but don’t know enough about it.

        • Sydney says

          @dirk

          “…because they know the freedom of education laws better even than we do…”

          This gave rise to the term, ‘lawfare,’ if I understand correctly. The political misuse and abuse of the legal system for political/ideological aims. I only recently discovered.

          “…their salafist mosques…”

          Of course it goes without saying (but must be said or I’ll be called a host of cliché names by lefties) that the NZ shooting was horrific. But MSM’s (and government’s) plaintive cry of, “…peaceful prayer and worship…,” finally rang false.

          It’s clear to anyone who is able to face the truth that mosques appear not to be communicating messages of peace and love at all. Islamic scholars point to the messages violence and hate repeated daily in Islamic prayer, which is the best-case scenario. Worst-case scenario are mosques (globally) that are discovered by law enforcement to be fronts for terror organizations. You only need to do a quick google search to confirm this. In the West these practices in other “religions” have motivated MSM and governments to employ the term, “cult,” but of course the left isn’t able to do that in the case of Islam.

          So a mosque shooting is of course horrific, but it’s not comparable to the same murder in any other legitimate place of worship. MSM and most Western governments aren’t able to face this truth, just as Weiner isn’t able to say the word, “Muslim” even once, even as ambulances are having rocks thrown at them.

          Defies belief.

      • I think the better explanation is Swedish guilt over having stayed neutral both world wars of the 20th Century in order to profit mightily from supplying the losing side.

        The Nazis didn’t invade Sweden because they didn’t have to.

    • ga gamba says

      No, Denmark (and the Dano-Norwegian union) had colonies. Who did the Americans pay for its Virgin Islands? Also in the Caribbean, Sweden had Saint Barthelemy for about 100 years. There were also Dane colonies in India – it wasn’t entirely a British show there. If we count the Danelaw, and we should, that’s a Scandinavian colony on the British Isles. In the North Atlantic, Greenland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands were colonised by Scandinavians, but the Viking were also in the Mediterranean and conquered southern Italy and Sicily. And, of course, Normandy, France.

      What’s the origin of the name Russia? Who was conquering Slavs?

      Sweden was a major military power in Europe until the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

      • dirk says

        You can’t compare the shorttime possession of a few tiny Caribian Islands with the tightnit and longtime lawful relation with those huge territoria of, say France and the NLs. Denmark by far was not an equally colonial nation, Ga.G! We still have some colleges and universities that, until quite recently, had many fulltime curriculums, technical and sociological, for a future tropical career (I did one of those).

  8. Peter Schaeffer says

    Written by the always impressive Paulina Neuding, no surprise there.

    • dirk says

      @Peter: In a former essay of this Pauline (see above, Sweden’s General Election…), she neither mentioned the elephant in the room. So, she is very consequent in her writing. Whether she is hot, as Rascal suggests (see below), is quite another matter, of course.

  9. Craig Willms says

    My take away from this was this less than startling admission from Mark Weiner:

    “My experience has been that I have much freer, more open and genuinely inquisitive conversations with intellectuals on the center-right than on the left in Sweden—”

    That is a recurring theme among liberals and classical liberals all over the world. Many of the articles on Quillette by left leaning authors express this sentiment. The left is tribalising itself to the point where the brains of the outfit are becoming alienated. While I would never expect them to embrace the right or God forbid conservatism, they will find themselves naked and afraid at some point.

  10. markbul says

    “I were a second-generation Swedish boy with an immigrant background living in an outlying suburb and experiencing the growing contradictions of Swedish society, I might be tempted to throw a stone at anything with lights and sirens …”

    Go fuck yourself. Justice would be served if this nimrod got hit on the head with one of those stones, and he, rather than a first responder suffered brain damage.

    • Johan says

      @markbul…No Chinese, Indian or European immigrants throwing rocks. How the fuck does a person even consider throwing rocks at other people? No excuses to do that. Sweden usually pays for their entire family forever…A Thank You would be OK. Instead stones…
      We have no idea how bad the upbringing of children in muslim and African families are. No idea what…so…ever…

      • Denny Sinnoh says

        Invite in a Stone Age culture, don’t be surprised when they throw stones.

      • In Europe we have Budhists, Hindus, Ismaleites, Sikhs…And we have Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai…Not to mention Latin Americans and Africans of Christian background. Harly any problemas arise from all these communities living in very different European countries having to adapt to very different way of life. Only one bloody religion stands out.

  11. Mark Weiner says: “The United States has a much longer tradition of dealing with ethnic pluralism than Sweden, and ambulance and fire services have put in a lot of hard work to get things right. I also suspect that our programs of race-based affirmative action in employment play a role, though they generally violate European human rights norms and would be forbidden here.”

    Either Mark Weiner is lying or Mark Weiner is an idiot. In the quoted paragraph Weiner conflates the assimilation “melting pot” that existed before 1975 with anti-assimilation coddling of immigrants that became fashionable after 1975.

    Before 1975 in the US, if an immigrant was behaving as too much the ethnic, they were told so in no uncertain terms. In order to get the melting pot up to temperature, the host population had a long list ethnic slurs ranging from mild to quite harsh, couple with shunning, to correct the immigrant’s behavior. If an immigrant complained they were told if you don’t like it, go back to where you came from.

    After 1975, correction became less and less important to the powers that be and now any correction is quickly labeled as a predictable expression of racist hate from knuckle dragging natives.

    In the first half of the 20th C. there were clan based ethnic criminal gangs of Irish, Italian, German and Eastern European Jews in the US. Between 1930-65, these gangs were broken violently by law enforcement and their cases were tried before very unfriendly native born juries who cared not a bit about their clans, their old cultures or their reasons for being in the US. If their behavior was criminal they were going to do time in prison, a lot of time.

    Mark Weiner’s pathetic plea for affirmative action reveals what he is; someone who should stay in Sweden. Affirmative action is a standing and continuing violation of everything the US is supposed to stand for.

    God, these people are tiresome.

    • Peter Schaeffer says

      EK, There is actually a phrase for the U.S. (pre-1975) system of assimilation. It was called the “Brutal Bargain”. See “Why Norman Podhoretz’s ‘Brutal Bargain’ Still Matters for a description. NP wrote his famous essay in 1967.

      • Podhoretz addressed the different problem of second generation immigrants breaking into the governing-class. My focus was on how the people he left behind in Brooklyn went on to integrate with the rest of the general population when the ethnic ghettos that formed between 1890-1921 and began breaking down in the 1930s.

        Ethnic divisions within the general population severely limit their collective ability to oppose governing class polices that harm the general population and enrich the governing class. It’s like becoming a Marine, the initiation is, as you say, “brutal” but the rewards are great. I remember the later manifestation of this phase in American history in the 1950s quite well. The initiation occurred in primary and secondary school and was usually accomplished by the children themselves.

        • Peter Schaeffer says

          EK, Apparently, NP “Brutal Bargain” was not even (literally) about second generation immigrants joining the elite. Apparently, it was about second generation immigrants being accepted in elite English departments.

          However, more broadly the “Brutal Bargain” did apply to elite second generation immigrants joining the ruling elite. However, it also applied to folks who were far from elite.

          Basically, it (the “Brutal Bargain”) was a system that worked at many levels of society. We (the USA and Europe) don’t have it anymore. Instead, we have mass immigration and ‘assimilation’ as a four-letter word.

    • You are probably right. If I was American I would be very worried about some of the new additions to your congress. In my world view, the basic minimum to be a people’s representative is to be patriotic. AOC and Ilham Omar are two examples of representatives that not only have no shred of patriotism but they are borderline anti American (I’m being kind with the borderline). This goes beyond what kind of political system you might want for your country, between crazy libertarian and crazy socialist there’s quite a lot of room for debate. But what’s the point of having politicians that care not for the country? What were Minnesotans and New Yorkers thinking when they voted? This looks like self flagellation on steroids

  12. david says

    I immigrated to USA over 40 years ago as a quite young man and without a support network and family. I have never questioned for a second that it was entirely up to me to learn the language, figure out the mores and ways of doing things, the ins outs of laws and regulations. I took it for given I will have to try harder having a strong accent and etc. My first year I went to IRS building on Manhattan and said in not so great English: “ somebody told me that everybody has to do taxes, what do I do? They were amazed and than very helpful. I am always taken back by the sense of entitlement, victimization and total lack of gratitude and appreciation by today’s imigrant’s “spokespersons” and by the counterproductive enablement by their “ advocates. “ Islam complicates it further because of the highly descriptive nature of the religion where giving up one’s old culture conflicts with its teachings and commands. The West responds with “OK we are not insisting you become like us, so we will just become more like you or just pretend this is not happening.”

    • david,

      I also immigrated to the USA. I was 18, my family paid for my college in Arkansas (I spoke English already) and then I moved to Dallas. I am Hispanic and I will tell you people in both Arkansas and Texas have been kind and welcoming. I hate when liberals make a caricature out of people in the South or rural areas, calling them hillbillies, racist, etc. Pure BS.
      Anyway, I work for nonprofits here in Dallas and they will not hire qualified people if they don’t speak Spanish. rather than encouraging immigrants to learn English, they shame native white Texans for not speaking Spanish. It’s sad and infuriating.

  13. dtburgess says

    Recognizing that “The rule of the clan possesses values of solidarity and social justice” and ” ‘the Nordic gold’—i.e. high levels of trust between individuals, and between the public and the state,” how is Sweden not just a clan writ large?

    I think there is probably a good answer to this question, but I would like to hear it from Weiner.

    One difference may be how they interact with other clans, but that could be temporary. It may change with time.

  14. the gardner says

    For a rather shocking contrast to this situation in Sweden, see the story in today’s WSJ about what the Chinese are doing to the Muslim Uigers on the western side of China. The Chinese will not tolerate their culture and encroachment on land they see as Chinese. They are putting Uigers in enternment camps, and razing mosques and other property. Where is the UN? Oh, right, the UN doesn’t go after countries that will just thumb their nose at it.

      • @benita
        God I hope the Chinese take the Swedish up on that and start shipping Uigers to Sweden. Sweden is lost, but they can still be valuable. May their collapse be an example to the rest of the world.

  15. Sydney says

    Question about ‘Quillette’ in general (not this post):

    What changed at ‘Quillette’ so that general ads are now being served on it?

    I had the impression that the publisher was trying to keep it ad-free. What changed? Readers would probably be interested in a brief post about changes behind the scenes (still being underwritten by Peter Thiel?).

    Ads aren’t the end of the world – God knows we’re inundated with them everywhere – and the publishers want to make money. I’m sure I’m one of many regular readers interested to hear.

    • Shawn T says

      Good point. If I am served ads and Q is making money with them, should I continue my monthly subscription in support of their efforts?

  16. E. Olson says

    “…at the moment it will be hindered from doing so by the impermissibility of collecting statistics on the basis of race and ethnicity, and by the discomfort many Swedes have in talking about cultural differences….My experience has been that I have much freer, more open and genuinely inquisitive conversations with intellectuals on the center-right than on the left in Sweden—and I’m eager to talk with absolutely anyone and everyone I can.”

    Two quotes from this article that were respectively towards the beginning and towards the end, but should be directly linked. Guess who didn’t want to collect statistics on race and ethnicity – Would it be the open and inquisitive center-right or the “closed off” left? Correct answer: LEFT. Guess why the Left doesn’t want to collect those statistics? Answer: because it would show the sheer folly of their humanitarian super-power agenda, as the clans have 50+% unemployment, do poorly in school, and commit most of the crime that requires increased police, court, and prison budgets. It would also show that even 1st and 2nd generations are still doing very poorly. And what happens if such statistics do become known? Answer: They will show the collapse of the Leftist welfare state is imminent. Leftist Solution: bury head in sand while throwing rocks at any “Nazis” that point out these problems that are only getting worse.

    The Danes are not quite as humanitarian crazy as the Swedes, and here is a nice summary of how things are going there.

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13876/denmark-collapse

    • Ray Andrews says

      @E. Olson

      IR of Danistan by mid century. They might beat the Swedes and the French.

  17. gda says

    Amazing. An entire article without mentioning the elephant in the room by name. Not one reference to the fact that it is Islam which is the problem and Muslims who propagate it.

    Good job you blind “scholar of multiculturalism”.

    • 1/4horse says

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  18. E. Olson says

    Anyone else notice how no article from a Leftist or reformed Leftist in able to say anything negative about the Left or complimentary about the Right without also saying something negative about Trump and/or the Right (aka global warming deniers, Nazi, greedy, —phobic, etc.)?

    • V 2.0 says

      Ha! I noticed too. Why would someone go out of their way to make a point of mentioning Trump in an article that had nothing to do with Trump? It’s like the Mark Weiner wants to make extra sure we know he is actually a good person and not one of those nasty ‘alt right’-ers Quillette has been accused of providing a platform for.

    • 1/4horse says

      “An entire article without mentioning…”
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    • ANTONIO BENEDETTO says

      Hi Olson, I read Quillette from Italy and I find your interventions always very interesting. Can you recommend reliable sites and magazines for information? For now, I listen on youtube Shapiro, Crowder, Saad, Peterson, Fiamengo and Molyneux as favorites. I read Then National Review, Merion West, American Conservative, AEI, Spiked, Quillette, Commentary. Other interesting items to follow?

      • E. Olson says

        Hi Antonio – you have a good list already, although I do regularly look at the Manhattan Contrarian, American Spectator, Ace of Spades, Powerline Blog, and Taki’s Magazine. Zero Hedge has some crazy stuff, but also some interesting stuff, which can also be said of the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic.

      • Saw file says

        @Antonio B.
        Some other channels on YouTube, that I find to have good content:
        Rubin Report; Sargon of Akkad; Kraut; Karen Straughan (& Honey Badger Radio); TL;DR; Computing Forever; Bettina Arndt; Styxhexenhammer666; Some Black Guy; Tom Pool; Nuance Bro; Black Pigeon Speaks; Mark Steyn; Bunty King.

        ‘Areo’ is another good online magazine.

  19. “Honor violence is a fairly recent phenomenon in Europe that has received a lot of attention in the past few decades. You say that we cannot understand honor violence without fully understanding clan culture?”

    Yes, but only if the result is that by understanding clan culture we can more successfully suppress it.

  20. Jayden Lewis says

    By “clan” you mean Muslim.

    If you refuse to talk about the elephant in the room your “work” is meaningless

  21. Pingback: Mein Quillette – The Swift

  22. Sydney says

    I can’t believe I read this interview in ‘Quillette.’ Was this published here just to remind us how the misguided, willfully blind globalists see and run the world, in case we forgot for a fraction of a second?

    Or is ‘Quillette’ shifting to the left? Publisher Claire Lehmann’s, ‘We Are The World, We Are All One, Let’s All Hug,’ (cue the inclusive, multicultural choir) post about the NZ mosque shooting bears some resemblance to this.

    Weiner is beyond hope, as are the Westerners who think like him.

    • Elisabeth S Graham says

      Actually, I am happy to read pieces that are written from within a worldview very different from mine, on Quillette. I do not read the NYT, or Washington Post, or my local newspaper, nor do I watch television. Quillette is one of the few places that I hear progressive voices speaking reasonably. I continue to disagree with much of what I read, but am grateful for the opportunity to read it — and the comments that follow.

      • Sydney says

        @ElisabethSGraham

        So-called ‘progressives’ (a terrible misnomer) aren’t ‘reasonable,’ which is the problem.

        They’re not speaking ‘reasonably’ above; they’re unhinged. This Weiner character said more absurd, brain-dead, and frankly dangerous things here than I can count.

        I don’t have the luxury of disconnecting from my local, national, or international news; and the overwhelming majority of news and information outlets are now far-left. I’m at ‘Quillette’ because I fled the left, I’m not a social conservative, and ‘Quillette’ has offered a rare spot of centrism.

        The far left is now the mainstream in K-12 education (I have children), and in MSM (which I read because I need to know what’s happening around me). I don’t have the luxury of being detached from my neighbourhood, city, nation, or world. And I’m surrounded by unhinged lefties: from my kids’ teachers to my Member of Parliament, who is far-left and an admitted, on-record thief of non-profit monies.

        The unhinged lefties have a hundred platforms to spew their absurdities, whereas the centrists have almost NO places to publish and comment.

        So I do take exception to morons like Weiner being given an opportunity to spew their stupidity here, because they have ample opportunity to vomit left-wing idiocy at: the Nation, Slate, Vox, Daily Beast, NYT, HuffPo, CBC, BBC, Guardian…and the list is frankly endless.

      • Jean Levant says

        The same. Dont’ care whether it’s written from the left or the right viewpoint; only if it’s fair and honnest report (true would be.better but much more difficult).
        And there are plenty of good articles for the right wing here.

    • I think the idea is to engage people with a variety of views, which in turn breeds hopefully fruitful discussion.

  23. Constantin says

    I am struck by the incongruities and naiveté of Mr. Weiner’s observations. He starts by observing that ambulances are representatives of social and government authority. A pre-school toddler understands emergency services at the level of flashing lights and sirens. One cannot in good conscience infantilize a migrant community so deeply that it would conceive of them calling for help (which is what happens when you call an ambulance – and it does make no difference in what back water country) and an exercise of state authority. When you are drowning you reach for the hand extended to you with no hint of discrimination or social policy philosophy. If you are concerned more about concealing crime, you simply do not call the ambulance. It is profoundly unreasonable to be concerned with it after you made that decision. When you do not resist the “temptation” to throw rocks at anything with flashing lights and sirens as a second generation Swedish boy, none of the trust discussed earlier percolated down to your consciousness and you are already part of a cohort triple the size of the first generation immigrants. Mr. Weiner admits that the Swedish Police has much bigger “troubles” and elsewhere that the police beat is conspicuously absent from certain communities. This gives a fair idea as to who is drawing the turf boundaries – at least for now. Again, while not dwelling on it, Mr. Weiner is worried that the problem is growing (“over the course of a generation you could see a much bigger problem”) and that in such conditions the Swedish state legitimacy would begin to erode. The Swedish identity seems to be much integrated with the state legitimacy, so he could just as easily have said Swedish identity is on the chopping block. The arrival of an ambulance is a communicative act by the state to its citizens, but I suspect not what Mr. Weiner had in mind. Organized communities have coalesced around the idea of helping each other and spreading the cost of emergencies, infrastructure and defense, and the arrival of the ambulance is not a gift from the state but rather the very basis for its legitimacy and existence. Cross-cultural emergency medicine is a weak concept, because the respect for the dignity of the patient is already a basic value. Where speed and efficiency are of paramount importance, cultural sensitivity is adding a layer of complexity that belongs to floor 99 in the Tower of Babel and also underscores the great value of a commonality of cultural expectations and rules to a well-organized society. Group-based under-diagnosis seems to be a euphemism for a normal process of becoming desensitized by false or exaggerated claims of pain. While this might be a social justice useful construct for creating another sensitivity training position, chances are that first aid responders adapt equally fast to extremely subdued expressions of pain when dealing with stoic patients as they do to extremely vocal ones, as individual variations are much larger than averaged group variations. We don’t really need sensitivity training for everything we do. It is hard not to observe how many assumptions kind hearted liberals make about the state of affairs in what they actually consider back water countries. They will scream bloody murder if someone like Trump calls them shit-hole countries (in respect to their social and economic organization) and in the same breath assume that ambulance service is an instrument of oppression and an exercise in authority. Even in dictatorial regimes, such as Romania or Cuba, the only complaint about ambulance service was its scarcity and a corresponding lack of politeness. One cannot waste time on niceties when he or she is responding to 25 emergency calls at once. What you get is an exhausted wild eyed first responder who will call you all the names in the book if you called for a stupid reason or, alternatively load you like a sack of potatoes and then beg hospital personal to give you attention because you are in real trouble. The only way people the world over view ambulance services is in direct criticism of the corruption and dysfunctionality of their governments. The idea that anyone sees ambulances as an expression of government authority and oppression is one of these unfounded beliefs that allow kind hearted liberals to put a positive spin on confrontations they do not want to really understand. Since they allow for “ethnic-based suspicion” as a ground for special accommodation for immigrants, would they return the favor to the native population and encourage recruitment from groups that share their common characteristics? Obviously not! Patronizing in this fashion any ethnic group simply reinforces their cultural norms and group identities, but Mr. Weiner seems to think that that would be a “kind” and accommodating response. How about NO! Regardless where you are coming from, you will tolerate Swedes running to your aid just like you would do with anyone from your own in-group, and if you don’t like it, trace your way back to a society with great cultural homogeneity! I was intrigued by Mr. Weiner’s comment that major corporations today take on certain characteristics of post-modern clan-ism. I would really like to hear him expanding on this idea.
    Creating a “bridge” between differing views of the state is another supremely interesting concept. I regret that the interviewer did not dig a little deeper around it. Mr. Weiner goes on to say that Western individualism is not an attractive answer because not belonging leaves us all “naked and afraid” and this results in social isolation and moral dislocation. He points out that clan organization has many advantages in that regard. I thought that I am starting to get a glimpse of the type of society European social engineers envisage: a Kumbaya of clans with only one group feared and ostracized for clannish behavior. I wonder whether Mr. Weiner is also beginning to suspect how social isolated and how dislocated that particular group may end up to be. Could it be true that that in urging Western liberals to appreciate the attractions of clan social organization, Mr. Weiner includes the Swedes? Can’t really tell. It may be that he just got carried away in his romantic dream of the merits of the “rule of the clan”. I remain somewhat skeptical of all that, because history is rather devoid of examples of inclusive clan ruled societies that are open to overt social engineering and having achieved much by way of social justice. I stand to be corrected, however, and would like to see such an example.
    Cohesive family/clan based syndicates are hard to investigate and break? Well, we might just get used to it since there is much social justice value coming along with that small inconvenience. Honor killing and violence is rational in the context of clan rule organization – of course it does. Nobody with an IQ over 70 ever thought it to be a phenomenon divorced from tight and very rigid group rules and dynamics. Yet, Mr. Weiner does not draw that argument to its logical conclusion. If certain clan practices are “abhorrent”, then the society at large and the clan in question are in direct conflict. We used to know that when we fought the Nazis and their abhorrent manifestation of clan behavior and prejudice towards the Jews. Reconciliation was known then to be impossible and the solution required a massive confrontation. While certain bridges could theoretically be built, others cannot and should not be crossed.
    Until about yesterday, first-aid responders and firefighters in the US had zero sensitivity training and did not put any effort into clan accommodation. I do not buy at all the vague “put in a lot of work to get things right”. That effort has been always and single-mindedly focused on quality of service and speed of response. The effective part of that was that anyone inclined to obstruct or impose particular additional values was expecting a swift and merciless community/state response. Mr. Weiner’s support for race-based affirmative action in employment is falsely acknowledged as playing a role in something that functioned particularly well for a century before it. The truth is that there is absolutely zero evidence that race based employment in emergency response positions had any positive impact other than perhaps spreading those incomes more “equitably”. I can tell you with great certainty that Americans would not care one bit (and never did) whether the firefighter is a blue alien with horns and sparkly polka dots if he or she knows what to do and does it efficiently. That may be one of the reasons they actually got to the Moon.
    I am also somewhat skeptical of the idea that Americans embrace the concept of ethnic neighborhoods as a positive feature in the abstract. They certainly like ethnic food and the excitement of safe exposure to benign and culturally compatible cultural norms and traditions. My guess is that they would be much less open to the idea of “no-go” zones as “positive features of cultural pluralism. “Cultural pluralism” is too vague a concept to be meaningfully used in this context. I love visiting Chinatown just like the next guy, but I would not like it surrounded by a physical or even metaphorical wall. And the key to that is that I would go there at any time of day or night without a burly Swedish police officer, regardless how ostentatiously friendly the locals will act towards him. The real question to be answered in that context is: why was the burly cop there in any event?
    Where you never see a police officer walking the beat and you go with escort you have a problem. It looked rather underhanded to me how Mr. Weiner turned that into a threat for the mythical law abiding locals – who nevertheless chose to live there, and a social guilt for the Swedes who conveniently pushed the ethnic clan based groups into the suburbs. Really? Yet, he categorizes the problems in the suburbs as “ethnic”. Perhaps a better political dynamic can be achieved by giving Swedes tours with burly police officers at hand, but they could still draw the wrong conclusion if the ethnic locals treat the cops like “long lost brothers”. The question lingers, however, as to what would happen if the said “long lost brothers” take a break from the escorting function and leave?
    I am glad that Mr. Weiner seems invested in helping Sweden perform a “trick” which requires embracing a “thicker sense of national identity”. Watching the drama of this soul searching experiment from the sidelines is not exactly entertaining. If “Man Behind the Uniform” serves as a bridge between two models of kinship, would not the Swedes require a similar introduction to the clan culture under, let’s say, the moniker “The Man behind the Imam”? Why is the bridging effort so clearly unidirectional? I suspect that “a more complex and self-conscious sense of civic place” is a euphemism for “act in a socially tolerable fashion regardless what you value”.
    All this is to say that I do not think that Mr. Weiner was exactly forthcoming although he did lift the veil a little over a problem everyone who wanted to know was aware off since 1997 or so. I do not doubt that he envisions himself as an ambassador of peace and a “creative thinker” working on the ground for the development of public awareness – but if this is the case, tiptoeing around the truth does not strike one as particularly creative.
    The last paragraph is very important. The fact that the progressive left is losing political ground and is eating itself intellectually from the inside is very obvious. Like all natural phenomena, societies taken out of equilibrium bounce back like a pendulum. It may take a couple of generations before some stability is achieved, but for all who have eyes to see, the pendulum is swinging now away from the multiculti vision that requires some “trick” to overcome distrust. The trick is the castle on the cloud, while the pendulum is very real and sounds like a high speed train approaching. The simple reality is that you cannot encourage and romanticize the clannish behavior of everyone else while also denouncing it as fascist among the host population. That is not “bridge building” and that road ends very, very, soon. It is all fun and dandy to postulate about the merits of diluting out of existence any sense of unity people have and to urge them to join the trickster in chief in search of a miracle, but not so fun when the pendulum of history swings the other way. Where you hit and where it cracks are not always the same.

    • Jeez man. I found that an interesting read but you should have just asked Quillette if you could write a counter point column.

  24. dirk says

    Another difference of Scandinavian nations without colonies, compared to nations with: in Denmark where the desegregation and assimilation has failed and resulted in ghettos, the panick is so great that new laws now not only force the new citizens to properly learn and speak Danish (still quite acceptable), but now even force children from year 1 onwards to be taught Danish manners, culture, the Christian holyday rituals such as Christmas ,with that tree, and even food and eating manners such as smorebrod. Draconian measures, but, again, I see here clearly the influence of a lack of a colonial past (though, it seems that not very long ago, similar measures were in vogue with the Inuit from Greenland, also a kind of colony, though less clear, all the lessons of that time forgotten??)

  25. Mec B says

    Cu do’s to Mark Wiener for trying to find solutions to PRESENT day issues!! Regardless if you have differing opinions to immigration by limiting it now that you can see first hand the difficulties in Sweden; it does not do anybody any good to admonish those who are finding solutions by being on the ground first hand. The rock throwing folks won’t be going away nor will their children, so you’d better have more Mark’s figuring out great ideas.

    • Mec b, they just become more demanding. What you are calling for is the perpetual coddling of perpetual children who are actually adults. I worked with refugees back in the 90’s and saw what we got ourselves in to. My favorites were the older “uncles” who escaped with his 3 or 4 “nieces” who demanded we find them all babysitting jobs. I learned later they are coached in DP camps by left wing NGO’s how to get around certain things. We are literally supporting polygamy. And 20 year olds posing as 16 year olds.

      • dirk says

        Lydia: there is a word for what you notice there: the attitude of low expectations, especially havocing in Sweden. Good that Paulina has black hair, many women there paint their hair black (maybe she did also?) because of being less harassed then in the streets by the immigrants that are especially fond of blondies.

        • dirk says

          Sorry, looking again, I realise she is a naturel brunette.

      • Mec B says

        @lydia00, No doubt that there are dicks, a lot of them, causing havok. And it has led us to rightly questioning the practice of mass immigration to a country that can’t fit them into society. In that I am not in favor at all to what Sweden did. I think the message though from Mark is that we can bitch about the meta policy or we can get him and others out there to make PROPER decisions on how to make “rock throwers” well meaning citizens. I’m not advocating for weak liberal policies, in fact being tougher on them would do miracles, but that means finding out how best to make those tough decisions. If ya got no information on the ground, you are not going to make any decisions based on facts.

        • Stephanie says

          MEC, why expend significant taxpayer money at making people who don’t want to integrate good citizens? A better approach would be the Japanese immigration model, where citizenship is not offered even to second, third, or forth generation immigrants, and deportation is streamlined for anyone engaging in antisocial behaviour. Either Europe smartens up, or they’ll end up Islamic Republics, or they’ll end up in civil war with genocide on one side or the other. Let’s be realistic about the options and start taking the least terrible road now. An end to Islamic immigration would be a good start.

  26. V 2.0 says

    If you are moving to a foreign country learn the language and try to follow their customs. If you, in good conscience, can’t (eg. they practice cannibalism or something and insist you partake) don’t live there. It’s as simple as that.

    • dirk says

      @ V2: but what if you are a child of 4, and asked to join a cannibalistic festivity? Imagine, the children born in IS regions, and now entering the European nations again with or without their parents, if allowed at all. Russia seems the most humane , and a few of those kids are having normal school days there after years of horror, and are seen walking happily with their dog in a park. That’s how kids are of course, very flexible, and not at all surprised about what’s happening or expected from them by the adults of any belief or culture. Questions and moral thinking only come much later

    • John says

      Rascal, it’s sexual violence only if you’re a western white male. Otherwise, you’ll treated with incredible excuse-filled indulgence

  27. “That got me thinking about whether I could shed light on emergency medical services from the perspective of critical theory.”

    When I got to this part of the interview, it became clear that this man is never going to be part of a viable solution.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      For me it was the part when he wrote that he volunteered as an EMT. So this guy worked for free while EMTs are typically badly underpaid and lack representation? He’s a neoliberal jackass who can afford to work for free but thinks the real problem has something to do with culture.

      • Peter from Oz says

        ”He’s a neoliberal jackass who can afford to work for free but thinks the real problem has something to do with culture.”
        That is a non sequitur. His ability to work fro free has nothing to do with his analysis of the problem.

      • Yes, that’s the way to view some one who actively volunteers their time to help people. They’re the bad person. While I disagreed with him on most of the points made his action of going out and practically helping people can only be described as laudable. In this respect I must admit he is a better man than I.

    • Sydney says

      @Morgan Foster

      The jokes truly write themselves (much funnier in print than on the ground). No matter how many times I look at that quote I can hardly believe it.

  28. Sean says

    “By contrast, there are lots of benefits to organizing society along clan lines. The rule of the clan possesses values of solidarity and social justice that most modern liberal societies have real difficulty achieving. That’s why we tend to romanticize them in popular culture. They’re at the core of our utopian imaginary. Western liberals shouldn’t ignore its attractions, but instead should incorporate them into their political vision.”

    Are you kidding? If the clan structure is so wonderful, why are millions of people in clan based countries trying to get to the west? Why are most clan based countries shit holes?

  29. Sean says

    So often when I read an opinion by a university professor on pretty much any subject, I am often left wondering why they have such fanciful and unrealistic understandings of the world and their proposed solutions have no practicality at all.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Sean
      I often wonder how such professors can be so intellectually weak. But then I realise that the more highly intelligent people are in the professions or business.

  30. codadmin says

    “I suspect that at least aspects of this social trust were historically dependent on Sweden’s ethnic homogeneity, just as the greater social disorder in America stems partly from its pluralism. “

    Social trust is completely dependent of ethnic homogeneity, not partly.

    Given human nature, it’s literally impossible for a highly fractured ( diverse ) society to develop, or even maintain, social trust.

    Diversity means conflict, and that will never change.

  31. codadmin says

    Also, people should stop being so harsh on Mark Weiner. He’s clearly a liberal, not a leftist.

    He’s saying things a leftist would never dare think, let alone say. So, give him some credit. No doubt he’s list friends over this interview.

  32. Immigrant Muslims, including second generation Muslims are literally throwing rocks at ambulances – risking the lives of the driver and pedestrians, not to mention their own lives by making healers fear to come – and the author puzzles about this and concludes that…. he gets why they would do it and says he’d too it too??? I had to stop reading there, and I almost never stop reading an essay.

    This is flagrant infantilization and willful blindness. How shall I count the ways?

    Calling this ‘clan’ society when in actuality it is orthodox Muslim society. Many cultures are clan-based. Japanese, Indian, Italian, etc. NO other culture I know of throws rocks at ambulances.
    The author twists himself into knots enabling and norming behavior that is utterly dysfunctional and abnormal and unthinkable. Even three year olds dont’ throw rocks at ambulances. And if they did they’d be spanked or otherwise severely punished. Stop acting like this culture is full of mentally disabled people. It’s so sick.
    History is filled with refugees who must flee into an alien society. Stop making excuses for them like the parent of a very spoiled small child. The society these refugees – and children of refugees – have fled into is one of the freest and richest in world history!! No one forced them to go there. NO ONE. Yet they throw rocks at ambulances, The author acts like they are the only peoples ever to face living in an alien society. Something is very wrong with their culture if, when rescued from persecution by coming to a very wealthy, very open society, they respond by trying to destroy it.

    I truly don’t understand this justification of dysfunction. Can the author not see that this is terribly bad for not just the overall Swedish culture, but for the very peoples he claims to sympathize with? Imagine the message they are getting: “It’s okay if you throw rocks at ambulances. It’s barbaric if we do it, but we can’t expect you to act in the civilized way we act as you are backwards and childish. Don’t get a job. Spend your time throwing rocks at ambulances. Meanwhile, I”m going to try to contort myself to come up with reasons I can’t expect you to ever succeed. I will treat you as less mature than my two year old child.”

    How can this possibly be considered a ‘progressive’ vision?

    • Sean says

      “It’s okay if you throw rocks at ambulances. It’s barbaric if we do it, but we can’t expect you to act in the civilized way we act as you are
      backwards and childish”

      This perfectly sums up the racism of low expectations.

  33. Shawn T says

    People from near medieval societies arrive in a modern “utopia.” These people refuse to assimilate in any way. The solution is to come up with an academic explanation of their unwillingness to assimilate, attach the requisite terminology to avoid actually identifying the root cause ( not a single mention of the elephant in the country) and then proposing the “utopians” change their society to more closely resemble medieval ones to make them more comfortable in their savagery. What could possibly go wrong?

  34. Weiner should watch some Ami Horowitz documentaries about Sweden and their “non European” immigrants. He can’t bring himself to say Muslim. Well, doc, you can’t fix a problem until you identify it. I suggest, like the Dutch intellectual Wim Rooy says, you don’t understand the Islamic conceptual framework they are raised with and stay in with their “clan”.

  35. Jean-Pierre Rupp says

    I am an immigrant from Latin America. Latin American culture is somewhere between individual and clan-based. That gives me a unique perspective. I can relate to both modes of being.

    I have been very successful in Europe, probably because my immigrant status is not a defining quality of my identity. It is relevant in the context of this comment though, which is why I brought it up.

    The trick to a happy fulfilling life as an immigrant is actually assimilation, not holding on to your home culture for dear life. The end result is that you’ll have your accent, looks and background, but after a local speaks with you for a couple of minetes’ they’ll forget about it. You’re one of them.

    It is detrimental to encourage immigrants not to assimilate. It is not doing them any favours. They’ll be poorer, have less opportinuties, and continue feeling foreign and alienated.

    • Sydney says

      @Jean-Pierre Rupp

      Exactly!

      Ironically, Weiner’s forbears (grandparents or great-grandparents, I’m guessing) were likely once new immigrants in the United States (from eastern Europe, perhaps?). They ASSIMILATED, and their descendants became successful citizens. Then this idiot turned the whole thing back on its head in the name of far-left “critical theory,” and now earns his living turning himself into intellectual knots that make excuses for medieval morons who throw rocks at ambulances.

      Go figure.

  36. Mike Walsh says

    “Scholar of multiculturalism” says everything one needs to know about Prof. Weiner, who shares a pathological state of denial with the Swedish governing class. “Youths” are not the problem, professor.

  37. dirk says

    -Rock throwing youngsters-, quite a common and almost daily happening at the Gaza Israel border of course. I wonder, do these kids (6 yrs and older) have the idea there that this is not a proper or useful way to behave (as I was raised with), or, maybe, think that they are obedient and courageous, clever kids, earning a place in their own heaven. I really wouldn’t know, because, no psychologist or pedagogist , like Weiner is one??

  38. If I were an irrational person with an unfounded grievance against the society that was foolish enough to take in my parents, and I had an overblown sense of entitlement to boot, I might be tempted to throw stones at ambulances, just for the sheer hell of it.

    • dirk says

      Exactly what Weiner felt and admitted, but it looks like, with very little empathy of Q. commenters.

  39. Alexandre says

    In short: the entire country has to change itself to accommodate a handful of people. Because the other way around would be racist, cultural genocide, white supremacy or whatever. Great…

  40. Martin says

    Mark S. Weiner, a professor of legal history, a scholar of multiculturalism, and a man who is currently on a Fulbright scholarship in Sweden said:

    “If I were a second-generation Swedish boy with an immigrant background living in an outlying suburb and experiencing the growing contradictions of Swedish society, I might be tempted to throw a stone at anything with lights and sirens. I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t happen more.”

    Mark S. Weiner sounds like a man who has educated himself all the way to stupidity. If Mr. Weiner could say and think this about angry “Swedish boys” he’s bound to be only a breath away from apologising for the 7,500 “European” Muslims who joined ISIS, a few of which were once, more than likely, rock throwing “Swedish boys.”

    It’s easy to imagine Mr. Weiner, the Fulbright Scholar, repeating his line, “I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t happen more” whenever he shares his thoughts on ISIS, the Muslim rape gangs of England, or the massive overuse of welfare by the vast majority of Muslim immigrants in the West.

    Mark S. Weiner has educated himself into being Islam’s “Useful Idiot.”

  41. dirk says

    The elephant in the room, again. I think (because highly unlikely that the authors have not recognised it) there are 2 possibilities for that not-mentioning islam as part of the problem:
    – unwilling to stigmatise the immigrants, play the racist card, as is happening everywhere in the West European nations now
    – not aware of the fact that religion still plays a serious, behaviour determining role for many outside their own circle.

    In my newspaper, an original analysis of this elephant thing was published, from the hand of our home philosopher Maarten Boudry. The so called islamologists, anti-terrorist experts and the army of academics dealing with integration challenges and problems simply cannot believe that religion still is a serious inspiration for human behaviour. All of them have been raised and educated in a strongly secular ambience and institute, without any role for Holy Books, the inspiration of their texts and rules, the promises of heaven or punishment of hell. He called it the Unbelief of Belief. Sounds quite reasonable.

    They simply cannot believe, so he concluded, that their own secular views are not universal ones. Simply a lack of imagination (empathy??). He ended with his advice to just listen at what radicalised or fundamentalist muslims have to say, and not only just reason or philosophy about these issues.

    • dirk
      It was Nietzsche who said modern man is being educated for “unbelief” and this was our own particular form of “divine naivete”. So called Multiculturalism is, like any religion, a whole world view, a religion of no-religion. It affirms all religions as simply so many personal choices which fulfill some personal or sociological need.

      Woke Multiculturists, like all dogmatists, have trouble accepting that their way is not the one true way. The great sin is belief and it is only, or especially, the world’s victims who are most sensitized to the dangers of belief. And since Muslims occupy a particularly high position in the Pantheon of Victims they must themselves surely be hypersensitized to the dangers of the real devils – white true believer Christians. Muslims are truly fellow Multiculturalists – they just don’t know it yet.

  42. Bobby Mugabe says

    The Swedes, in particular, and other national multicultural experiments in general, are learning what it feels like to be an F.W. de Klerk or an Ian Smith. Western culture has lost its confidence and its only a matter of time before the West’s “evil capitalism,” “vile racism,” and “wicked colonialism” is toppled by “freedom-fighters” from the South. Sorry wypipo, but you all had a good run. Now it’s time for the West to become The Camp of the Saints, good and hard.

  43. Hugh Prestwood says

    Layman/armchair sociologist that I am, I have long held the belief that, because of an extreme shortage of resources – particularly water – in the Middle East, evolution selected different characteristics in that population, specifically greater tribalism, religiosity, and duplicity when dealing with non-tribal members.

    I also hold the discouraging belief that this particular “tribe” can only be assimilated, if at all, in very small doses. Importing them into the West in large numbers – as evidenced now in much of Europe – will result only in disaster.

    • Chip says

      That opinion is essentially the view that educated urbanites hold of rural people. Then again, it is also the view that affluent suburbanites hold of urban poor.

      • dirk says

        Chip: your philosophy here is about differences wthin an ecologically and socially similar region or nation, between the city and the nearby rural, the peasants. But Hugh talks about other differences, that between geographically and ecologically different, so, far away cultures. I think he has a point. In the deserts and semi-deserts, among nomadic people that can only survive in small groups (because of the scarce rains) you better keep to yourself, mistrust of others in the area is the best defense. So different of areas where a denser , diverse population and more intensive ways of agriculture, technology and cooperation on higher levels is the best way of proceeding.

  44. Serenity says

    “The rule of the clan possesses values of solidarity and social justice that most modern liberal societies have real difficulty achieving. That’s why we tend to romanticize them in popular culture. They’re at the core of our utopian imaginary.”

    Social justice of honour culture is the pecking order justice.

    “The key differences between social settings which stimulate and social settings which suppress our twisted pathological urges are the balance of power and law enforcement agencies which drive us to turn our best sides to each other…

    We tend to imitate other people and – in the absence of restraint – a precedence of psychopathic behaviour spreads like a plague.

    …exposure to aggression causes people to exhibit violence more frequently… people who have observed violence are 30 times more likely to commit it…

    In his book, The Hot House, which describes life inside a high-security prison in the US, Pete Earley … describes a man’s reaction to being sexually assaulted and sodomized on his first night in a country jail at the age of 16. Six years later, arrested in another town, he is put in a jail cell with a ‘kid, probably seventeen or so, and you know what I did? I f** him.’

    This way lawlessness and imbalance of power breeds bullies, allows psychopathic trends to take over a group and eventually leads to the group pecking order, hierarchy of dominance, similar to social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank.

    The English say ‘The captain kicks the cabin boy and the cabin boy kicks the cat’, describing the downward flow of aggression and resentment.

    In the long run the psychopathic nature of the pecking order has a dual effect: it enforces dependency, destroys self-confidence and the initiative of the hierarchy’s lowest-rank majority, while unleashing internal psychopathy, corrupting the top of the pyramid. For the higher rank of participants – they have more personal authority: the leader is controlling the whole group while the lowest-rank majority is powerless.

    This mindset is incompatible with peaceful democratic modus of operandi wherein the majority decides the rules of the game and the rest follow these rules by consent. That’s why societies with deeply rooted honour culture can’t sustain western democracy. Democratic voting in such environments epitomizes Franklin’s famous two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.“ E. Fuchs “High Call of the Pecking Order.”

  45. palavrot says

    I feel bad for this poor fellow who is anxiously and trying to some up with some logical-rational explanation for what is in essence a pure act of barbaric vandalism which is very common among young muslims in the middle east. The best explanation that I found for this barbarism is Hanna Arendt’s “banality of evil” which essentially attributes violent-barbaric acts to a non-logical phenomenological concept of “unthinking” associated with boredom and detachment

  46. Sydney says

    I look forward to an interview in ‘Quillette’ with people who actually understand Islam and have informed things to say about Muslims in the West: Say, Aussie Imam Mohamad Tawhidi, and American Islam scholar Robert Spencer. MSM will never touch either of these people, and the interviews would be fascinating.

    This interview was a parody of itself: an initial-laden ‘critical theory’ professor finding ever-new ways to excuse Islamofascist stone throwers from the Stone Age. If you wrote Weiner into a novel as he is, the critics would complain the character was unbelievable and cartoonish.

  47. I lived and worked in Ireland for 2 years (I’m Portuguese) . Never for a second did I think that the entire republic of Ireland had to reform its entire structure and culture to accommodate me. I must have an Uncle Tom syndrome of some kind.

  48. Gary Taylor says

    THe easy answer says Weiner; disgruntled second generation immigrant. Yep when you are a second generation immgrant and you don’t like your circumstance whatelse can you do but throw rocks at emergency vechiles, makes perfect sense. To much A priori reasoning used by Weiner, hard to consider this objective info.

  49. What’s missing in this whole mass immigration phenomenon or recent years, which was there till one or two decades ago, is gratitude. Both the possession of it in the incoming peoples, and the expectation of it from the hosts. If a person had genuinely fled horrible circumstances, he/she would be grateful to their host country and thus would go the extra mile to comply, fit in, not throw rocks at ambulances, etc etc. There’s no way a grateful person would do ANY of the things that we see the present generation of immigrants to the West doing which are causing problems. I have lived as part of an Indian expat family in Saudi Arabia while my Dad was working there. We had our differences with the locals especially in personal values, but we always had this feeling that we’ve gotten a decent shot at something way better, so let’s make the most of it and let’s tread carefully in front of our hosts; let’s not do anything that may offend them. We never expected the host population to “not offend” us – that wasn’t even in the picture. And we weren’t even refugees – we were just there for the better opportunities (not free stuff : better opportunities. There’s a difference, mate!). You know what it indicates when you don’t see this kind of gratitude in the immigrants – whether refugees or migrants? It indicates that there are other reasons besides pressing circumstances or better opportunities for which they’ve come. It indicates the presence of Entitlement instead of gratitude. In hindi we have a phrase that literally translates to “putting the guest on top of your head”. And the moral of that phrase is that if you do too much hospitality, then you’re going to be abused. So we’re seeing a toxic mix of entitlement on one end and white guilt on another causing abnormally high hospitality, which fuels more entitlement in turn. Let’s all return back to gratitude, people.

  50. Daniel says

    “… whether I could shed light on emergency medical services from the perspective of critical theory.”

    Ha! As if the morally and intellectually bankrupt critical theory could shed light on anything. A steaming pile of BS doesn’t produce light.

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