Some Warnings About The Scandinavian Model
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|The notion of a welfare state such as what exists in the countries of Scandinavia has a great appeal for many others; results show that living standards in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland are among the highest in the world and in some cases (Norway, for example) it consistently surpasses - at least statistically - some of the most powerful nations in the world.
However, after years of contact with the region thorough visits and cultural exchanges, after having lived there for a while and related to many Scandinavians, I think that there are a few things to be said in order to clarify the myth: not everything is wonderful in Scandinavia.
Indeed, there are many things to be imitated from them, and in imitation there is always the best form of flattery, but aside from cultural differences, there are other issues to be considered in order to be able to produce a better version of what they have instead of just copying their good and bad things as well.
The Scandinavian social and economic model arguably produces the best results for the population at large, but id it is to be applied elsewhere, it should be noted that personal and familiar life in the region leaves a lot to be desired and is the weakest point that they have.
In other words, family life and the development of friendship and good relations is not particularly well developed there, and shows alarming behaviours - and I am not talking about sexual freedom - that in other cultures and countries could even entail criminal prosecution.
The peoples of Scandinavia live better than others, but the system in which they are immersed have turned them somewhat naive, provincial, unfaithful and with a tendency to meddle into other people's business. There, you live better if you are a 'standard issue' citizen, but if you fall outside the norm, you start having trouble. I don't write this to pester Scandinavians, but to call into attention this issue in order to correct it.
Their leaders have succeeded with the creation of almost-perfect societies, but the great problem with their system is that interpersonal relations have suffered; what they have as small-group social abilities is frankly rudimentary and sometimes cruel, a fact that seems surprisingly contradictory when compared with their social and political aspirations. It seems as if their imperfection has concentrated in their intimate issues and life. In other words, they tend to behave better with unknown people than with their own families and friends.
What I am writing It may hurt or perhaps even offend, but is what I have observed thorough nearly two decades of contact with the Scandinavian culture; I believe that there is a lot to be learned from them, but also some things that are better kept off from whatever imitation anyone would like to make.
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