Sweden, Highly Recommended

Just a brief note to tell you that Sweden’s a decent place to live apart from the paucity of daylight in the winters. I suggest that everybody move here.

I knew before that Sweden’s the world’s strongest democracy according to The Economist, that it has among the highest standards of living in the world, that it’s one of the safest and least repressive countries in the world for females, that it hasn’t fought a war in two centuries, and that its taxes and liquor prices are extremely high.

I just learned that in addition to all this, Sweden’s population is also the most tolerant one in the world when it comes to “members of another races, immigrants or foreign workers, Muslims, Jews and homosexuals”.

Kind of makes a man’s heart swell with nationalistic fervour. Now, what we need to decide is which neighbouring country we should invade first. And maybe we should start cleansing the population of the last remaining bigots? IKEA macht frei!

Thanks to Jim Benton for the link.

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Comments

  1. #1 Rakel
    February 13, 2007

    I suggest that you stay away from Finland and go and invade Norway. They have oil, we have only trees. A LOT of trees. And you have those already.

  2. #2 Martin R
    February 13, 2007

    Come on, it would be logically impossible to invade Finland. It’s a historical, and thus natural, part of Sweden. (-;

  3. #3 Rakel
    February 13, 2007

    Agh. I was hoping you wouldn’t take that up :P Actually, we prefer to think we let you to be a part of us, but then we got bored and decided to join Russian empire… or something like that…

    Anyways, some people in here complain that we still sort of are part of Sweden, because we “have to” learn swedish in school and we have The Swedish People’s Party almost always in the cabinet etc. Oh, and we hate russians too. And I think everyone else, for that matter. Come on, invade us and we will hate you even more and sulk :P

  4. #4 Ukko
    February 13, 2007

    Viva Pakkoruotsi!
    ;-)

    (I’m married to a finnish-swedish teacher by training.)

  5. #5 Flaky
    February 13, 2007

    The logical thing to do would be to annex Norway and Denmark to Sweden. That way at least two of the three redundant monarchies could be eliminated. Also, arranging a central government shouldn’t be too difficult due to a minimal language barrier.

  6. #6 MartinC
    February 13, 2007

    Invade somewhere that has better food and drink.
    At least that gives you plenty of options – and leaves Finland in the clear !

  7. #7 Hans Persson
    February 13, 2007

    Flaky: A minimal language barrier to Denmark? Perhaps if the Danes could be persuaded to pronounce their own language in a way even close to how it is written…

    Martin: I’m not sure I like the suggestion of everyone moving here; it’ll only get crowded. It’d be much better if we just made other places be more like Sweden, but without actually invading anything. I’ve never been big on the “national state” concept anyway.

  8. #8 MartinC
    February 13, 2007

    Hans, just open up a few cans of Sourstromming at the borders, that would deter anyone.

  9. #9 sparc
    February 13, 2007

    When I was studying in Kiel your fellow Swedes invaded the city every weekend.

  10. #10 Torbjrn Larsson
    February 13, 2007

    I’ve never been big on the “national state” concept anyway.

    I feel the same. In fact, to get more capital, we could sell our borders. :-o Or at least exchange some land for a beach in Spain.

    IIRC Jan Guillou made the observation that Sweden has been in war with Russia 5 times – we won 2, they won 2, and 1 was a tie. I suck at history, but what if he was right? Perhaps we should decide that outstanding issue first. We could enter through Saint Petersburg like all the other successful invaders. :-|

  11. #11 paddy
    February 13, 2007

    Actually the best thing to do would be to hand Sweden back to Norway as a gift. That way you get access to the oil, the hydropower, the thorium, the wages, as well as get rid of the Swedish royal family and get a few more weather girls with sexy Norwegian accents. Everybody’s a winner!

  12. #12 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    February 13, 2007

    I might take you up on the offer if in the next election, the USA continues its nosedive into theocracy.

    McCain to deliver keynote address at Discovery Institute

  13. #13 Michael Bo
    February 13, 2007

    First of all, come back and become part of Denmark again. At least we have a monarchy that goes back 900+ years. And, we did not have to beg a French general to come be our monarch, just because you ran out of blue blood. Oh, and when you come back, take Norway with you. We want that back too!

    Btw, you can leave Barceb�ck behind :-)

    Just kidding, almost

    Michael

  14. #14 Flaky
    February 13, 2007

    Jeg tror att de skulle vare en bra ideé att ha en stor-Sverige, som består av Sverige, Norge og Danmark. Och Finland kunde ansvar av den militär delen, såsom några hundra år sedan.

  15. #15 Martin R
    February 13, 2007

    I’m kind of tempted to invade New Zealand. They speak a Germanic language over there, so they’re actually Swedish when you think about it. It would be good to have somewhere nice to go when the weather gets crappy around here in late September.

  16. #16 Martin R
    February 13, 2007

    Finland, by the way, has extremely isolationist university legislation. To be eligible for Finnish university jobs, a scholar must speak Finnish and understand Swedish. Being willing to learn Finnish isn’t good enough. And we all know how many people outside of Finland know Finnish…

    This is really frustrating to me, because the university of Helsinki’s archaeology department is actually one of the closest ones to Stockholm where I live.

  17. #17 Rakel
    February 14, 2007

    Are you sure it isn’t just the University of Helsinki? I’m working in one of the smaller universities, and we have people who really don’t speak finnish (excluding cursing and hlkynklkyn :P) and they do hold faculty positions.

    Expecting finnish AND swedish from people from abroad seems really absurd, especially because most of the advanced lectures are in english anyways. I can’t even remember when I attended lectures in finnish…

  18. #18 Martin R
    February 14, 2007

    I applied for a job in Helsinki and got the reply that according to Finnish law, I wasn’t eligible because I speak no Finnish. But I suppose the Swedish-language university in Turku can’t have that rule.

    Trouble is, there’s no archaeology department in Turku, only in Helsinki and Oulu, and the Oulu one seems to be tiny and specialised on labwork.

  19. #19 Rakel
    February 14, 2007

    Hmm… looks like we used to have an old law which was overruled in 2003 and the new one is a bit more lenient. I’m not a lawyer but I think the new law allows the university to wave the stupid rules if they want. Take a look in Finlex (http://www.finlex.fi/sv/laki/alkup/2003/20030424) and see if you can make some sense out of it :P

  20. #20 Christina
    February 14, 2007

    Denmark, Finland and Norway? Sweden’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt. How about you invade Canada instead? We’ve not had any Norse invasion since the skrlings drove ‘em off from L’Anse aux Meadows, it’s our turn, damn it! We have oil and…L’Anse aux Meadows…and…polar bears and… Well, what it boils down to is,that unbeknownst to me, I have unwittingly lost my citizenship by default, I want it back, I’m homesick, so could you PLEASE invade us, so I don’t have to go through all that immigration crap?!

  21. #21 Martin R
    February 15, 2007

    As I recall, we’re all supposed to blame Canada, but I’m sure an invasion would also be within our means.

  22. #22 Hans Persson
    February 15, 2007

    I’m also highly sceptical as to whether more arctic wasteland is really what we need. Before invading, check the climate for sanity!

  23. #23 Bourgeois Nerd
    February 15, 2007

    Sorry to interrupt this good-natured (?) inter-Scandinavian ribbing, but is it true that Sweden has the highest per-capita suicide rate in the world? So you’re not TOTALLY great.

  24. #24 Bob O'H
    February 16, 2007

    Martin R – you don’t have to speak Finnish to get a job in the University of Helsinki. I suspect that you were applying for a job that they wanted to give to a Finn (I might be being unfair: I don’t know the Archaeology department here at all).

    The law says that students have to be able to take their degrees in Swedish, so there has to be instruction (and hence posts) in Swedish. This has been used to aid intellectual inbreeding, to the extent that one Finn was refused a position after he failed the Swedish language exam (this was for a position in Swedish instruction), even though he was a lecturer in Uppsala!

    Bob
    P.S. Thanks Rakel: now I know how to spell “hölkynkölkyn”. It’s a work I’ve only ever heard it spoken, in bars.

  25. #25 Martin R
    February 16, 2007

    Suicide rates: no, we’re number 29 on the global list. Lithuania is number 1. Eastern Europe dominates the top 10.

  26. #26 Martin R
    February 16, 2007

    Bob O’: I was applying for one of 20 unspecified post-docs that were available across all university departments. My application was kindly supported by the head of archaeology in Helsinki. But, as I said, I got a reply from the Finns stating that speaking no Finnish, I wasn’t eligible to work at a Finnish university.

    Oh well, I’ve got research funding anyway. Just not an academic job.

  27. #27 Tina
    March 18, 2007

    Hmm, the high alcohol prices are a bit of deal-breaker. Perhaps if you invaded the Czech republic to have greater control of their beer?

    And New Zealand is far too cold for sane people, perhaps Mauritius instead?

  28. #28 Martin R
    March 19, 2007

    If we towed Mauritius to the Baltic and anchored it in the Stockholm archipelago, do you think it would retain its usual climate?