Reviews - What do customers think about Sweden: The Year 2005?
Concerned global citizen Jan 6, 2000
Life is full of myths, some of them inspiring, others downright dangerous. It is the unmitigated opinion of the author of this book that one of the most insidious myths around is that of "the Swedish Model". And not only for Swedes, although they are most directly concerned and harmed by its tenacious hold on their minds, but for anyone who still believes that socialism has something to offer. This is truly a fascinating read, the story of how a nation once celebrated for its modern welfare state philosophy develops into and reveals itself to be a bastion of inflexibility, intolerance and uniformity. In Mr Nilson's view, it is very difficult to be a person in Sweden, an individual. In fact, amidst the enlightening and riveting descriptions of self-serving, lackluster union bosses and politicians at all ends of the political spectrum - and apparently it's a small one - of an entrenched "two-facedness" in matters of racism and neutrality (say one thing for the audience, think and feel another), one also finds perhaps the profoundest and most disturbing observation of all: the Swedish system, with its propensity towards down-to-the-details regulation of life, is a killer of souls. There seems to be no room for the human spirit in this place. Forget about being weird or eccentric! What makes the system so sad are ultimately not the high taxes or over-regulation per se, but the waste of human potential. Not to mention the cost of the "brain drain" already taking place. I am presently living in Sweden and must say that I believe Mr Nilson has captured many essential truths about this "last Eastern Block" country. More food for thought on this subject can be found in the his previous book "Sverige: Sluten Anstalt" (also available through this site, though unfortunately only in Swedish. In this book Mr Nilson reveals many previously unspoken of sins of Swedish society, most notably adherence - well into the 70s! - to theories on racial and mental hygiene. The title compares Sweden to a locked psychiatric ward). Finally, it's not often one can say that a non-fiction book reads like a novel, but this one does. Read on!