Stockholm Syndrome

There’s been quite a fuss about Donald Trump’s having suggested that Sweden might be having problems digesting millions of profoundly alien, mostly Muslim, immigrants. The narrative conflict could not be starker: on the one side, a description of a formerly safe, homogeneous and peaceful Scandinavian nation descending into a darkening abyss of rape, fear, cultural disintegration, unpoliceable zones, and silencing of dissent, while on the other we hear an increasingly embattled Cathedral’s assurances that all of this is just “fake news” from the Far Right, and that things in Sweden, while admittedly a bit strained in places (just like they are everywhere, friends!), are really pretty swell overall — and that the good-hearted Swedes are of course much happier now, cheered and strengthened by the bracing tonic of Diversity, than they ever might have been in their benighted and racist past.

This is a propaganda war. As far as the global Progressive hegemon is concerned, the stakes are existential: its survival depends completely upon whether the minds of its subjects will continue to be suitable hosts for its memes, and that in turn depends upon whether it can continue to suppress the immune systems of the native cultures of the West. It has managed to do this very effectively indeed for seven decades now, but in recent years the disease has progressed so far, so fast, that millions of ethnic Europeans are now awakening to their peril, understanding — too late, perhaps — that they must resist or die.

I won’t do the Progressive clerisy’s work here; my sympathies are with the heretics. To that end, here’s a recent compilation from VDare to counter what you’ll be reading in the Times, and hearing on NPR.

So: which is it? Sweden-as-Eden, or Sweden bleedin’? Both sides can’t be right — and one hardly knows whom to trust anymore. What, then, is to be done?

In our new secular religion, belief in absolute human universalism and interchangeability is a fundamental moral imperative. Should Sweden, then, to “keep the faith”, carry on importing Muslims en masse, and hoping for the best? Or should it close its borders to them, thereby committing discrimination, the darkest possible sin?

The answer you’d expect from the Cathedral is of course the same one we get from the Times; this is not a coincidence. But if you’re willing to flirt with apostasy, here’s something to keep in mind (a kind of “Pascal’s Wager”, if you like): as I explained years ago in my post Simple Common Sense About Diversity And Immigration, immigration moratoria are easily reversible, while immigration is not. If your mistake turns out to be too little importation of profoundly alien peoples and cultures, well, you can always have more. If, on the other hand, you find out that your mistake was too much of it — as Sweden is doing now — it’s already too late.

Doesn’t all this seem perfectly obvious?

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  1. Regarding the last part, you can always cook a steak a little longer, but you cannot un-cook it.

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says



    Or: you can’t take the salt out of the stew.
    Or: you can’t unscramble an egg.

    What do all of these things have in common? They are all examples of increasing entropy.

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
  3. Jason says

    Perhaps the solution, Mr. Pollack, is to just make it hard for any immigrant to come into a Western nation, Muslim or otherwise. We Americans, for instance, need to set the bar really high and only allow those who have phenomenal, rare skills that will benefit the country generally, and not just some particular constituency. By doing this we can bypass the difficult, contentious “universality” issue, since few Muslims around the world have really high professional qualities that the U.S. just cannot do without (from what I understand only Turkey has a first-rate STEM university in the Islamic world).

    Just as an aside: have you travelled around Slovakia? You’ve mentioned seeing your daughter in Vienna, so I was curious if you’ve visited the rather pleasant country next door.

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Hi Jason,

    I quite agree. Don’t we have enough people already? Really not? We’ve admitted an enormous tide of immigrants in the past five decades; let’s take a break for a while, try to absorb the folks we’ve already taken in, and see how that goes. Sure, we could make a few exceptions, for really exceptional cases of talent or persecution, but other than that we could probably muddle along just fine for some time to come with what’s already on board.

    I have not yet been to Slovakia, but I hear it’s very nice. (Are you Slovakian?) My son-in-law, who lives in Vienna, commutes to Bratislava every day, and I imagine I’ll pay the place a visit myself before long.

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  5. the one eyed man says

    The closest I have been to Sweden is IKEA, so I can’t comment on things there. However I think the “fake news” reference is to the Fabulist-in-Chief’s fabrication of a non-existent terrorist event there last Friday.

    However, as with the Bowling Green massacre, out of respect for the dead, I won’t make any jokes until these events actually happen.

    The reason I tuned in was my expectation of a post about Milo. I’m a free speech absolutist, and my view is that even a flaming asshole like Milo (or, for that matter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) should be able to spew hatred and obloquy wherever there is an audience that wants to hear it. However, his enthusiasm for pederasty and his fond remembrances of his days as a catamite are a little too much for the free speech crowd at CPAC. Double standard?

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Regarding Sweden: there may not have been a spectacular terror event that night, but unless you get all your news from Rachel Maddow, you can be confident somebody was getting raped. (It’s the new normal.) Now there are riots. A while back 60 Minutes sent a crew to a vibrant suburb of Stockholm to do an uplifting story about multiculturalism in Sweden; they were immediately assaulted. Actual terrorism is the least of Europe’s worries.

    I haven’t had much to say about Milo, because he says it all for himself. Obviously he’s a high-value target, intensely irritating to all the right people, and everyone’s been gunning for him. He’s also invulnerable to the usual cudgels — charges of racism, sexism, etc. — so this was a well-chosen weapon to hit him with; it’s a clever way to drive a wedge between Milo and the traditionalist Right. (They weren’t very good bedfellows to begin with, for obvious reasons.)

    It’s not an easy path he’s chosen: flamboyantly gay right-wing provocateur is obviously a tough thing to pull off, and despite his talent, it isn’t surprising he’s been tripped up. I don’t think he’s a pedophile, though; he’s condemned it clearly enough in previous remarks.

    I think that he’ll shake this off before long.

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  7. “Or: you can’t unscramble an egg.”

    Nor can you unscramble the mind of a Leftist. Because the entropy of an isolated system always increases.

    BTW, the whole furor over Sweden’s “terror attack last night” was a wilful fabrication of the Left. Everyone, especially those whose minds are scrambled, knew from the start what Trump meant. He was referring to the ongoing situation in Sweden, which was reported on TV in great detail “last night”.

    And the insane beat goes on …

    Posted February 21, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
  8. Whitewall says

    All of Czech-o-Slovakia is nice, Bratislava especially. However one time in Brno, I got sick from pork schnitzel…so have a care.

    The ongoing tragedy that has become Sweden today was self inflicted by “all the right people”. The wrong people are paying for it and dare not speak out, including most alarmingly, law enforcement. Hopefully Trump has kicked open the hornets nest and the deplorables may finally decide to fight back as if their lives depend on it. Germany knows this “refuge problem”. The Netherlands and France are right behind.

    Posted February 22, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  9. Whitewall says

    About Milo and the outrage: Noted on Instapundit Monday night–
    “Following Salon’s coverage of Milo Yiannopoulos, the site has deleted all of its articles by Todd Nickerson, who defended pedophilia..”. No doubt the delicate pillar of virtue Madonna is outraged about something.

    Posted February 22, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink
  10. Rick says

    Malcolm says, “He’s also invulnerable to the usual cudgels — charges of racism, sexism..”

    Concur, plus those old daggers have run dull with too much use (to paraphrase Mr Hemingway). Run dull on all r ears. So get ready for this new one to be used on youz. And it may be a way to get us used to “it” before/if Mount Pizzagate erupts.

    RE the unscrambling, it recalls the old joke umung carpenters: “No matter how many times I cut this board it’s still too short!”

    Posted February 22, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  11. JK says

    Why Peter! So good of you to drop by assuaging my worried mind where your dearth of visits has been such consternation.

    Really One-Eye, I’ve been truly worried you’d gotten yourself mummified or otherwise calcified or some-such.

    So. How goes the drought?

    Or. That turn out to be “up-to-par” California-Speaking-Wise too?

    Posted February 22, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  12. helvena says

    Millions of people can be moved if the will is there. You only have to look at population movements after WWII to see the possibilities.

    Posted February 24, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  13. helvena,

    I don’t know about millions, but after WWII about 80 thousand Jewish displaced Europeans were allowed by the Truman Administration to immigrate (legally, of course) to the United States. I was one of them, at age seven, in 1949.

    Posted February 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  14. the one eyed man says

    MP: Your assertion that “there may not have been a spectacular terror event that night” is disingenuous. There was not a terror event that night, spectacular or otherwise. That’s the point.

    Like the imaginary Bowling Green Massacre, the imaginary New Jersey Muslims who celebrated 9/11, Ted Cruz’s father’s imaginary role in the JFK assassination, his imaginary electoral college victory unprecedented since Reagan, the imaginary huge crowds at the inauguration, the imaginary sun which came out while he gave what George Will called “the most dreadful inauguration speech in history,” the imaginary millions of illegals voting for Clinton, the imaginary murder rate which is the worst in 49 years, and so much else, it is a complete and utter fabrication. Trump lives in a world untethered to reality, yet the remaining Trump apologists bend themselves into pretzels trying to defend the indefensible. It must be exhausting.

    Trump: “Martians landed in New Jersey yesterday.”

    Trump apologist: “You can’t prove that Martians didn’t land in New Jersey, can you? He was talking about the fake news from Orson Welles about aliens landing in Grovers Mill – the crooked media all reported it – and there are things going on in the Pine Barrens that we don’t know about, and aliens probably have something to do with it. Many very smart people think so. What about Hillary’s emails, Benghazi, George Soros, and we get to fill Merrick Garland’s seat on the Supreme Court – so what difference does a few Martians make? Look! A squirrel!”

    Well, whatever. My guess is that, sooner rather than later, Trump is outta here. Pence might be a boob, but at least he is not mentally unbalanced.

    JK: Mummified? Nah, just working too hard. When you own a business, the business tends to grow, so you have to work harder, which kinda sucks. Not that I’m complaining. Arbeit macht frei, you know. And I would never give it up for my old life, climbing up the greasy pole of the corporate world, when I would show up at the office every day, and leave feeling like a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Who needs that?

    Everything else is good. (Actually, everything else is fucking great. It really is.) I had a hairy moment not long ago when I was on the freeway and my clutch suddenly failed, leaving me in high speed traffic with a stick shift connected to nothing. It turned out OK, however, like a similar event when Malcolm and I were in a Rover on I-95 in Connecticut, when its clutch cable snapped (it was so long ago that clutches had cables then). No harm, no foul, but we had to spend the night on a street corner in New Haven waiting for the first bus out of town.

    Posted February 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink
  15. Same old OEM — One-eyed, one-legged, single-minded, trash-talking, spectacularly-wrong prognosticator of presidential election results.

    Posted February 25, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink
  16. Malcolm says


    I don’t think Trump specifically mentioned terror attacks at all; the context was how much more unsafe European nations had become. (Which, obviously, they have.) “Last night in Sweden” was admittedly an odd thing to say — but of course Mr. Trump utters odd things, and off-the-wall things, and inarticulate things, and coarse things, and even total bullshit, all the time. If he had simply said “just look at what’s happened to Sweden!”, it’s hard to see how anyone could rationally have objected. (Sweden has really screwed the pooch, big-time, and everybody knows it.)

    You mention how exhausting it must be to be an apologist for Mr. Trump. I’m sure you’re right, it really must be. I wouldn’t know, though, as I don’t consider myself one.

    Let me clarify that. I’m very glad he defeated Mrs. Clinton, of course, and it’s nice to see him starting to do some of the things he said he would do. I hope he does a lot more of them. It’s nice also to have, after a long eight years, a president who actually appears fond of the traditional American nation, and who seeks to preserve and restore it, rather than one who obviously detested and resented it, who rehearsed its sins at every opportunity, and who sought to “fundamentally transform” it. I hope he prevails against all the powerful forces in the media, on the campuses, and elsewhere who have declared open war on his presidency. In short: I wish him well, and I hope he can continue to do what he was elected to do. I think it will be a very good thing for a gravely ill nation if he can.

    Having said that, though, I really don’t give a crap about Donald Trump. He’s just a phenomenon, an outworking of an unfolding historical process. It’s that process that I’m focused on; what interests me is not the man himself, but rather the regularities of human nature, and human societies, that (quite predictably) gave rise to this man at this time. (I’m refining a model, you might say, of how the world works. To see Donald Trump pop up when he did gives me growing confidence in the model.)

    Having said that, I’m fond of Western civilization — I’ve made no secret of it! — and so I’m going to root for political outcomes that I think give it the best chance to survive. I’ll fight for its survival, or its reconstruction, if it comes to that. But Donald Trump? He can fight his own battles, and needs no help from me.

    Posted February 25, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink
  17. “But Donald Trump? He can fight his own battles, and needs no help from me.”

    His battles, Malcolm, are also your battles, as well as mine and the millions of other Americans who are just as fond of Western civilization as you are. He is the President of the United States and for the first time in eight years, I am again proud and delighted to give our President my support.

    The freaking Leftists are arrayed against our President and are determined to hinder his every effort to make America, our country, great again. If one of these Leftists was lying in the street with his hair on fire, I wouldn’t piss on him even if my bladder was full and the nearest men’s room was miles away.

    Posted February 26, 2017 at 4:32 am | Permalink
  18. Malcolm says


    As I said, Mr. Trump has my support — but I’m not going to leap up to defend every tomfool thing he says. (If I decided to do so, I’d have time for little else.) What would be the point? Would Mr. Trump’s enemies, reading a carefully crafted apologia for one of his stream-of-consciousness eructations, be moved to change their minds about the man, and to drop their fanatical opposition? Of course not. So I won’t often be bothering with that.

    Moreover, when he says stuff like this, it drives the Left crazy (and I’m sure he knows it). I think I’ll just enjoy the show.

    Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  19. Whitewall says

    One thing about the Trump win that is enjoyable, it brought the “Democratic” party out of the closet and showed their true color(s). The DNC just chose a Marxist to lead them. No more “Blue Dog” democrats for them I guess. It always helps to have your enemy “outed”. These people aren’t new, they are just next.

    Posted February 26, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  20. Malcolm,

    I guess I missed the part where you said he had your support (which you did imply, but didn’t explicitly say so). I also misinterpreted your “I really don’t give a crap about Donald Trump” remark.

    I too will not be coerced into “apologizing” for anything the President says, which the Left immediately spins into a demeaning caricature for their trash-talking party line.

    The Left’s refusal to accord their President the traditional so-called “honeymoon” period (which Obama was accorded even by people like me, who can’t stand that SOB) before initiating their mad-dog non-stop attacks is a disgrace. I think they will live to regret it.

    Posted February 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  21. Strelnikov says

    It’s odd how often I try to explain something using Pascal’s Wager – only to have audience not understand it.

    Must be me.

    Posted March 1, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink