The political trend in the last year or so in Europe and the UK has been an increase in support for nationalistic parties. A common thread among these groups is the call for an end to the slavish devotion to left-wing policies of open immigration and accompanying welfare policies. These nationalist voices have been gaining ground in Sweden as well, with the Sweden Democrats receiving nearly 6% of the votes in the recent elections. This is a first win for what is termed an extreme right-wing party and a loss for the leftist Social Democrats.
Last week‘s address by German Chancellor Angela Merkel represents another watershed event. In her speech, Merkel broke ‘politically correct” taboos when she stated that "This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed." It’s important to point out that Merkel is referring to the Germans’ importation of guest workers—and the idea that they would be a temporary population living side-by-side with the native population. But they weren’t temporary, and Germany failed to integrate these mostly Muslim workers into German society and culture.
If the German importation of labor was an “utter failure”, how can we term the immigration policy in Sweden, which is mostly based not on needed labor imports, but on “refugees”, many of whom immediately pass into the welfare system, without providing labor? Unemployment statistics for the Swedish immigrant community show unemployment rates of 80% overall and up to 90% for young men ages 18-25.
It is obvious that in Sweden paid unemployment removes motivation and cultivates dependency. It also follows that without work these large numbers of unemployed individuals are in no way compelled to integrate. Even those conducting basic jobs have to acquire the local language, but those who sit home barely need Swedish language skills, let alone the education to make them employable. If Germany’s integration policies resulted in utter failure, Sweden’s policies can arguably be called dangerous delusions which would best be abandoned, and the sooner the better. So far one of the dangerous products made by this unintegrated population is a rising statistic for anti-Semitic hate-crime in Sweden.
Commentators have noted that Merkel’s comments perhaps come on the heels of party pressure to tow a more conservative line, and that these were mere words. Nonetheless, Merkel has broken a taboo in saying that integration is not working. Perhaps this will help those in Sweden who are still clinging to their delusions to let go and move forward.
Merkel also made an important point which is critical for the preservation of European democratic values :"Now we obviously also have Muslims in Germany. But it's important in regard to Islam that the values represented by Islam must correspond with our constitution."
This is also an important point for Swedes—that Swedish society has values which are worth preserving, and that is why integration is crucial. Lack of the Democratic and human values which define Western civilization are the reasons immigrants have left their native countries. If our Western society loses these principles, where will we go?
Post Written By: Chanah Shapira