An issue of trust:
The only way to be sure there is no conflict between ethnic groups is to be sure there is no contact between ethnic groups.  Is that utterly mad?  I recently read that the city of Vancouver is one third ethnic Canadian, one third Asian and one third something else I don’t remember because it isn’t important.  The Swedes sent some people over to ask Canada why their ethnic mix was so serene while in Sweden there were problems.  They were told that Canada is selective about exactly whom they permit in; they only bring in those who are expected to be rich.  Well as destiny would dictate I spent a week in Vancouver not so very long ago attending a genetics convention.  During that week I saw not a single face that did not look ethnic Canadian until I was on the train bound for the airport.  No contact.

Well things have slid down hill in Sweden.  (A Blazing Surprise ECONOMIST vol. 407 no. 8838 June 1, 2013 page 54)  There were Riots in Sweden.  This was after the mission to Canada so where is the surprise?  They knew they had trouble.  Anybody with a half a wit could have told them they were going to get trouble.  Want a multi-ethnic society?  Try Syria on for starters.

Riots in Sweden.  Unimaginable.  I studied radiology a couple of months in Sweden many years ago.   I had one friend who had actually been threatened.  Somebody came up with a knife and said, “Give me your money.”  He ran.  End of issue.  Later I remarked that the would-be thief was an American.  He seemed surprised and asked why I thought so.  I told him that his imitation of the man was in an impeccable American accent.  He hadn’t noticed. 

One friend told me they once had an American resident studying there who one Monday remarked she would like to see the x-rays of the shootings and knifings that had come into the hospital over the weekend.  The Swede said that it sounded interesting and it should be no problem finding them.  As the search proceeded it was like the story of Chicken Little.  Everybody they asked joined the parade.  But no x-rays.

Finally one asked, “Just where did you learn about these shootings and knifings?” 

“Aren’t there always knifings and shootings over the weekend?”

“Putting their heads together they were able to recall a single incident that had occurred two years before.  The attacker had been a visiting Finn. 

So Swedes aren’t violent.  But it happened.  The big shots stubbornly blame unemployment, 8.7 % and not growing in a country that still has an amazing social safety net.  They do seemed to be concerned that people “might not understand” (my quotes) and vote for politicians less keen on welcoming people in.  Any time you stir up the social pool, of course, there is going to be a fall in fertility.  Since evolution is hyper sensitive to fertility it just might be that evolution says, “If it’s foreign, get tense.”

Meanwhile along the American border (Secure Enough ECONOMIST vol. 407 no. 8841 June 22, 2013 page 31) after a lot of public pressure security is being beefed up a bit.  It’s probably not a good time to attempt crossing.  But even at the heightened level the Border Patrol is probably having less effect than the fact that jobs are easier to come by in Mexico nowadays and the pool of young people is drying up as their birth rate declines. 

And also Europeans are getting increasingly unhappy with their common government (Blaming the Referee page 59, same issue) and the Brits are not happy with the idea of their government getting them into a war in Syria (A Lonely Charge page 62, same issue).  This is the same country that almost within living memory was quite willing, in fact eager, to wage war on the whole world. 

There may be a pattern here.  Advanced democracies are losing faith in their governments.  Let me risk being put in a straight jacket again, but I suspect I know why.  Their governments simply do not do what the people want. 

I call it tyranny.

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