Switzerland, Singapore and Scandinavia

A while back, Aretae noted that there are basically three models of good governance in the world. Namely the governments of Switzerland, Singapore and Denmark.

(I though it was odd that he listed Denmark, since everyone always cites Sweden as the quintessential Nordic welfare state.)

I’ve been to all of these countries in the last several months so I thought it’d be worth providing some random observance on them in turn (I’m going to use Sweden instead of Denmark, since I spent a bit more time there). I’m not sure they’re as dissimilar as they may at first appear.


I like Switzerland a lot. It’s clean, it’s efficient, it seems safe. Your first impressions of Switzerland will be that it’s easy to get places via public transit, everything is really expensive, and it’s diversity has been way over sold.

Everyone always talks about Swiss society like it’s very diverse – parts are basically German others are basically French while others are basically Italian. It certainly doesn’t feel diverse – even if you spend time in different parts of the country.

People also seem to identify as Swiss. If you take the train through the country, you see lots of Swiss flags. (Similarly, Singapore worked to ensure that the various populations within Singapore identify first with Singapore).

I was once in a Swiss city while they were doing some sort of military or militia training. Seeing normal people run through the streets of a city with big ass guns was pretty cool.

I like Switzerland a lot. If I had to pick one of these places to move, it would probably be Switzerland. Too bad their immigration rules make it almost impossible.


There’s a certain amount of German-ness to both Switzerland and Sweden, so the countries feel rather similar to me.

Your first experience, in Sweden, will be getting ripped off by an immigrant taxi driver if you don’t know how to navigate the taxi system. In good passive aggressive Scandinavian fashion, Stockholm seems to have spent a ton of money on a rail line to get you into the city from the airport quickly so you don’t have to bother with the taxis.

The next thing you’ll notice about Sweden is that it’s super environmentalist. I really can’t stress this point enough. It’s clearly lapsed into state religion territory. Animism is back. It’s hard to explain just how aggressive this religion is – it’s nothing like traveling in the American South or Bible Belt.

Unsurprisingly, the country is not diverse. In the US, it’s hard not to notice concentrations of certain minority groups in certain situations. In Sweden, the general lack of diversity, makes certain things even more apparent. All situations that are uncivilized (taxis ripping you off, places that aren’t quite safe, signs warning about pickpockets, bums, loiterers, etc.) have certain population markers that stick out like a sore thumb. It’s amazing they’re not all HBDers.

Sweden doesn’t seem like a nation in the way that Switzerland does. If you tell a Swede that you haven’t been in their country but you’ve been to Norway, they act as if there’s basically no difference. They do seem to think of Scandinavia (at least, Norway, Sweden and Denmark) as one country (with Finland next in line).

It’ll be interesting to see how the Nordic countries respond to more immigrants. They seem to be starting to understand that their particular version of the welfare state is entirely incompatible with a diverse population. Their problem is that they justify their welfare state on ideological grounds that make it logically impossible to deny immigration.


I’ve written at length about Singapore, so I won’t add much more. By the time you get to your hotel room in Singapore, you know you’re in a very civilized, well-run country. Singapore has gone to great lengths to deal with its diverse population. I don’t believe that diversity is necessarily incompatible with good government, but a diverse population radically changes the type of good government available. Singapore feels the safest of all these places as well, and in all the time I’ve spent there, I’ve never seen a cop.


The first obvious point of comparison is that all three countries have smart populations. Coming up with a well-governed country that has a low IQ population is tough (Botswana?).

Switzerland and Singapore make no bones about having very strict immigration policies. Sweden is less hostile to immigrants, but it has other methods of repelling immigrants – particularly the fact that it’s really expensive and really far north.

All three countries have really sound currencies. These places aren’t cheap.

Among all the non-English speaking countries I’ve been to, these three countries are probably the easiest to travel in, in terms of the average person’s ability to speak English (Singapore is basically English speaking, but I think my point holds).

In general, these countries aren’t diverse, with the exception of Singapore and Singapore goes to great lengths to manage its diversity.

All three countries are generally non-interventionist with respect to foreign policy. On the flip side, they’re not (with the exception of modern Sweden) pacifists. If you like peace, all three are great places to live. If you believe that “violence is never the answer,” you’ll prefer Sweden to the other two countries.

Anyway, those are basically random thoughts put down as they occurred to me. My general point is that there is a lot more common ground across these countries than there might appear to be at first.

16 Responses to Switzerland, Singapore and Scandinavia

  1. dearieme says:

    Happy families are happy in the same way but unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way. Or was it the other way around?

  2. Nyk says:

    I would also recommend Austria as an example of civilization.

  3. robert61 says:

    Agree with your positive conclusion re Switzerland. My best friend from school went to IMD, then spent the next ten years finagling to get back.

    The near-animist nature worship is definitely correctly observed about Sweden. I’ve been coming here since the eighties, and it was always that way. The pacifism thing is more recent and shallower, however. Up until the fall of the USSR, Sweden always maintained a relatively big military. Obviously they could not hold off a major power intent on conquering them, but it was generally understood that being a bitter pill to swallow was a good deterrent.

  4. in columbus says:

    Wikipedia says that Switzerland is 0.25% Jewish, Sweden (a nation of 9 million) has 20,000, and Singapore, according to Chabad, has 1,000.

    We can infer that not only are these minorities small, they are also not over-represented in the decision-making and idea-forming centers of these nations. Is this relevant? I would say so.

  5. KevinV says:

    Foseti – I’ve just returned from a tour of duty abroad in Europe and it really struck me how the Europeans *say* that their countries are diverse, when to American eyes, there is NO diversity whatsoever in most of these countries. (France is the big exception, and the UK no longer exists as the same historical entity; we’re next).

    What is striking is how, despite American mainstream conservative chest pounding about “dead” Europe, even though the level of diversity is by American standards non-existant, these nations all have serious political movements defending the majority against left-wing ideology. By contrast, there is no such movement in the “free” United States.

    The nation-states of central and northern Europe have a good deal less of an organic ability to handle non-nationals. The fact that even their ridiculously low level of non-White immigration has already triggered a fight-back is a very good sign that these nations won’t follow the Anglo world (and, perhaps, France, though I’m still betting on some French colonel putting an end to it sooner or later) into history’s dustbin.

  6. Alex J. says:

    Sweden is not pacificist either. They are arms exporters. e.g. AMOS, CV90, Carl Gustav and Saab jets. 8th largest exporter in the world beating out Israel (10th), Switzerland (13th) and Singapore (too small to make the list, but an exporter also).

    Sweden and Switzerland are neutral countries. Singapore is not neutral, but it doesn’t operate an interventionist foreign policy (too small regardless).

    Wikipedia says that Singapore has a population of 5.2 million with 3.3 million citizens, and hence 1.9 million non-citizens, about 40%. I’m not sure how that’s low immigration, it’s titanic immigration. I understand that they have a guest worker program whereby people get shuffled around, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they don’t have birthright citizenship (Switzerland doesn’t), but it is still a high-immigration society.

    • Ariston says:

      Singapore’s foreign policy is sort of like the early Venetian one: support and encourage the thalassocracy (then the Byzantines) as to secure the safety of trade and to discourage your neighbors’s ambitions towards you.

      This is why they are building the US a carrier base.

    • Foseti says:

      They let people in to work, but they kick them out the second they stop working. And they don’t give citizenship to worker’s entire extended families. I don’t really count it as immigration if you don’t grant citizenship. If you do count it as immigration, it’s my kind immigration.

  7. Alex J. says:

    Oh, and I saw cops in Singapore. They were particularly menacing. However, it is indeed a very safe-seeming place.

  8. Ariston says:

    There’s kind of a thin line of modern Germanic pagans who are actually wholly serious; however, they don’t seem to care much about going out to spread the Gospel of Odinism or whatever— the most future–minded of them just try to create coherent organizations so that newer persons interested can find someone who practices and has knowledge.

    I think the sympathy—which Carlyle definitely had—with the pre–Christian worldview is broader, and it’s kind of a good thing, even from a Christian perspective. Better to be pre– than post–; there’s also the other element, too, summed up in a C.S. Lewis line: “To me, who first approached Christianity from a delighted interest in, and reverence for, the best pagan imagination, who loved Balder before Christ and Plato before St. Augustine, the anthropological argument against Christianity has never been formidable.”

    The method of such sympathy in the alt–right isn’t very inspiring of respect, though, it sort of comes off as a private D&D campaign for the Angry Young Man— speaking as an angry young man, myself.

  9. Matt says:

    I think Switzerland and Singapore have mandatory military service. And Denmark too I think.

    • Alex J. says:

      All of the three countries Foseti talks about have mandatory military service. The fact that military service is required for citizenship (no matter what your age) is one of the reasons it is so hard to get Swiss citizenship.

  10. […] – Selections from The Dark Enlightenment, Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden, Open Borders, Be More Like Berlin, Defining […]

  11. B says:

    I wonder if when the Euro tanks and the SHTF whether Scandavia will emerge as a united entity. Add Austria and Germany to that entity and you have a formidable safe haven for whites

  12. Robbo says:

    “They do seem to think of Scandinavia (at least, Norway, Sweden and Denmark) as one country (with Finland next in line).”

    Actually Finland is not Scandinavian – check on the Scandinavian peninsula. Along with Scandinavia and Iceland it is Nordic.

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