Sweden's 'Rehabilitation' Is Suspicious and Wrong

Thursday, September 24, 2020

First, a definition from our modern Oracle, Wikipedia:

Political rehabilitation is the process by which a member of a political organization or government who has fallen into disgrace is restored to public life.
"Restored to public life," sounds anodyne until one stops for a moment to consider just what the hell a removal from "public life" is supposed to mean, and under what circumstances anyone is able to make that happen.

In any event, I noted some time ago that the media-left establishment was attempting a species of removal from public life regarding Sweden: That nation -- falsely revered for as long as I can remember as a shining example of socialism for us to emulate -- seemed no longer to exist.

That's because the country did not go along with most other countries with the immoral and improper, rights- and livelihood-trampling policies so many other once-free countries had: Swedes did not find themselves under universal, indefinite house arrest for the crime of potentially harboring an avoidable virus with an already-established risk profile.

The few times Sweden came up, it resembled how a true believer or a useful idiot might whisper of a fallen heretic to the state religion getting what he deserved. To wit:
A journalist from French television that I talked to on Sunday admitted, somewhat sheepishly, that 'it's almost as if we want Sweden to fail because then we would know it is you and not us that there is something wrong with'.
But, in a strange sense, and not quite parallel to a rehabilitation, Sweden has been making an odd comeback.

Left- and right-wing news outlets are both now -- and for reasons of their own -- championing Sweden -- as an example of a country pursuing a "herd immunity" strategy for fighting the pandemic. The right likes the idea, with some even asserting a moral case (!) for exposing oneself to the virus:
You should be careful not to endanger the vulnerable, but otherwise you can best promote the common good [sic] by exposing yourself to the slight risk from the virus in order to promote herd immunity. [corrective link added]
A national chickenpox party would be ludicrous and rights-violating, as is the national grounding favored by the left. But I guess it would serve to make Trump's pathetic and evasive response to the pandemic look at least "right by accident" if it actually worked.

The left is more than happy to go along, and is more openly talking up "concerns over supposed 'herd immunity'."

Revealingly and happily ignored by both sides is one small problem: Although there may be herd immunity in parts of Sweden, this has not been the goal of Sweden's pandemic response. Here's a quote from back in May:
Translation: Month Seven of "two weeks to 'flatten the curve'." (Image by United Nations COVID-19 Response, via Unsplash, license.)
This is not invoking the ... issue of "herd immunity," which many advocates of the "Swedish model" (including Sweden's own ambassador to the U.S.) have proffered, but is one that [Chief Epidemiologist Anders] Tegnell has explicitly rejected for Sweden or any other country. Tegnell speaks, instead, of "some immunity," meaning perhaps 20-25%. Herd immunity requires extremely high proportions of a population protected by vaccination, for example 85 -- 90% to prevent transmission of mumps. [original links omitted]
And as if it weren't bad enough that both "sides" are indulging in wishful thinking, both are pretending that our alternative is National Chickenpox Party vs. National Permanent Grounding.

Gosh. Wouldn't it be neat if there were some other, pro-freedom way of ensuring public health...

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

I'm strongly reminded here of the Tramp's speech in Atlas Shrugged, especially the part where he describes catching himself hoping a woman died.

Your penultimate paragraph agrees with something I've been saying for a long time: Socialism is a political philosophy for people who never grew up. They want Mommy and Daddy to take care of everything for them. They want an allowance, they want some authority to set rules of behavior, they want someone else to provide the necessities of life. If that means occasionally getting grounded, well, that's how parents work, right? (That this encourages the worst kind of power-hungry people--demonstrably so--is ignored.) Capitalism and liberty are the political philosophy for adults. We want to stand or fall on our own, to make choices for ourselves, to move out of our parents' basements and into our own lives.

Gus Van Horn said...


Perhaps this explains the puzzling fact that the worst tyrants -- Newsom and Whitmer -- poll well in their states: In many cases, the pollsters are basically asking children if they love Daddy or Mommy (even though they're grounded).

And yet those of us who know better, and many on the right, are appalled that they have gotten away with their lockdowns for so long.