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Kaunisto Profile
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A Finn's view on Bernie Sanders and US


]What Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries
quote:

When U.S. politicians talk about Scandinavian-style social welfare, they fail to explain the most important aspect of such policies: selfishness.

Bernie Sanders is hanging on, still pushing his vision of a Nordic-like socialist utopia for America, and his supporters love him for it. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is chalking up victories by sounding more sensible. “We are not Denmark,” she said in the first Democratic debate, pointing instead to America’s strengths as a land of freedom for entrepreneurs and businesses. Commentators repeat endlessly the mantra that Sanders’s Nordic-style policies might sound nice, but they’d never work in the U.S. The upshot is that Sanders, and his supporters, are being treated a bit like children—good-hearted, but hopelessly naive. That’s probably how Nordic people seem to many Americans, too.


I agree with most of this article. But I do think here's more concern about well-being of others and will to help. It's not unselfishness, true, it's solidarity. Assumption that if you ensure people are helped in a difficult situation, it'll guarantee same help to you if needed. And knowledge about power of masses sticking together, learned from history of strong unions and strikes.

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Mar/20/2016, 0:56 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
Morwen Oronor Profile
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I agree with you. Sanders' politics are utopian. The US is not a cohesive society of one culture. This is what Sanders' supporters don't get. The population of northern Europe is one of small countries that have a singular cultural identity. The population of the US is one of 50 states and dependencies each with their own government, and containing a melting pot of cultural identities, and some extremely wealthy people who own everything that provides jobs, and that isn't run by the government.

I do think it is possible to run a proper health-care system that doesn't depend on insurance companies, but it has to be run with insurance companies providing private cover for people who want it. That's what we have here, and while our government hospitals leave a lot to be desired, they work. We will eventually move to a system to which we will all contribute, whether we use it or not, which will also allow us to have cover under that provided by insurance companies which will allow us to have treatment privately from the doctors of our choice. However, we will also be allowed to use the government facilities if we should choose to, as in an emergency. We can do that already, but the actual facilities are not terribly nice, even though the treatment is great, it's not a lot of fun when you have to provide your own linen and food, hoping that it won't be stolen.

But getting back to the US, and Sanders' I think he's selling a pipe dream that his followers don't understand.
Mar/20/2016, 11:51 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re: A Finn's view on Bernie Sanders and US


You missed some points here.
quote:

The population of northern Europe is one of small countries that have a singular cultural identity.

That's exactly what the article tries to disprove.
These aren't that small. Each country is about size of a US state, all of them combined around 10% of US. Although US power to influence world economics makes it different, that's enough that some economic logic applies.

And even ignoring Sami and Roma minorities (being 1% or so), the contrasts between urban and farmer/fisher populations are wide. And as the article points out, "Sweden already has a bigger share of foreign-born residents than the US". (TBH that's misleading with so much of them being Finns.)
Plus there's the recent rise of far right (Sweden Democrats, True Finns and whatever they call themselves in Denmark); there are political divides.
The only homogenous things are skin color and religion, which are slowly changed with immigration and fast by people leaving church.


As for Sanders' ideas being utopian, I do think (like the article) that they could work also in US, but it would be impossible to implement them because there will not be (for decades, at least) popular support and various powerful interest groups stop such changes.

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Mar/20/2016, 19:25 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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Re: A Finn's view on Bernie Sanders and US


quote:

Kaunisto wrote:

You missed some points here.
quote:

The population of northern Europe is one of small countries that have a singular cultural identity.

That's exactly what the article tries to disprove.
These aren't that small. Each country is about size of a US state, all of them combined around 10% of US. Although US power to influence world economics makes it different, that's enough that some economic logic applies.



From my perspective, I don't see that the French are at all similar in their culture to yourselves, or the Russians. I think the cultural differences are vast. Certainly from my experience of people who have settled here, and who have come from Europe, the Portuguese are a completely different people from the French, or Italians.

quote:

And even ignoring Sami and Roma minorities (being 1% or so), the contrasts between urban and farmer/fisher populations are wide. And as the article points out, "Sweden already has a bigger share of foreign-born residents than the US". (TBH that's misleading with so much of them being Finns.)
Plus there's the recent rise of far right (Sweden Democrats, True Finns and whatever they call themselves in Denmark); there are political divides.
The only homogenous things are skin color and religion, which are slowly changed with immigration and fast by people leaving church.


Exactly. You might mostly be "European" or "caucasian" but you are different people with different cultures.


quote:

As for Sanders' ideas being utopian, I do think (like the article) that they could work also in US, but it would be impossible to implement them because there will not be (for decades, at least) popular support and various powerful interest groups stop such changes.



It won't work in the US because the government did a really good job with scaring them with communism in the 1950s. They don't see the difference between USSR communism and European socialism.
Mar/21/2016, 15:11 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Kaunisto Profile
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Re: A Finn's view on Bernie Sanders and US


Like the article points out, it's a mistake (for Bernie and in general) to talk about "socialism". That's a bad word even in Finland, not to mention US. And somewhat inaccurate as even if we are talking about some elements that are similar, ours (or Sanders' suggested) are far from actually "socialist" system.
Though our main left party (current main opposition) is called Social Democrats and gets away with it, you wouldn't get many voters in Finland calling yourself "socialist" (even a "democratic" one).

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Mar/21/2016, 17:49 Link to this post Send PM to Kaunisto
 
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It's just a word to describe what we understand about a society that takes care of its citizens. It's because of the ideology of the middle of the last century that it has bad connotations. In the modern sense it doesn't mean: we're going to take your assets and force you to share them with other people. It merely means that everyone has to contribute to a system that will ensure that every citizen has a chance at an education, a place to stay, and food to eat.
Mar/23/2016, 8:08 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
Li0nh3eart Profile
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Re: A Finn's view on Bernie Sanders and US


It's bizarre how a significant number of former Bernie supporters are now ardent Trump supporters. I get that it is in part because their vote against the more centrist candidates is a protest vote, as they believe that the current system is corrupt so anyone promising change is seen as fine. However, to ensure that the change leads to something productive it is vital to ensure that the new vision is better than what's before, because history shows that disdain for 'mainstream' politics and trust of those promising something different can lead to something worse. To bring about something new and better it is important to engage in a set of principles which can guide you to achieving the better world, so I find it odd how those who saw something in Bernie's vision can jump on something so different. I know about horseshoe theory, but the ideas of Bernie's have been taken up in part by the DNC and they can only be brought in through a Clinton led presidency. I don't get how these people can't see that. I don't get how they can be blinded by their hatred for the status quo to not realise that there are some things worse than moderate centrist politics and that centrist politics can be a vehicle to give progressive ideas and actually implement them.

Like you guys I had concerns over Sanders as a viable president, because his ideas were radically different to that of Americans. American political history has favoured the evolutionary over the revolutionary and his positioning as a socialist is always going to frighten the American public. For these reasons, and the necessity of beating an authoritarian brute like Trump, I probably would have gone for Clinton if I was an American Democrat. It's sad to see the Republicans now throw so much dirt at Clinton to try and derail confidence. However, with regards to Sanders, I must give credit to him for accepting defeat graciously and backing Clinton, despite the howls of indignation from his self-righteous and vocal supporters.

Last edited by Li0nh3eart, Oct/31/2016, 16:06
Oct/31/2016, 16:04 Link to this post Send PM to Li0nh3eart
 


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