The Swiss do not often register on peoples’ radars. They’re often seen as either reclusive and neutral bankers, or snobs who look down on trashy Americans. At least that was the impression that was imparted on me when I grew up. However, irrespective of these stereotypes, the Swiss have recently attracted my attention for the right reasons. In a recent initiative that would be unthinkable in the United States, a large number of Swiss have signed a petition demanding a monthly minimum wage of 2,800 American dollars.
“What, how dare they!” I can hear some conservatives and Republican lackeys saying. “Socialist, pinko commie, effete eurotrash scum!!!” Such an initiative can only be considered abnormal or absurd if you subscribe to post-Reagan neoliberalism and divorce policies from their societal contexts. In many ways, this recent Swiss initiative is an illustration of the role nationalism and demographics play in producing economic policies. How so? Well, consider the fact that Switzerland is a relatively racially homogenous society. Eduardo Porter, citing credible research, once asserted that the U.S’s lack of support for welfare, social programs, and other initiatives designed to uplift the disadvantaged stem from its racial and ethnic diversity. On a micro level, white Americans are actually generous, and will charitably support that which they deem worthy of support. However, on a macro level, this diversity occludes any feelings of brotherhood or an overall sense of the common good. As it turns out, humans are tribal and prefer to lend their support to those whom they can most relate!
Since Switzerland is a much smaller, older, and more homogenous nation than the United States, this economic egalitarianism is hardly radical, whereas one would be instantly branded a subversive radical just for suggesting a similar policy here. Not surprisingly, this Swiss sense of brotherhood also translates into a desire to defend their nation from subversion and radical demographic transformation, as the Swiss hostility towards minarets demonstrates. As longtime readers are aware, it is not my intent to bash on Muslims or parrot Daniel Pipes, but rather to illustrate the overall nationalism and cultural self-preservation of the Swiss.
The Swiss demonstrate that a nation can support its people and national interests without subscribing to moronic Republican style conservatism that worships corporations more than God or the “family values” that they claim to uphold. They also demonstrate that those on the left who support open borders are useful idiots who facilitate plutocratic goals in the name of being sensitive to those poor brown immigrants. The more diverse any given country becomes, the more economic progress and equality will be retarded (oops, how ableist of me!) on account of growing polarization, not to mention the proliferation of stress that results from increasing competition.
In conclusion, the Swiss serve as a valuable reminder of what a functioning, healthy society looks like, as well as a sad and stunning indictment of how far the decadent American empire has fallen.