Switzerland in decline

As you may recall, about 10 months ago, when I returned from a European vacation, one of the things I blogged about was Switzerland as part of a larger post I did about Europe’s changing face:

A train conversation with an unusually sweet lady in Switzerland resulted in my learning (correctly or not) that Switzerland, the country that was once the most rigorous in the world about protecting its national identity, is now made up of 25% immigrants, which a huge block having arrived illegally from Africa and Turkey. She says that these latter, illegal immigrants, are responsible for a dramatic increase in drugs and crime. Her report gained credibility in my mind when, the moment I got off the train and onto the street, I saw African immigrants selling drugs and counterfeit goods around the train station. (You’ll see precisely the same in Rome and Paris.)

Then, yesterday, RD kindly directed my attention to a post in the Brussels Journal that adds hard facts to the impression I gained and to the (accurate) information that nice lady gave me. In it, Takuan Seiyo bemoans the vanishing Switzerland he knew as a young man, a Switzerland famous to all of us through the Heidi books.  Here’s the “before” he describes:

Switzerland used to have some of the toughest high school graduation requirements in the world. Just a generation ago it was unthinkable that the fabled educational system produce a specimen so dense, or that such a person find employment at the front desk of a major hotel. But then, since the blatant negligence in Zurich’s flight control system caused the July 1, 2002 mid-air collision of two aircraft, killing all 71 aboard, Switzerland, and the world at large, have known that something has gone wrong with the storied mainspring of this country.


Switzerland has been a haven for foreigners at least since the Roman emperor Vespasian’s father lived and worked there as a banker. With each wave of religious repressions in Europe, Christian reformers from Jean Calvin to John Knox found refuge there, and their followers — particularly the Huguenots who settled around Lake Geneva — greatly enriched Switzerland with their talents and industry.

The annals of Switzerland’s industrial might are full of foreign names that built fabled Swiss industries. The Nestle of Nestle came here from Germany, and the Patek of Patek Philippe came from Poland. Davidoff’s eponymous founder was a Ukrainian, and Switzerland’s most dynamic business tycoon, the founder of Swatch, Nicolas Hayek, was born in Lebanon.

Similarly, the world’s record of cultural achievement could not have been the same but for Swiss hospitality to deserving foreigners. Voltaire and Rousseau were Swiss residents, as were Hegel and Nietzsche. So were Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner, Edward Gibbon and Thomas Mann, James Joyce and Jorge Louis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov and Charles Chaplin, Rudolf Diesel and Albert Einstein.

Seiyo also makes mention of the hardworking conservatism that used to characterize the Swiss Cantons.

Then, something happened:

A spirit of judicious national hospitality has degenerated here into a naïve openness to nondiscriminating diversity. And numbers are of the essence.

As Swiss post-war prosperity grew, so has it demand for working hands, and its disincentives to native labor due to ever-growing entitlements. The great influx of foreign labor started in the 60s, and it worked spectacularly well. Italian waiters, and  Spanish or Portuguese seasonal workers, and Serb engineers and secretaries did their jobs well, paid their taxes, respected law and order, meshed reasonably well in the culture, and either sprouted roots and were allowed to naturalize, or returned to their home countries, there to enjoy their pot of Swiss earnings.

But the West’s toxins were seeping in. Since the 1970s, feminism, leftism, neurotic self-loathing, boredom with the staid Swiss lifestyle, material plenty with a deep safety net, have undermined traditional Swiss virtues such as prudence, circumspection, respect for tradition, patriotism, self-reliance, devolution of power, and a fanatical devotion to quality work.

Switzerland succumbed to statism, with the liberal-left activities of the federal government undermining the proud conservatism of many of the cantons that make up the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss public sector has grown proportionately larger than in any other developed country, and the country of erstwhile hard work and thrift is now classified as an “extreme welfare state” (Fn. omitted).

Where welfare is lavish, the young lose their motivation to study and work. Swiss cities are now home to needle parks and throngs of body-pierced native imbeciles aping the worst of America’s pop excretions. And where left-liberalism is the guiding beam, Western culture ails, discrimination between values and qualities ends, and grinding chaos starts. And so began Switzerland’s devaluation of its unique cultural identity, and its undoing of the population demographics to which this identity has been bound for 800 years.

What the above means is that, in lieu of Heidi’s pristine little country, you have what can generously be characterized as a disastrous mess.  Here are only some of the statistics that now define modern Switzerland:

Last year, there were 639 rapes in Switzerland. 309 of the 489 identified perpetrators, i.e. over 63%, were foreigners.

198 homicides were committed in Switzerland in 2006 (fn. omitted). Of the 226 identified perpetrators, 51% were foreigners. There were 9272 assaults with bodily damage and 8568 identified assailants. Almost 50% of the assailants were Swiss residents of foreign extraction. (fn. omitted)

All these and statistics on kidnappings, theft, burglary etc —- all the specialty of foreigners– may be gleaned in the 2006 Statistical Report on Crime, issued by the Swiss Federal Police.

The term “Foreigners” includes the foreign-born as well as the Swiss-born children of such foreigners. Switzerland does not grant birthright citizenship. In this, and in its tough naturalization requirements, Switzerland remains, in some ways, the last remaining outpost of sanity in the Western world.

As there seem to be no accessible statistics as to who the criminal “foreigners” are, one has to build a mosaic picture out of the little bits and pieces that are available.

It is common knowledge here that Albanians and other European Muslims commit crimes far out of proportion to their numbers; indeed, I have been told of muggings and rapes of hikers on pristine mountain trails, committed by gangs of Albanians, Kosovars or Macedonians. The names one reads in drug and smuggling arrest reports are usually Balkan-Muslim or Turkish.

But the Swiss government, let alone the PC-bound press, is not forthcoming with clear detail. Indeed, it muddles national origin distinctions, lest “uncomfortable” facts transpire. Thus the Federal Department of Justice and Police ordered a study of delinquency and nationality that found in 2001 a criminal conviction rate about 12 times higher among asylum seekers (4%), and twice as high (0.6%) among other resident foreigners, compared to Swiss citizens (0.3%).

Given the enormous share of crime by Third World asylum seekers, one would think that a wide consensus existed to shut down this and other immigration-related gates to dystopia. But Switzerland is as PC-bound and multiculti handicapped, as confused about its identity, as the rest of the West is. It shares with the West also a tacit sense of guilt about the fate of Europe’s Jews in World War 2, to whom Switzerland refused to provide a refuge from Hitler. It has not been explained how admitting to Switzerland over 300 thousands mostly primitive and Jew-hating Muslims can expiate for indifference to the Nazi slaughter of the Jewish kin of Einstein, Freud, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Wittgenstein, von Neumann, von Mises, and von Stroheim.

Seiyo places the blame for this chaos on the elites, who cheerfully hew to their PC, multi-cultural pieties, despite the degradation of their nation and the groaning of their people.  Unsurprisingly, as you’ve probably read, there is beginning to be a backlash, with a strongly nationalist party on the uprise.  And, since anything other than hardcore Leftism has always been stomped on in Europe, the backlash has an extreme quality to it.  After all, the ruling class never allowed more moderate movements to grow.

The whole article (and there’s much more than I quoted above) is fascinating and depressing, and it gives a solid factual core to my own depressing observations of last year:  namely, that the doomsaying pundits who keep talking about about a vanishing Europe — by which they mean a Europe that is no longer European — are right.  If you don’t like a European Europe, it’s a good thing; if you think that Europe, even though it brought some of the worst to the world (think Nazis), also brought some of the highest and best to the world, it’s a very saddening thing to have to watch.


8 Responses

  1. It is sad. The continent of Bach, Michaelangelo, and Newton is declining before our very eyes. One blog referred to “auto-genocide.” The same Europeans who will criticize _______ ( pick your adjective) Americans at the drop of a hat are also the most oblivious to the immigration problem. When immigrants work less than native Europeans, become wards of the state, and commit more crime, one think that would open eyes in Europe.Thus far, too few have opened their eyes.

    Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept gives a good introduction. Ditto Melanie Phillip’s Londonistan, and Claire Berlinski’s Menace in Europe.

    Do I get PC Brownie points for mentioning two female authors? Sorry, wrong blog.

  2. You get kudos for referring to an earlier post I did in which I used the phrase “auto-genocide” — which is not one I heard elsewhere! And you get Brownie points (without the PC) for mentioning three good books.

  3. Nature nor God ever promised the human race perpetual prosperity. You still need to pay your bills every few decades or so, otherwise the law of jungle will come for you.

    The utopian Leftists that benefited from American security and the Golden Age, will eventually learn this, even if they are the last ones to do so.

  4. There have been news reports here in Germany that Germans who move to Switzerland are not treated well. I am talking about educated people who contribute to the economy. So, on one hand, you seem to have an insular Swiss identity, and, on the other, a multiculti PC pseudoidentity.

  5. The “west’s” toxins moved in – or the “left’s” toxins?

  6. After all, the ruling class never allowed more moderate movements to grow.

    A hidden and guilty fact with Leftists is that they inevitably give rise to all that they claim to fight. Economic destruction, Nazism, genocide, and imperialism. THey are the harbingers of such things, for they give the strength for extremists to triumph, whether Soviet, Communist, Marxist, Jihadist, or Nazi.

  7. I am saddened by the loss of their culture, their vigor, all the positive qualities I used to attribute to them. They were never individualists, so it’s not the loss of libertarianism. Speaking as a libertarian, that’s hard to admit. It’s the loss of traditional values that has harmed them so much.

    Does anyone know specifically what used to drive them to be so admirable? Was it simply a cultural norm? Would shame of failure have been part of the mix? Whatever it was, it’s disappearing and is practically gone.

  8. That was an interesting post. I am amazed though how come so many of the Muslim or whatever immigrants got to Switzerland?

    My perception of Switzerland is that of a sealed country, landlocked both geographically and politically. Completely insulated from EU: Swiss citizens don’t get to live and work in other Western European countries and vice-versa.

    On the internet, I got to know a girl who is of mixed race (African mother and White Swiss father) . She tells me she feels so depressed and lonely in Switzerland because of this isolation from the rest of the world. And she makes a special mention of exceptionally long hours that she and everyone must work in Switzerland in order to remain (rich) Swiss. Unable to go anywhere else, she is planning to migrate to New Zealand for a better life. Hmmmm…

    Another notable thing often said about Switzerland is that even after 2 centuries of peace and no wars all Switzerland gave to this world is a Cuckoo Clock. Before you jump at my throat and try to strangle me: I think your favorite Mark Steyn book, ”America Alone..” also mentions it.

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