What’s Wrong With Switzerland?

In case our host has not noticed this article in Taki’s magazine, it seems the eponymous Taki is threatening to leave Switzerland — the German-speaking part too!

http://www.takimag.com/article/goodbye-cows/

For the first time in my life I’m bored with my surroundings and the new people who are arriving and sticking like flies on you-know-what. An enormous hike in taxes by the Swiss government on foreigners does not help.”

In what seems like an extract from Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Taki is pondering whether to go to his apartment in New York, or to his flat in London, or return to ancestral Athens.  But current top of his list is a yet-to-be-discovered spot in the green & pleasant countryside of England.  He apparently has not heard about the Travelers, Romany immigrants who park their caravans on any green & pleasant English open space with no more interference from the Authorities than AntiFa rioters would expect.

I have to admit that none of those places would make my list.  But where would?  New Zealand is so 2019!

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17 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Switzerland?”

  1. Gavin Longmuir:
    (Quoting Taki Theodoracopulos) “For the first time in my life I’m bored with my surroundings and the new people who are arriving and sticking like flies on you-know-what. An enormous hike in taxes by the Swiss government on foreigners does not help.”

    Well, Taki lives in Gstaad, which is a tourist area in the canton of Bern which is very different from the cow village near the French border where I live, so I can’t speak to his experience.  Being bored is, in my opinion, one the principal reasons for living in Switzerland: when you needn’t be obsessed with crazy people in the government or on the streets doing crazy things, you have a lot more time and mental energy to concentrate on more productive and enjoyable things which are not boring.

    When you live in a tourist trap, it’s to be expected that lots of tourists will show up, and you may not like that.  We don’t get tourists here.  Gstaad is a mecca for the jet set and high society.  We have cows, goats, a cheese factory, and a few sheep and horses.

    I have no idea what he’s talking about with “An enormous hike in taxes by the Swiss government on foreigners”.  In Switzerland, all taxation is by the canton: federal tax is simply calculated as a fraction of the tax assessed by the canton.  If there is some tax change which affects his status, it’s a matter of the cantonal government of Bern, not the “Swiss government”.  I haven’t heard of any big changes on the way in Bern, but I don’t track such things closely as they don’t affect me since I don’t live there.  My accountants in Neuchâtel have not alerted me to any impending changes which might materially affect my taxes here.

    I suspect that what Taki is looking for in a place to live is very different from me: I like quiet, stability, and, yes…boredom.  Anybody contemplating New York or Athens as alternatives must have very different desiderata than I.

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  2. John W.:  “Being bored is, in my opinion, one the principal reasons for living in Switzerland: when you needn’t be obsessed with crazy people in the government or on the streets doing crazy things, you have a lot more time and mental energy to concentrate on more productive and enjoyable things which are not boring.

    The absence of external stimulation is not boring to a person with an active mind and active interests;  in fact, it is a relief.  It has been said that one of the key indicators of personality type is what a person will do to unwind after a particularly hard day.  Some of us would choose to go on a forest walk — alone.  Others would choose to go to a busy bar with a live band.

    I suspect that if Taki ever finds a green quiet unspoiled corner of England, far from the madding crowd, he will run screaming from the place after only a few weeks.

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  3. ctlaw:

    (from film clip) “…the cuckoo clock.”

    Also 28 Nobel laureates, at 3.28 per millon population, the highest in the world for countries with a population greater than one million.  In this ranking, the U.K. is 7th, Israel is 10th, Germany is 11th, the U.S. is 13th, and Italy is 31st.  Switzerland also ranks #1 for population greater than a million when only the prizes for Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and the Economics award are considered.

    Being bored leaves time for intellectual inquiry.  The cuckoo clock originated in the Black Forest of Germany in the middle of the 18th century.  A few years later, Switzerland (actually, Neuchâtel, which was not yet a part of Switzerland) was producing the Jacquet-Droz automata.

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  4. John Walker:
    In this ranking, the U.K. is 7th, Israel is 10th, Germany is 11th, the U.S. is 13th, and Italy is 31st.  Switzerland also ranks #1 for population greater than a million when only the prizes for Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and the Economics award are considered.

    From the what have you done for me lately standpoint, in the latter category of real Nobel prizes a quick eyeballing  indicates only 4 have all been in this century: Switzerland 4, Australia 4, PRC 5, Canada 6, Russia 6, Israel 8, France 10, Germany 12, Japan 20, UK 28, US 127, and other countries fewer than 4 apiece.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country#Switzerland

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  5. I was surprised to see the results of last week’s referendum on the Schengen Treaty’s section regarding open borders between Switzerland and EU member states – as I was when they adopted the EU’s more-restrictive gun laws last year. The move to excise the open borders component from Schengen was defeated by a wide margin. Though I don’t understand the practicalities which result, the fact that the Swiss have apparently moved further away from strictly controlling their borders as they had traditionally, implies a softening of what I have always taken as a healthy form of national pride. This was maintained even with almost one third of Switzerland’s lawful residents being foreign citizens – so I don’t think anyone could accurately call the Swiss xenophobic. To me, this represents yet more mortar removal from the bearing walls of the edifice which was Western Civilization. Everywhere I used to look for encouragement that Enlightenment values might yet survive is surely crumbling. Centralization of power – statism – and the inevitable tyranny which follows proceeds apace everywhere, even in small bastions which I hoped might stand firm. I hope the boring – ness of Switzerland survives. Caution is warranted. Pericles’ maxim is true: “just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics doesn’t take an interest in you”. In other words, the barbarians are at the gates and I fear the venerable Swiss have been stacking the kindling against the portal on their behalf.

    I suppose the referendum result is another consequence of globalism, which would not be such a bad idea if all the world subscribed to the libertarian principle of non-aggression. Since most of the world does not, however, I see nothing wrong with deciding whom to allow to enter one’s country and thereby be able to move in next door. Heck, in the US, anyone from anywhere can not only move in next door, they can now enter your home and ‘take what’s theirs’ with zero interference from the erstwhile police. Swiss citizens – take note!

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  6. ctlaw:
    From the what have you done for me lately standpoint, in the latter category of real Nobel prizes a quick eyeballing  indicates only 4 have all been in this century: Switzerland 4, Australia 4, PRC 5, Canada 6, Russia 6, Israel 8, France 10, Germany 12, Japan 20, UK 28, US 127, and other countries fewer than 4 apiece.

    I transformed these numbers into the same Laureates/10 million population metric used in the Wikipedia page I cited in comment #6 above, using the 2018 population figures from that page.  I did not add the Nobels awarded today since we’re only part way through this year’s awards and that might skew the numbers.  Here are the results (corrected: see update below).

    21th century Nobel laureates per capita (corrected)

    We’re still number one!

    Update: When I originally posted this comment, I accidentally omitted Israel from the table.  Adding it makes Israel the clear champion.  Switzerland is now number two.  Thanks to @ctlaw in comment #11 for spotting this error.  (2020-10-05 23:22 UTC)

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  7. John Walker:

    ctlaw:
    From the what have you done for me lately standpoint, in the latter category of real Nobel prizes a quick eyeballing  indicates only 4 have all been in this century: Switzerland 4, Australia 4, PRC 5, Canada 6, Russia 6, Israel 8, France 10, Germany 12, Japan 20, UK 28, US 127, and other countries fewer than 4 apiece.

    I transformed these numbers into the same Laureates/10 million population metric used in the Wikipedia page I cited in comment #6 above, using the 2018 population figures from that page.  I did not add the Nobels awarded today since we’re only part way through this year’s awards and that might skew the numbers.  Here are the results.

    21th century Novel laureates per capita

    We’re still number one!

    You left out IL @ 8/8,452,841 = 9.46. And after Joe Biden is elected and Iran reduces Israel’s population to 800k, the number will be over 100.

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  8. It is really tough to be properly Woke!

    So Israel has the most hard Nobels per capita by a country mile.  That is great, because Israelis are Semitic people, which makes them People of Color.  Israel proves that People of Color are smarter than those White guys.   Let’s celebrate!

    But every Woke person knows that Israelis are bad people, oppressing those blameless Palestinians who are also Semitic and therefore are also People of Color.

    But, but only White People are oppressors, which means the Israelis must be White.

    But, but, but that means their fellow Semitic Palestinians must also be White.

    But, but, but, but White people can never be oppressed;  only People of Color can be oppressed, and only by White people.

    Houston, we have a problem!

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  9. Today’s Nobel Prize in Physics adds one for the U.K. (Roger Penrose), one for Germany (Reinhard Genzel), and one for the U.S. (Andrea Ghez).  More about the prize on SCANALYZER.

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  10. civil westman:
    Everywhere I used to look for encouragement that Enlightenment values might yet survive is surely crumbling. Centralization of power

    Too much of the the so-called Enlightenment is one of the reasons WHY the West is where it is: there’s no getting around the fact that much of the Enlightenment ran counter to Christianity (and even classical values and philosophy). What made America shoot to the top of the world’s powers was our strong mix of Christianity with its religious morality, and the Enlightenment’s ethos of fostering scientific progress. For centuries those two competing ideas existed in a balance… not always easily, but ultimately stable. Our best education models demanded both, and left it to the student to reconcile those ideas for themselves. It was in the pre and postwar periods where Enlightenment strains began to strangle Christianity out of the West. And as a result, the Enlightenment itself has slit its own throat: in weakening the West without that balance, its undermined the West’s very foundations. The West, strangling itself with a guilt it doesn’t deserve, is committing suicide very much in the name of Enlightenment ideas.

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  11. MJBubba:
    So, what is up with Geneva?

    Geneva is a left-wing, cosmopolitan city, and has been for a long time.  Only 36% of the population are Swiss-born Swiss citizens, with 37% of residents foreign nationals without Swiss citizenship (but who, if they are permanent residents [“Permis C”], may vote in city and cantonal elections).  A major “industry” in Geneva is the United Nations and other international organisations, and you can guess the kind of people they attract.  Nine members of the 100 member cantonal parliament are avowed communists, and the Socialists and Greens, between them, hold 32 seats.  (The only party which would be considered conservative by U.S. standards, the UDC, holds just 8 seats.  The largest party block is the “Liberal/Radical”, who are somewhere left of Chamber of Commerce Republicans—they have 28 seats.)

    On cities, I’m with Thomas Jefferson,

    When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

    and

    I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice.

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