Sweden: The Rorschach Nation

Johan Norberg in a promo for Sweden: Lessons for America? (Harmeet Basur )
What we talk about when we talk about Sweden.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘E verybody loves to talk about Sweden,” says Johan Norberg, the Swedish libertarian and Cato scholar. “We’re a Rorschach test of people’s political ideas. But almost all of them misunderstand what Sweden is about. It’s not really the kind of model that people assume.”

There is a progressive myth of Sweden, and a conservative one, too.

For the American Left, Sweden is the great exemplar of what progressives erroneously call “socialism” or “democratic socialism,” even though the actual facts of life in Sweden’s open and entrepreneurial economy are far from socialistic. They point to Sweden’s robust economy, enviable standard of living, and the

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