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Divergent World Views



     Linda Nyquist is battered but unrepentant:
     Yes, I am unrealistic. Now in my 50s, I have come to the sad conclusion that all the things for which I agitated and worked in the 60s and 70s are probably going to remain an elusive dream. Actually, I am quite saddened by this revelation. One has to acknowledge the existence of evil in the world, but what I find most disheartening is that a seemingly majority of the people think its OK and, in fact, support it. And if you don't agree, somehow you just "don't get it" or are not knowledgeable, or are unrealistic, etc. etc.
     I have 2 godsons in Sweden; one is a doctor and the other is a teacher. Both are in their late 20s. The teacher, or course, is liberal (Social Democrat/Green Party in Sweden). The doctor is more conservative (although I might add that the most conservative Swede is a screaming liberal by US standards). Anyway, over the years, the boys have asked me "Lindy, why are you a Socialist? How does it benefit you?'
     I have thought long and hard about this. Frankly, it doesn't benefit me personally at all, in terms of creature comforts, less taxes, and so forth. As an only child, I am truly disinclined to LOVE sharing everything I have. You know about only children; the whole world revolved around me (well, not really, but I thought so).
     So why I am I a commited Socialist? Because, I believe, it's the right thing to do. It doesn't matter if it benefits me personally or not. Let's see if I can hang on..........
     My comment: A previous memo said our worldviews reflect our political orientation and our professional formation or deformation. A third factor must be added, perhaps the most important: ethnic origin. Scandinavians were in the past more "socialist" than most other groups. In the United States that word, like "liberal," suggests a dangerous leftist. Not so in Europe.

Ronald Hilton - 08/02/99


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