The rusty cuckoo clock spring
"Not so long ago, ZÜRICH was famed for being the cleanest, most icily efficient city in Europe: apocryphal stories abound from the 1970s of tourists embarking on efforts to find a cigarette butt or food wrapper discarded on the" – thus begins the Yahoo review of Zurich, the remainder of which, alas, is lost and inaccessible somewhere in the chaotic morass one finds upon clicking on the invitation "Read more on Yahoo! Travel".
The decline in the quality of thinking, workmanship, caring and sense of purpose is therefore as manifest in the American signifier as it is in the Swiss signified, or so a European semiotician might adduce. But Switzerland has indeed not escaped the viral disease that's destroying the West.
Right now, I am in a restaurant in Zurich's industrial quarter of Oerlikon. I have time to write because the entrée I ordered 40 minutes ago has not yet been served. The Asian waitress is doing her best, the Italian maitre d' is helping out, but the place is at least two waitpersons short. The Swiss – once a people so poor that it had to export its men to fight for pay in foreign wars -- no longer stoop to do service work.
After dinner, I take a bracing walk past handsome, turn-of-the century buildings – every fourth of which harbors a kebab-shouarma restaurant or an ethnic grocery store. All are tended by young, brown, Middle Eastern-looking men. When I was a child living in a town not far from here, I was probably the only non-Swiss-born person in the area, there was no foreign food to be had, and everybody, including me, liked it that way.
Back in the hotel, the receptionist – twentyish, clearly Swiss born-and-bred – stares helplessly at her computer screen, trying in vain to cope with the insuperable task I imposed on her: finding Swissair's flight schedule.
I am at a loss. 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.
The receptionist's consternation gives me time to leaf through a popular local tabloid. A picture of Jennifer Lopez occupies a fifth of the front page. News of the Iraq War and the Russian Super-Bomb are on page seven. And on page 11, the staple that can be found in every Swiss newspaper these days, in German, French or Italian: another arrest of Albanian drug dealers.
Corrosion seeps from the left
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.
All that has made Switzerland better, wealthier and stronger. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 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" (2).
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.
The gold-plated public assistance trough and the multicultural mushiness have made Switzerland irresistibly attractive to enterprising Third World denizens. Thousands upon hundred of thousands from all corners of the globe started streaming into Switzerland in the 80s, to work or not in unskilled jobs, to build mosques and madrassas with public funds, to live in subsidized housing.
Resident foreigners and temporary foreign workers now make up almost 22% of the 7.5 million Swiss population. Most of them are from European Union countries, but Muslims from Albania, Bosnia, Turkey, Middle East and Africa are now 4.3% of the people. There are sizeable communities of Caribbean, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Somali and other unskilled, even primitive, immigrants, refugees and fake refugees –- all from cultures entirely alien to what Switzerland has been and known in the past.
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 (3). 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. (4)
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.
When a people throws off its bridle
That 22% of a country's population is foreign born; that large numbers of entirely incompatible and unassimilable people, from Afghanis to Zairians, are given political asylum under fraudulent pretexts; that this foreign population visits an unheard-of crime wave upon its hosts – all these are never the fault of the foreigners but always the fault of a native ruling elite that has lost its way. It's the same in Switzerland as in the United States or Sweden.
The people witness the insanity and grumble, but the elites, with complicity of big business, the school systems and the mass media, have found a way to perpetuate their hold on power and privilege despite the plainly identifiable seeds of disaster they are planting on native soil.
Political parties have arisen in Europe to channel the native populations' discontent with the course charted by their respective elites. Despite massive popular support, the establishment has been successful in marginalizing and demonizing the BNP in Great Britain and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, while co-opting the Freedom Party in Austria. In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front has largely self-destructed. In the United States, no party exists that stands athwart the enshrined path to third-worldism and national decline. Leaders such as Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul, who might potentially bring the country back onto a sensible road, have repeatedly failed to galvanize the electorate.
Only in Switzerland, in the Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei, SVP), common sense and national survival have found an effective champion. The New York Times expressed its resulting worry in an October 25, 1999 headline: "Right-Wing Political Party Leads in Swiss Elections, Endangering 40-Year Coalition." The SVP –- anti-immigration, anti-tax, anti-European Union, anti-big government; but pro-traditional values, private gun ownership and armed neutrality –- has never looked back since that 23% electoral victory. In 2003 it won 26.7% of the vote, and is now the strongest political party in Switzerland. In the Swiss elections on 21 October 2007 it may grow yet further.
SVP has a deep bench of articulate, patriotic, and passionate leaders. The most charismatic of them, Christoph Blocher, is Switzerland's most famous and controversial politician as well as serving as the country's current Minister of Justice. He is an outspoken opponent of Switzerland's multiculti policies and anti-"racism" laws, and is therefore a lightning rod for all the haters on the left.
A foreign resident may acquire Swiss citizenship only upon the approval of a local community that has the rights to interview him as to his "Swissness" and to put his proposed citizenship up for a vote. The prospective applicant must have lived in Switzerland legally and crime-free for 12 years, and have paid his taxes. This prudent procedure has become a demolition target for the bien pensant elite in the Swiss federal government. They wish to replace the centuries-old Swiss confederate rights with federal power wielded along the "enlightened," multicultural precepts of the European Union.
Pushing toward the same deconstruction of nationhood is a coalition of Left parties and NGOs, churches and aid groups. Swiss left groups like "SOS Racism" and the "Commission Against Racism" charge that most people denied citizenship are Muslims from the Balkans who received asylum during the ethnic wars of the 1990s. But most of Switzerland's criminals belong in that demographic. Besides, it's the Swiss people in their semi-sovereign communities, where the common local culture and social capital count above all, who ought to be able to decide, counter to their Europhile, multiculti elites, whom they want to absorb into their midst.
And so, against the federal government's and liberal groups' fierce agitation for liberalization of the Swiss immigration and naturalization procedures, SVP mobilized the electorate to reject a respective 2006 referendum initiative by a huge margin, 68%. SVP did not mince words or images in making its case before the electorate either. It had posters with an image of dark-skinned hands grabbing at Swiss passports, and other posters with Osama bin Laden holding a mock Swiss passport. As it were, Osama's brother, Yeslam, does have a Swiss passport.
The SVP also ran newspaper ads with the headline, “Will Muslims soon be in the majority?” The ads warned that with the higher birth rate in Muslim families, Muslims in Switzerland would outnumber Christians within 20 years.
Though all those merely portrayed the actual reality, outraged shrieks of “racism” and “xenophobia" ensued from the solidly Left European press. No matter; the Swiss electorate, particularly in the German speaking, Protestant cantons, refused to be cowed. As a result, as of 2006, asylum applicants who cannot credibly produce identity papers are automatically rejected and barred from regular welfare benefits. If they refuse to leave the country, they face prison terms of up to two years. The amended law also limits immigration for non-EU citizens to highly skilled labor only.
This was the ninth time since 1984 that Switzerland's asylum law has been amended, but the breach had been so wide, for so long, that SVP could not sit on its laurels. Consistent with the Swiss tradition of the direct referendum, in May 2007 SVP launched an initiative to append to the Swiss Constitution a ban on the construction of minarets, i.e. the towers from which mosques' call to prayer are supposed to ensue. The rationale, SVP officers say, is that the minaret is a symbol of a political and aggressive Islam, and of Sharia law that is incompatible with Switzerland's legal system.
In August 2007, SVP launched a direct mail, print and advertising campaign to gather 100,000 signatures supporting another Initiative; this one for the deportation of criminal foreigners after they have served their prison sentences. The measure also calls for the deportation of the entire family of a convicted criminal under the age of 18.
SVP cites official statistics showing that foreigners, who make up 22% of the Swiss population, are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals, commit 85.5% of all rapes, 66% of all extortion, 55.5% of all murders and 52.7% of assaults (5). As well, 50% of the $1.5 billion in fraudulent Swiss Social Security claims originate with the immigrant community. Enough is enough.
SVP has visualized its campaign with a poster showing three white sheep standing on the Swiss flag, with one kicking a single black sheep off the flag. The caption reads: "Bringing safety". It has been roundly denounced by the liberal elite and media, which probably means that the Swiss people will, again, give the finger to their hallucinating bien pensants, and go with the SVP.
Brain-dead Stupidity breeds Sabotage
Predictably, SVP's platform and its success at implementing it have caused a permanent apoplexy of malignant rage by the international and Swiss mass media and other establishment institutions. The rage has led to hostile write-ups, blatant lies, mass evasions and distortions of facts, libel and purple prose, worldwide.
"Swiss right in political avalanche" informed the BBC in October 2003, adding for good measure: "The far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP) has won the biggest share of the vote in parliamentary elections, throwing a decades-old system of consensus government into turmoil".
The same BBC -– the acronym stands for British Balkanization Commissariat -- informs in September 2007 that the SVP is driving to enact a new law enabling the deportation of foreign families of convicted criminals. "The Swiss People's Party claims that foreigners commit more crimes than the Swiss, and says this justifies deporting them and their families", comments the British broadcaster that has known no Third World terrorist it hasn't liked, and that, by editorial policy, does not refer to Muhammad but only to Muhammad Peace be Upon Him.
The SVP, of course, does not "claim" anything concerning crimes committed by foreigners. It's statistical facts that state it unequivocally, and the truth, in official statistics, is easily available to the hundreds of BBC's socially promoted journalists.
Condensed from the well-sourced Wikipedia entry this is what was staring the BBC in the face when it was writing of "claims":
At the end of 2006, 5,888 people were interned in Swiss prisons: 31% Swiss citizens, and 69% resident foreigners or illegal immigrants. Based on convictions under criminal law, the crime rate among resident foreigners is higher by a factor of 3.7 than the crime rate among Swiss citizens.
"Swiss rightwingers shake up politics amid 'Fascism' claims," hyperventilates a major news agency, AFP, in a story widely disseminated by various media outlets in Sept.-Oct 2007.
"Far-right Swiss party divides nation on immigrant issue" - charges the International Herald Tribune on October 7, having foregone the alternative title, "Far-left Swiss parties have been dividing nation on immigrant issues for 20 years."
"Swiss deportation policy draws criticism" -- that's from USA Today, which could have equally chosen to highlight how much approval the policy draws from the Swiss people.
"Switzerland: Europe's heart of darkness?", asks Great Britain's The Independent, with the answer imbedded in the question. Switzerland, foams The Independent, "is home to a new extremism that has alarmed the United Nations." Why should that alarm the reader is not explained, and more's the pity as this is the United Nations on whose Human Rights Council sit such human rights paragon nations as Cameroon, Djibouti, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, China, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba.
The Independent further relays that the UN's "special rapporteur on racism" has asked the Swiss government for "an official explanation," and warned earlier this year that "a 'racist and xenophobic dynamic' which used to be the province of the far right is now becoming a regular part of the democratic system in Switzerland".
It is par for the course that the relevant UN apparatchik was one, Doudou Diène, from Senegal, where the use of torture, extrajudicial killings, 'disappearing' political opponents, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment without trial and no accountability are customary and frequent – not to speak of such contributions to the multicultural treasure house as widespread female genital mutilation and trafficking in women as sex and work slaves. If a punch line is required to this joke, the UN had sent another Senegalese special "rapporteur," Bacre Waly N'Diaye, on a two-week mission to the United States, to investigate US police killings and the application of the death penalty.
The Independent nevertheless at least highlights what it's really all about:
"The proposal will be a test case not just for Switzerland but for the whole of Europe, where a division between liberal multiculturalism and a conservative isolationism is opening up in political discourse in many countries. What is at stake here in Switzerland is not merely a dislike of foreigners or a distrust of Islam but something far more fundamental. It is a clash that goes to the heart of an identity crisis which is there throughout Europe and the US. It is about how we live in a world that has changed radically since the end of the Cold War with the growth of a globalised economy, increased immigration flows, the rise of Islam as an international force and the terrorism of 9/11. Switzerland only illustrates it more graphically than elsewhere."
The tsk-tsk chorus is not limited to the usual international suspects. The same political/intellectual/media elite that drives other Western societies down the Third World road to oblivion, is doing its demented job in Switzerland also.
Micheline Calmy-Rey, president of Switzerland under a rotation system, has called SVP's campaign "disgusting," "dangerous" and not corresponding to "Switzerland's multicultural openness to the world." Swiss Interior Minister, Pascal Couchepin, has likened Christoph Blocher to Mussolini. These politicians are not coincidentally from Switzerland's French-speaking region, where the country's liberal center of gravity lies.
L'Hebdo, French Switzerland's most popular weekly, has virtually implemented a jihad against SVP. Its 5 September 2007 issue, for instance, carries the title (translated here): "Blocher; 33 legal infractions" superimposed over Blocher's ¾ page photo; a poisoned full-page anti-Blocher editorial on page 3; anti-SVP cartoons on page 8; anti-SVP jabs on page 15; a feature article on pp. 21-24 entitled "Christoph Blocher; the chronicle of a double failure"; a sidebar on page 22 reproducing five of the 18 anti-Blocher covers the magazine has featured since October 2003; allegations of Blocher's misconduct on pp. 24-25; condemnation of SVP's "xenophobe propaganda" on page 26; a 9-page article, "Blocher; the Contempt of Law" starting on page 28 plus a ½ page ad for an eponymous book on page 111; and an anti-SVP column on page 51.
One cannot dignify this foaming-at-the mouth dementia by reproducing L'Hebdo's arguments; it will suffice to say that they are grotesque, reek of sour grapes, are interspersed with articles or ads about Michael Moore and George Clooney, and all this is underwritten by a panoply of luxury advertisers ranging from Mercedes-Benz to the ultra-luxe watch brand, Hublot. In short, nothing that the reader of the New York Times is not accustomed to on a daily basis.
A people needs a people's party
Yvan Perrin, vice-president of the SVP, wrote an appeal to voters in July '07, entitled (in translation) "The Left and its allies bear the responsibility for the criminality of foreigners." In it, Mr. Perrin stated that in the past Switzerland was one of the safest countries in the world. This was a great economic and quality of life advantage. Mass immigration has brought with it criminality and insecurity. The statistics he cites confirm "that which everybody witnesses every day in media reports": foreigners in Switzerland commit four times as many criminal acts as the Swiss do.
As Perrin puts it, multiculturalism propagates this foreign criminality. The Swiss political agents of multiculturalism are the left and its allies: the socialists, the Greens, and the center-left parties that form the governing coalition with SVP. Forming an alliance of dreamers, they fantasize of a new, "open" and "multicolored" Switzerland, deprived of its traditional foundations. Those who dare to notice the negative effects of massive, uncontrolled immigration are criticized and ostracized, accused of xenophobia and Nazism.
Mr. Perrin then lists the immigration policies of the center-left parties that ran Switzerland for decades, until the advent of the SVP. Their platforms call for open borders based on a universal, uncontrolled right of immigration and naturalization; massive reprogramming of the Swiss population to rid it of "racism"; massive funding for immigrant integration as a "central" function of the State; eliminating the nationality category in police crime reports, and more.
SVP set out to defend the interests of the ordinary Swiss and to restore their security, culture and sense of nationhood. On October 21st, the Swiss electorate will make its choice, once again.
Notes and sources:
(1) Illustration from Johanna Spyri, Heidi, translated by Elisabeth P. Stork, illustrations by Maria L. Kirk, J.P. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and London, 1919, via Project Guttenberg.
(2) "The Growth of the Public Sector in Switzerland", West European Politics, Jan-Erik Lane and Reinert Maeland, April 2001.
(3) Broken down in the report into 60 'consummated homicides' and 138 homicide attempts.
(4) It's not clear how this corresponds to the American categories of legal and illegal immigrant.
(5) These percentages, when different from what has been quoted elsewhere in the article, pertain to a different base year, source, or method of counting.