One way the Scandinavian countries used to be so progressive is that they were homogenous and insular. I don't know if outsiders would feel at home there even if they managed to immigrate.

I can see how having too much of a good thing could become a problem, and no country is without its downside. The question is whether the American downside is worse than the Scandinavian one. The US lets you fail completely and to fall all the way down to Third World status. Parts of the US are uninhabitable for civilized purposes.

The Scandinavian democracies used to prevent that total failure from happening, with their welfare states (because such failures can drag down the whole country with poverty, opioid epidemics, troglodytic rural trolling, and the like). But as I understand it now (and I'm hardly an expert), those countries are becoming more neoliberal, so their experiments in democratic socialism might be ending.

One encouraging sign for socialism is that technological advances make it more feasible than when the Russians tried it before there were even computers, let alone the AIs and tracking methods that are available now. Of course, such central planning can become totalitarian and can be used for inhuman purposes.

The underlying problem is the universal one I write a lot about: how to prevent the corruption of leaders who have too much power? That corruption happens in government and in the private sector.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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