One of the few rock -certain ground truths in this world used to be that the Swiss were smart - much smarter than residents of any other country. Hence the centuries of peace in the middle of always-violent Europe and the high standard of living.
But this year, we have seen the Swiss throw away centuries of neutrality and quite unnecessarily steal assets from a country which could destroy Switzerland with a mere handful of missiles – to say nothing about causing every non-Swiss wealthy person to start evaluating how to move his money out of now-reckless & unreliable Swiss banks.
And now this – massive fines & jails for Swiss residents who heat their homes to World Health Organization recommended levels.
Swiss Citizens Who Overheat Their Homes This Winter Could Face Hefty Fines & 3 Years In Jail | ZeroHedge
Maybe we really are living in the End Times!
Disappointing and ominous in one of the few remaining (sort of) places with any sense of live and let live. There have been previous retreats recently as well. A couple years ago the Swiss voted to reconcile their gun laws to the EU after some threats of painful (as I recall) economic penalties for failure to do so.
Yes we are living in the End Times and Christ will return, but before then Zhou vill eatz zee bugz.
The Swiss political and big business class, with the exception of some politicians in the UDC/SVP (Swiss People’s Party), are just as globalist, WEF-converged, and interested in conforming to “international norms” as those in most other Western European countries. The brake on this has been the common sense of the Swiss population and ease with which any act of the government can be put to a referendum that annuls it, plus the “double majority” system in which constitutional amendments (which are very common, since under a Roman-type civil code system, many items are spelled out in the constitution) require a national vote in which both a majority of the cantons and the national popular vote are required. This allows the smaller, mountain cantons an effective veto on harebrained ideas coming out of Zürich and Geneva.
As recently as 1986, Swiss voters defeated a referendum to join the United Nations promoted by the federal government and political class by a margin of 75% to 25%. When they finally got it past the voters in 2002, the yes vote was only 55%.
But Switzerland is as vulnerable to brainwashing of the young by media and converged educational institutions as any other country. Well, maybe a bit less because schools are subject to far more local control than elsewhere, but the universities are lost to the left, and that’s where the teachers come from. So as time passes, the population becomes more aligned with the political leaders who view Switzerland’s exceptionalism as an embarrassment.
Yes, I thought the Canton system was supposed to protect those provinces that did not want to be stupid. I guess even Libertarian utopias are an illusory goal too.
Walter Block hypothesizes that libertarianism is unlikely to ever take hold with a majority of the population because markets emerged relatively recently in the history of human evolution. So, as a species, we are not disposed to appreciate the benefits of a free market.
The market is not an invention of capitalism. It has existed for centuries. It is an invention of civilisation.
— Mikhail Gorbachev, 1990-06-08
Indeed, the problem is that it has only existed for centuries, not for millennia or æons, so we have not (yet) co-evolved with and found intuitive some of its non-obvious aspects. And yet these consequences have existed as long as hunters from the hills traded with fishers from the coast for goods to their mutual benefit.
This is why I believe the utilitarian argument for free markets is more effective than one based in philosophy, even though the latter may be correct. Look at the Korean peninsula from space. Both sides of the 38th parallel are populated by the same people who started from the same post-war devastation in 1953. One side opted for a top-down planned command economy, the other for chaotic (and sometimes violent) market forces. Where are the lights on?
Adam Smith, a moral philosopher, wrote in his 1776 published classic WEALTH OF NATIONS,
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. "
Ludwig von Mises, in HUMAN ACTION, generally stated that economics systems require a common moral code. I agree that utility sells to the largest spectrum of our fellow cave-humans, but we need to sell the value of a common moral code too.
Global Marxists push a different moral code (i.e. woke “culture”) because without a common moral code, our economic system weakens and breaks.