« I.T. outsourcing & the bureaucracy | Gene Expression Front Page | Robotic economics & the last Man in the Gray Flannel Suit »
August 17, 2003

Do as I say...not as I do

Well, not really. But I thought this was amusing, Icelanders are hunting whales again and Norway has been ignoring the international ban for years. Now we hear that celebrities are against wind power in their backyard. Kind of reminds of me of politically active liberal media moguls suing so that prols don't have access to "their beaches". Limousine liberals & scolding Scandinavians aren't always wrong of course, but their priveleged place in comparison to the great unwashed, individually in the case of the former, and nationally in the case of the latter, allows them to see the "right" position a bit more easily since they don't have to take up the burden of walking the straight & narrow after a lifetime of sin. Some are born to grace and some are not. Scandinavians have a great deal of social capital and can sit atop their perch and "do good" for others without taking a step back and realizing that not all cultures have had their felicitous social trajectory. I am sure that many Social Democrats in Sweden still don't understand the disaster their aid to the soft socialism in Tanzania caused. In the case of whales, Norway & Icleand have indigenous cultural practices that the rest of the world doesn't find so congenial, but are angry that others would speak down to them as if they were uncultured brutes, as if they were sea-cowboys. Ah, now they see the virtues of national sovereignty [1]. Similarly, Hollywood liberals can be "activists" all they want, but they live a lifestyle that affords them the opportunity to make all the correct choices because cost is rarely an issue for them.

[1] To be fair, oil-rich Norway has not joined the EU....

Posted by razib at 11:29 PM




I seem to remember reading many years ago that Norway(or Sweden, I really can't remember) was the poorest W. European country around 1910 or so. Then they instituted a policy of promoting invention, patents and industry, and the economy boomed. Just a little trivia.

Posted by: rob at August 18, 2003 09:33 AM


norway seems more likely than sweden, the latter has a non-trivial number of mineral resources, norway is mostly a mountainous fishing country.... (oil didn't count for as much back, especially offshore)

Posted by: razib at August 18, 2003 09:37 AM


Ah hypocrisy. Seriously I didn't know Libs didn't want Windmills around. That's fairly amusing.

I don't care if Norway hunts a few whales as long as they don't wipe them out.

Posted by: Katy at August 18, 2003 11:49 AM


Sweden was quite poor at the turn of 1900. Their timber and ore resources got them started; these industries were heavily taxed and the money reinvested in education and infrastructure.

Oddly enough, that's a lot of the story of my home state of Minnesota, with its large Scandinavian population (iron ore, timber, and the left-wing-socialist governor Floyd B. Olson). A non-colonial resource economy can actually be beneficial to the "natives." Economists always say that imperialism is irrelevant, etc., but economists leave a lot out of their nice formal systems. Deliberately.

Yes, children, there is such a thing as a right-wing-socialist. Olson wasn't one.

Posted by: zizka at August 18, 2003 12:53 PM


hey zizka, i'm thinking of movin' to the upper midwest. and no, i don't mind snow....

Posted by: razib at August 18, 2003 01:19 PM


hey zizka, i'm thinking of movin' to the upper midwest. and no, i don't mind snow....

Posted by: razib at August 18, 2003 01:20 PM


Raz. the upper midwest is great.

the "spring" is worse than the winter, though. Snow's fine in February. It's tiresome in April.

But I'd rather live back there, than in the banana Republic of California.

Posted by: David at August 18, 2003 02:03 PM


Nah, Godless, we know them as PM Blair.

Buy good boots. Snow is fun and cold weather can be handled if your feet are warm. After being gone for 6 years and returning I came close to frostbite (no exaggeration) by walking a mile in street shoes.

Posted by: zizka at August 18, 2003 07:08 PM


So what part of the upper midwest are you thinking of moving to? My wife and I will likely end up in west Wisconsin in a couple of years...

Posted by: bbartlog at August 22, 2003 12:15 PM


All the Scandinavian countries now have a lot of "wog" immigrants and are not liking it a bit. So their righteousness will not last long.

Posted by: John Ray at August 24, 2003 05:19 AM