Things seem to come in bunches, and just (under) three weeks after Ted Hill’s Quillette.com article, and much discussion in the various blogs (Tao’s, Gowers’ and others) an even bigger fight has broken out. Alessandro Strumia, a theoretical physicist at University of Pisa gave a talk at a “gender equality” conference at CERN where he cast doubt on gender equality in physics. The result was that he was instantly booted out of CERN, and the Rector of the University of Pisa announced a disciplinary proceeding against him. The reader can read the slides (which, by the way, were immediately removed from the CERN repository, in a misguided attempt to send this work down a memory hole – that trick never works these days where information travels with blinding speed) above (click on “talk”), and decide whether or not Strumia is actually Hitler. The reader can also make up her own mind as to whether she (or he) agrees with Strumia’s analysis. This writer would be doing the reader a disservice if he tried to make the reader’s mind up for her/him.
This meditation was prompted by the recent arson epidemic in Sweden and the Swedish government’s completely lame response to it. The question I asked myself was: who is the Swedish government? To put the study in context, I decided to compare it with the “populist” Hungarian government, especially as the two governments could not be more different when it comes to their views on (im)migration, while the populations of the two countries are roughly similar (around five million each). The standard liberal view is that the Swedish policies are “enlightened”, whilst the Hungarian policies are backward-looking and obviously promoted by benighted thugs. Here is what I found (note: I do not list experience in politics).
Sweden: Stefan Löfven
Trained as a welder, dropped out of university, where he majored in Social Work for a year. Quickly became a trade union operative, advancing to be the head of the Metalworkers’ Union.
Hungary: Viktor Orbán
Has a law degree from Eotvos-Lorand University (the premier university in Hungary). From 1987-89, he lived in Szolnok but
commuted to Budapest, where he worked as a sociologist at the Agriculture and Food Industry”s Director
Training Institute from November 1987 – March 1988. From April 1988, he was a research fellow at the Central
European Research Group sponsored by the Soros Foundation. In 1989, he received a scholarship through the
same foundation to study at Pembroke College, Oxford about the history of English liberal political philosophy.
In 1983, Viktor Orbán was one of the founding members of the Juridical Sociological Collegium (which was
renamed István Bibó Collegium in 1988). With several members of this collegium, Orbán helped establish a
journal of sociology entitled „Századvég“ and was one of the editors.
Sweden: Morgan Johansson
BA in Political Science, worked as a journalist for three years.
Hungary: László Trócsányi
Undergraduate degree and a doctorate in Law, practiced as a lawyer for a many years, worked as a professor of Law, did research at the Hungarian Academy.
Minister for Home Affairs (Ministry of the Interior)
Sweden: Morgan Johansson (see above). The previous Minister for Home Affairs was
Ygeman has no higher education, except for a semester in criminology, and was excused from military service after a few days (for incompetence.)
Hungary: Sándor Pintér
Pinter is a career police officer. Graduated from the Police Academy, and also has a law degree. He served in the police force for 25 years, the last 5 as National Police Commissioner (top law enforcement officer in Hungary). He also operated a private security company.
Minister of Defence
Sweden: Peter Hultqvist
No higher education (seems to have a one year degree in social sciences). Worked as a journalist for 12 years.
Hungary: Tibor Benkő
Career (forty years) military officer, rising to Chief of Defence Staff, studied in the USSR AND the USA (Army War College), has a doctorate in Military Studies.
Sweden: Margot Wallström No higher education. Worked as a bank teller for three years.
Hungary: Péter Szijjártó Degree in Foreign Affairs.
Higher Education and Research
Sweden: Helene Hellmark Knutsson Does not have a university degree. The only non-politics job is in the trade union system (as Ombudsman).
Hungary: László Palkovics. Mechanical engineer, PhD, University professor, Full member of the Hungarian Academy. During his professional career, Palkovics held numerous managerial positions in companies like Thyssen-Krupp Presta Hungary, Knorr-Bremse Group and Bosch Budapest. Meanwhile, he has worked as editor for the International Journal of Vehicle Design, Heavy Vehicles and the Journal of Automobile Engineering.
The Swedish government is pure Soviet-style nomenklatura, It is run on pure patronage, and not any discernible skill. The Hungarian government is run by professionals, who have dedicated their lives to their respective areas of competence, and have achievements at the very top of their professions. The results are plain to see: Sweden is in ruins. Hungary is not -Orban and his team have done very well by their people, naysayers be damned. I hope they keep it up. I am not sure what hope I have for Sweden.