Monday, October 08, 2007

Swedish Predators Shirk their Pacifist Background

I told you it was going to happen. The animals are fighting back. A bear attacked and killed an elk hunter. If you remember, a Swedish Elk shot at a hunter recently only to fail and end up dying. The loss of life is never funny, nor something to be taken lightly, but clearly, as I predicted, the animal kingdom took notice and saw the elk as a martyr. While I predicted that it would be the Swedish Elk that attacked first, I underestimated the kinship felt in the forest.

The bear community stood up for its forest brethren. It is obvious that the Swedish Elk holds a higher status in the Swedish forest than even I could predict. I see it as some sort of Bambi complex with everyone willing to stand up and fight for the majestic Swedish Elk.

In all seriousness, bear attacks on people are very rare in Sweden. The article actually says that this is the first attack since 2004 and before that it had been 100 years since an attack. Considering the amount of forested area in Sweden there are very few incidences of predatory animals attacking. Maybe because there just aren’t that many large predators in Sweden. I blame the cold weather. It seems though, that even the wild predatory animals of Sweden are pacifists, just like the Swedes themselves.

Sweden prides itself on its neutrality; of course that neutrality can be discussed because during WWII they allowed the Nazis to cross through the country as well as playing in soccer games against them until it became obvious that the Allied powers were going to win. There is also information coming out that there were Swedes who were spying for the Stasi. Not exactly the behavior you would expect from a neutral, pacifist country.

It’s an interesting attitude here in Sweden. This idea of pacifism. Sometimes it gets taken too far and people forget that it’s ok to stand up against people, when fights break out people look the other way and no one stops to help. People don’t want to get involved, they don’t want to be bothered, and they don’t want to bother others. Head down, don’t look anyone in the eye, shuffle along. Quietly.

When Anna Lindh, the Foreign Minister, was murdered a few years ago she was stabbed over 20 times in her stomach, chest, and arms in an extremely busy shopping center called NK in the middle of Stockholm. That's the capital of Sweden. In one of the largest and busiest shopping centers in Stockholm. No one saw anything. It took two weeks for the man responsible to be arrested. What blows my mind here is that in an incredibly busy shopping center no one stopped, no one saw anything while a woman was stabbed over 20 times. I just don’t believe that there wasn’t anything to be done. Now obviously this is an extreme example but the pacifism is still there.

On the flip side though the US sometimes takes it too far with the American cowboy attitude. In my hometown there is a law cleverly called the “Make my day law.” This law states that if you feel threatened by a person on your property you are allowed to shoot them and not face any legal consequences. I’m not entirely sure of all the details but I believe that at least one warning has to be given before taking further action but still. That’s pretty intense.

I suppose it just depends on your outlook on confrontation and what you value. Some people shirk all responsibility just so they can go about their lives while others take on more responsibility than they deserve and try to take the law into their own hands.


  1. Interesting! Havent thought about that. where did you live in America? sweden, cold? are you serious? ehrm, i thought maryland was colder than sweden during winter! but ofc, it was a lot hotter there during spring and fall. :D

  2. Good old Colorado so I got plenty of cold weather there too

  3. They have to be inside your house and you have to be afraid, but reasonably afraid. You can't just invite one of your dope-dealing competitors over and shoot her. You have to invite her over and evoke such threats as would make a reasonable dope dealer fear for his life. And then you can say, "Do you feel lucky, punkess?"

    I know this is true because a dope dealer decided he could lighten the competition, invited his competitor over, shot him, and invoked the Make My Day Law. It worked. This was reinforcing, like jailing Swedish murderers reinforces their bouts of ill-temper, and if you do that, you deserve to be killed by them. The dope dealer was pleased by the way the Make My Day Law helped underscore his control of the local distribution channels. So a little less than a year later, he invited another (remaining) competitor over, shot him, and invoked the Make My Day Law, hoping to gather in more distribution conduits. This time it did not work.

  4. what would we do without clint eastwood?