Leave me alone, I need no friends! (Just their tax-fraud money…)

12 08 2010

Professor Freiburghaus says:

“And Swiss people don’t feel alone,” he continues. “Or I might say they feel better when they are alone. It’s a very long tradition, and to change that, to say well we should join, we should be part of it, we should have friends everywhere, that is not our attitude.”

For a country where much of the dating is done through the internet, there’s a web site to find sports mates because normally you have no friends and are bored to go alone running and is a champion in divorces and suicides, this is certainly no news. Switzerland doesn’t need friends, just money to launder.

But is it really so? This is a country where the so-called Protestant Ethics have a diverse effect on people. Sure, they are difficult to make friends with, sure touching is prohibited, but Swiss come in two different molds: the extremely introvert and the reasonably extrovert.

The extremely introvert is this kind of people that would mostly vote for SVP I guess. They are incredibly navel gazing conservatives that want to keep Switzerland isolated. They usually believe in the superiority and difference of the Swiss people which – in their opinion – is what keeps them around all this time. They don;t want foreigners, which is a controversy in a country that depends on them to run every aspect of their industry and finance their way of leaving. And if they come, they shouldn’t just assimilate: they should immerse and forget their former lives. Unless you walk like a Swiss and quack like a Swiss, you cannot stay in Switzerland.

And then, there’s this other kind of people, made of completely different material. They are extrovert – not Med style but for their standards it’s quite enough – friendly, interested in local and international issues alike. Just the normal kind of people. It is significant though that even this caste is slowly deteriorating and converging. One thing is the media: most people would read the trashy free press which is full of pro-Swiss contra-world propaganda. They maintain that Swiss is under attack, although they are nice and peaceful mountain people , successful in all aspects. There’s a lurking conspiracy that the other countries want to remove their hoard. Money is all that matters.

This increases isolation even in that part of the population that is much more open. It is no wonder that people like Professor Freiburghaus (translates to free castle house) express the opinion that Swiss people like being alone. However they are not alone, and although they don’t like to hear about it they depend on other countries more than other countries depend on them. And whether they like it or not, they cannot opt in in good times and out in bad. It simply doesn’t work this way.

Should Switzerland join the EU? Yes. From a clearly practical point of view, they are losing more that gaining. The country is forced into bilateral agreements that are decided by Brussels. It has all kinds of obligations of a member state but practically little benefits. Countries like Austria and Holland benefit more than they claim from the huge market they can tap without any duties. Switzerland would contribute largely to the financial and democratic framework of the EU and really benefit from belonging to that group.

I don’t know if it is only 30% of the Swiss people that would vote for joining the EU, it’s their country, they should choose. But what’s worrying is the isolationism and nationalism in Central Europe…