Troubled times can pave the way for more common sense

Photo: Javad Parsa / NTB

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We are now in July. It’s summer, and for the first time in a long time, many of us have travel and other plans to look forward to. But it’s not just easy to enjoy good weather and vacation plans, when the world is as it is.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, imminent danger of escalation and threats of nuclear war. Exorbitant prices for electricity and fuel. Rising food prices. Mass shootings in Oslo and Copenhagen. People who burn the Koran are tempted to be driven off the road. There is something to be sad about in these times.

Our societies face challenges that may not have been seen in decades. Many people make the mistake of believing that progress lasts forever. That we will always be richer, freer and more enlightened over time. That we can put war, crisis and misery behind us, and thus declare the end of history.

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But that is of course not the case. Empires fall. Countries that were once prosperous have become poor. Countries that were once enlightened have become backward and oppressive.

Maybe we Norway and the West are the next man? It is impossible to know for sure. But it is possible to be aware of what the future holds, to arm ourselves and to do our best with what we have. And that is why Norway and the West need a sensible realpolitik more than ever.

Read also: What happened to our safe little country?

Common sense

Common sense has been under-prioritized in a number of critically important issues. We have seen it in defense and preparedness. When it comes to energy. When it comes to public spending. And when it comes to immigration and demographics. Common sense had to give way to more emotionally appealing viewpoints.

It doesn’t mean we’re lost. The descriptions of Norway as some kind of corrupt hell, and of Oslo as some kind of ruin with the derogatory nickname “Oslomabad” and the like, do not correspond to people’s lived reality. There are also no descriptions that Resett represents. It is still the case that the vast majority in our country lead good and fulfilling lives. People are fine, and so black paint and doomsday prophecies tend to be more of a deterrent than anything else. It is important to take this into account in the communication of realities.

But many are in trouble now. There is war in our European neighborhood, and we have terrorists and Islamists among us in Norway. There is pressure on people’s purchasing power. People seek security and stability for themselves and their loved ones. And many don’t know what the future holds.

It can get better

But there is hope and there is potential. In a short time, several Western European countries, including Germany, began to modernize their military defenses. Faced with Russia’s use of brute power, many others understand the need to be able to respond.

In the face of Islamic extremism and right-wing extremism, many more people realize that it may not be so wise to lead an entire society through dramatic demographic changes. We see that immigration policy has become tougher in several European countries. Soon the Swedes may have a government that has a completely different view of high migration than before. Politics is moving.

The question is whether we act too late in some of these areas.

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It’s kind of sad that you had to come out so twisted before you realized you should change course. Lives are lost in the process. But now is the time for common sense. We just have to hope that we will seize the day.

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