• Thomas A. Wilson

How Swede It Is!

Someone once asked if the Swedish system of criminal justice, which relies heavily on alternative sentencing, might work in America. Good question. The answer? Maybe, if Man School principles are applied.

Nine million white middle class Lutherans can’t be wrong, can they? Let’s face it, those Swedish folks were smart enough to stay out of both (count ‘em) World Wars! Sweden’s parliament (Riksdag) dates back to the 13th century. Scandinavians were doing democracy four hundred years before Tom told George the deal was off in 1776. The birth rate in Sweden is one of the lowest in the world. (Considering the latitude and long nights, this is mildly impressive.) They abolished slavery in 1335. Their bobsledders make the Jamaicans look like, well… Jamaican bobsledders. Ingrid Bergman received her legendary DNA from Swedish stock, and the meatballs are to-die-for. So, what’s not to love?

Correctionally speaking, perhaps an inmate exchange? Let’s issue long johns and send the entire population of the Los Angeles County Jail to Sweden. The cold, blonde winters might do the gangstas some good. Meanwhile, the Kriminalvarden (the Swedish prison and probation service) can dispense a little sunscreen and send their boys to L.A. A select committee can watch over the process. The title of the ensuing report might be: sw-EDEN or SCANDAL-navia?

By the time the fair-haired Swedes figure out that the “hood” isn’t a fur-lined hat on a parka, the bangers from Los Angeles just might have the Vikings turning over in their graves. Pillaging and burning might once again echo across the Artic night.

Unless, maybe, the Swedes are on to something. They’re closing prisons over there—that’s interesting. Sweden has a small, stable society and their criminal justice system focuses on rehabilitation, not punishment. That’s a good start. But a focus on rehabilitation isn’t enough. Actual moral rehabilitation is the answer.

The violent, addicted, multicultural maelstrom comprising the USA’s criminal population demands more than good intentions. What Andy got away with in Mayberry won’t work in 2019. Aunt Bee, Otis, and Gomer are dead, and Opie went bald years ago. It’s time for a criminal justice system reality check in America.

How can any society that’s punctured with selfishness and vice presume to incubate wholeness in its dysfunctional and rebellious citizenry? If the culture generates crime exponentially, how can that culture fix the problem? Simply put, we need a revolution. American society will crumble and degrade under the weight of lawlessness unless good people initiate a wholesale migration away from the narcissism that pollutes the underliving worldview.

Man School is a roadmap for the trip.


Men, products of backhanded training, continue to give what they got as children. Their sons aren’t too much different than they, so on it goes. In 1979, or 2019, or 2059, people do, and will, play the roles adopted on a windswept glen several hundred years ago. What if we could capture the process by which ideas are planted so deeply into the human psyche? What if we could use that information to improve quality of life, to release potential, and reduce trauma?

Well…we can. Welcome to Man School.

Affirmation of the Week: I delight in managing all aspects of my life—my thinking, my feelings, and my doing.

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