The Nordic nations are Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. What links them? Viking blood. (Genetically, there is a SNP for Viking descent.)
What have the Nordic domains to do with California and Orchard Valley? The Vikings didn’t get this far did they?
Like California, the Nordic countries are progressive. Within America California leads the curve in culture, technology and socially. Everyone knows about Silicon Valley Tech which the US and world are adopting. California’s social mix is 51% non-white and the rest of the US is slowly playing catch up. As to culture Facebook, YouTube and Hollywood are highly influential, along with Tesla and blue jeans - born in the Bay.
Yet the culture of North America, California included, is rooted more in Europe than any other region and the social policies of California mirror changes in Northern Europe, the Nordic nations in particular. To take a minor example, since March 2002 plastic bags were taxed in Europe leading to a 90% reduction. Other Scandinavian innovations include a social safety net, accepting immigrants, a decent minimum wage and generous maternity (and paternity) leave are features famed in Nordic nations. High taxation pays for these privileges, just as California (at 13.3%) levies the highest taxes of any American state.
There are other unique influences on California - current central American and Asian immigration, past Spanish settlements along El Camino Real — but looking backwards we find much California history stems from Europe as wagon trains of white settlers brought their ways out West, and looking forwards we see that social and cultural policy changes in California come from Nordic countries. Therefore the way that Nordic nations are today tells us something about how California will be tomorrow. That future may take twenty years, but gradually it arrives. Viking blood may not be in our veins, but Nordic policies are in our society.
The traffic is two way. California influences the world through technology and California mirrors northern Europe in social change. And for the first time social change and technological change are being fused through global social networking. This happened in the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and is happening in the popularization of competing political futures, environmentalists and nationalists.
Looking forward to Viking lands what do we see? A new class of disenfranchised — the economic immigrants. We will talk about this in another blog. We also witness the wholesale submersion of the Church in a tsunami of postmodern culture. This deluge is inevitable. It began in Northern Europe with the rantings of Nietzsche and the refinements of Heidegger in the mid twentieth century. Nietzsche and Heidegger were not alone in this philosophical pilgrimage, but as key movers their nihilistic thinking now molds the future of the world. Even though both desired a positive departure from traditional ways with Nietzsche’s Superman and Heidegger’s reconstruction, neither could attain this outside of the Gospel of Christ. Both Nietzsche and Heidegger recognized and heralded the social changes that were coming, but neither could see how to make the Church relevant to the coming era - the now in which we live.
So we are left with a conundrum: how do we retranslate the Good News for postmodern society without losing the essence of what it means to follow Christ? The old is a memorial to the past, irrelevant to the now that postmodern people experience.