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The Law of Jante is alive and well and finds no shortage of victims in England.

February 22, 2020 3:56 PM
Similar houses (yourlivingcity.com)Alas, the Law of Jante is applied not only in Scandinavia.
Its baneful influence is strong in England - diminishing, and destroying when it can, those who excel, are popular (even people we are happy to be entertained by), are prominent in some way or who are experts (remember them?).
It is launched against those who try too hard, are "too clever by half" or "should know better" or "no better than s/he ought to be" or are "swots" (especially "girly" ones!) and against those who are lucky enough to have some special skill or talent.
You know, people who "don't know their place".
It sets out to punish achievement, to undermine any pretence of moral authority and any attempt to suggest improvement or (especially) that we should act differently.
Think about Greta Thunberg.
It is always trying to catch people out, to try to find a flaw, an inconsistency, a "hypocrisy". It is good to test those in the public eye, but not unfairly and not to destruction.
Its assiduous, ruthless and implacable application is however meat and drink to the tabloid press, to the media, to the "gossip magazines".
It is the deep vein of psychology that they tap into and a massive source of revenue to the wealthy proprietors. And it devours its victims for the delight of the spectators. It is the spectacle in the Coliseum.
Think Meghan and Harry... and so on.
The Law of Jante has 10 commandments.
1. Don't think you are anything special.
2. Don't think you are as good as we are.
3. Don't think you are smarter than we are.
4. Don't convince yourself that you are better than we are.
5. Don't think you know more than we do.
6. Don't think you are more important than we are.
7. Don't think you are good at anything.
8. Don't laugh at us.
9. Don't think anyone cares about you.
10. Don't think you can teach us anything.

Does that look familiar in any way?

Jante of course has never existed. It was a fictional town in an unspecified part of pre-war Denmark in a novel.

But its law is, subconsciously at least, alive and well and has now spread globally.

It may once have served a purpose in keeping the peace and a sort of harmony in a poor and isolated (fictional) rural community, but it is not what complex, diverse modern societies need - faced as they now are with complex, diverse and deep-rooted problems.