on 04 April 2013
Swedes are secure in their identity because even the poorest and least talented Swede can expect a good life and the richest, most talented ones don't grudge them their standard of living as "unearned" or "undeserved" the way capitalists do in the US and India.
This is not an argument for state socialism of the Swedish variety. It is perfectly fine to attempt to get there in other ways (through entrepreneurship or whatever).  It is perfectly fine to end up with unequal societies and launch moon rockets. So long as there is continued attention to raising the floor continuously. 
The important lesson to take away from countries like Sweden is that social identity and pride is NOT based on your greatest achievements. It is based on the things you are least proud of. The dark stuff. The stuff you like to sweep under the carpet. The stuff you put in closets when visitors show up at your home. Which in general translates to "how a society treats its least fortunate members."
Venkatesh Rao