along, because the schools and the mediarn—backed up unwittingly, perhaps, byrnthe courts—continually undermine thernefforts of responsible parents trying torndo their job.rnTlius has sexuality become the stuff ofrnbillboards and bumper stickers, each vyingrnfor attention, each more shockingrnthan the last. Oh, yes. Today’s teachingsrnabout sex are negative, all right, just asrnAIDS czarina Kristine Gebbie says. Butrnno more so than allusions to and discussionsrnabout the subject in entertainmentrnand the nightly news. As a result, the allurernof physical attraction and the ritualsrnof courtship are no Irjnger cute, fun, flirtatious,rntitillating, or even risque; they’rernjust plain gross. Sex and love have beenrngranted a divorce.rnSex is now defined as “release of tension.”rnArt, music, and much of literaturernfocus not on romance, but on genitals,rnmultiple orgasms, and little-understoodrnchromosomal mix-ups that result inrnunfortunate genetic mistakes like homosexualityrnand the penchant for pedophilia.rnWhat have we done to love? W’e haverndebased it. Defiled it. Desensitized it.rnDepersonalized it. Disparaged it. We’verneven urinated on it. And, judging fromrnour drug and crime statistics, society isrnpaying the heaviest possible price.rnB.K. Eakman is the author ofrnMicrochippcd: Fiow the EducationrnEstablishment Took Us Beyond BigrnBrother (1993) and of Educating forrnthe “New Wodd Order” (J99J).rnDaddies and thernSwedish Staternby Allan CarlsonrnThe Mercy Killing of Socialism,rnlaunched so hopefully throughoutrnCentral and Eastern Europe in 1991, hasrnfailed. Most visibly, Polish voters returnedrnthe communists to parliamentarvrncontrol in 1993, while Russia swungrntoward a version of National Socialism.rnEven in the smaller but symbolically importantrnnation of Sweden, the “conservativernrevolt” sparked by right-wing electionrnvictories in September 1991 hasrnground to a halt.rnFor a while, all things seemed possible.rnas Swedish voters appeared to repudiaternthe widch’ admired “Third Way.” ThernSocial Democrats, who had ruled Swedenrnwith few interruptions from 19?2 torn1991, found their voting strength reducedrnto 37 percent, the lowest figurernsince the 1920’s. Today, however, pollsrnshow the socialists claiming 50 percentrnof would-be voters, a historic high, whilernthe “Green” and “Left” (read communist)rnparties pull another 7 percent.rnMeanwhile, the four-party “bourgeoisrncoalition” goverirment—composed ofrnthe Moderate Party (formedy the Conservatirne Part’), the Center Party (formedyrnthe Agrarian Party), the PeoplesrnParty, and the Christian Democrats—rnhas lost nearly a fifth of its support,rnfalling to 38 percent. With elections setrnfor early autumn, few doubt that socialismrnwill soon be back in control.rnThis conservative coalition blames itsrntroubles on a four-year-long recession,rncaused by past socialist excesses and therncrushing burden of the welfare state.rnThere simply has not been enough time,rnthey claim, to cut through the tangledrnlegacy of 60 years of socialist interentionrninto private life. Yet the deeper problemrnmay lie within the government itself,rnwhere a dominant neoconservatie visionrnhas made a true assault on thernbloated state apparatus impossible. Acceptingrnthe v’elfare state as an inevitablernand necessary aspect of postindustrialrnlife and buying into the overarchingrnprinciple of equality, these intellectualsrnwork onh to reposition state power inrnline with “traditional values,” craftingrntheir own version of Big GoxernmentrnConservatism.rnIn family policy, for example, therncoalition government has done nothingrnto dismantle the web of child allowances,rndaycare entitlements, housing subventions,rnand parent insurance—all of whichrnmake single-parenthood very attractivern(over halfoi Swedish births are still outof-rnwedlock), marriage legally and economicallyrninconsequential, and famiU’rnautonomy but a memory. The government’srnmajor initiative has been to proposerna new vardnadshidrag, or childcarernallowance, for all families with childrenrnages one to three, including those with arnparent at home. While resting in theorrnon “family values,” this plan emergedrnonly as an addition to existing schemesrnand costs, not as a substitute. As such, itrnmarks little more than a deepened le’elrnof state intrusion into what remains ofrnprivate households.rnEven more telling was the Octoberrn1993 report of the government’s “DaddyrnGroup,” appointed to reiew family policyrnin light of fathers’ interests. Did thesern”conservatives” plot some resistance tornthe liberal feminism that had revolutionizedrnSwedish social life in the I960’srnand 70’s? Did they dream of some timidrnreassertion of patriarchy? To the contrary,rnthe panel urged new steps to engineerrnthe full victory of gender equalityrnwithin each family. The Daddy Group’srncentral recommendation was a radicalrnchange in Sweden’s paid-parental-leavernprogram.rnAt present, parents can claim up tornJ 2 months of leave from work after thernbirth of a child, receiving 90 percent ofrnthe insured value of their income (up torn$2,700 a month or $32,400 for the year,rntax free) and a guaranteed job of equalrnmerit on their return. This generousrnbenefit has, not surprisingly, becomernwildly popular among vounger Swedishrnwomen, and baby prams are once againrna common sight in Stockholm. (Indeed,rnSweden’s birthrate has dimbed 30 percentrnover the last eight years, makingrnthis nation one of the few in Europernwith above-replacement fertility.)rnAccordingly, conventional politiciansrnfear to touch the program, despite therncrippling burdens it places on both thernstate budget and the private businessrnsector. Feminist leaders, however, havernfretted that paid leave has been utilizedrnoverwhelmingly by women. Parentsrnthemselves may decide how to split thern12 months, and the vast majority choosernto have the mother at home for nearlyrnthe full period.rnMost people would see this as a minorrntriumph of common sense or nature overrnegalitarian nonsense, but not the “bourgeois”rngovernment’s Daddy Group. Itrnrecommended a change in the law to requirernthat at least three months of thernpaid leave be taken by the father, and itsrnlong-term goal is to mandate that thernleave be equally shared. As one meiriberrnof the panel—^Andreas Cadgren of thernCenter Party—explained, it was time torntoss the notion of parental choice “intornthe garbage can.” All other forms of socialrninsurance, he noted, ignore familyrnbonds such as marriage. Allowing parentsrnto opt exclusively for maternal carernfor their children was “old-fashioned” inrnan age when the individual’s relationshiprnto the egalitarian state was all thatrnreally mattered.rnMeanwhile, the one Swedish politicalrnJUNE 1994/45rnrnrn