14 I CHRONICLESnGerman, which is at least as different from German asnItalian is from Spanish. “Let’s go see if there is anything toneat,” in German is: “Gehen wir schauen, ob es etwas zunessengibt,” but in Swiss German: “Gommer goh luege, ob’snoppis z’aesse hett” (or something similar, depending on thencanton).nUntil recently, Switzerland had a slight Protestant majority,nbelonging to the state-supported Reformed Churchn(launched by Ulrich Zwingli in Zurich and John Calvin innGeneva, but a far cry from their ideals today). In recentnyears, thanks to a higher Catholic birthrate and to the largennumber of Catholic “guest workers,” Catholics have becomenthe majority. Jews, members of independent Protestantnchurches and of other groups such as the Latter-daynSaints (Mormons), and religiously unaffiliated citizens comprisena very small but growing minority. There are a fewncantons that are almost exclusively Catholic, several thatnhave a strong Protestant majority, and several that are rathernequally divided. Religious tensions still exist, despite thenecumenical movement. Protestant Klosters yet remembernhow the Catholic Austrians burned the parish church andnmuch of the town in the Thirty Years War (1620), and thentown manifests a ritualistic but perceptible anti-Catholicism.nThe Forest Cantons of central Switzerland, Luzern,nSchwyz, Ob- and Nidwalden, and Uri still remember hownthey slew the Reformer Zwingli in battle when he rashlyntried to force them to accept Protestantism, and sometimesnthey act as though they would be willing to do it again today.nPolitically, Switzerland is a multiparty society with thenparties organized cantonally, so that not all parties exist in allncantons. It is a sincerely capitalized economy, but with anhigh level of social welfare, tightly controlled and supervised.nAlthough there are great differences in relativenwealth, poverty hardly exists, and class consciousness is notnpronounced. Every physically fit Swiss man must serve innthe military from age 20 to 50. In order to become annofficer, one must first become a noncommissioned officernand pass through a series of special courses and extra toursnof duty. M.D.’s, Ph.D.’s, bank directors, and universitynprofessors serve in the ranks unless and until they make theneffort to complete the extra duty necessary to advance inngrade. There is a small pacifist and conscientious objectornmovement, but the Swiss in general approve of their army.nGeographically, Switzerland looks as though it werenformed by breaking little pieces off of France, Germany,nAustria, and Italy. It has hardly any natural frontiers: Part ofnBasel is on the German side of the Rhine, virtually innGermany; the whole Canton of Schaffhausen is surroundednby Germany, except for a tiny piece; Geneva is virtually innFrance, and Samnaun in Austria. The whole ItalianspeakingnCanton of Ticino is south of the Alps andngeographically might make more sense belonging to Italy.nIf we look at countries where two languages are spoken,nsuch as Belgium and Canada, we see how bitter and divisivenlinguistic rivalry can become. Switzerland has four, or evennfive. Linguistic divisions even exist within individual cantons:nFribourg, Valais, and parts of Bern have two languages,nand the Grisons actually have three. In Northern Ireland,nProtestant-Catholic animosity has produced years of virtualncivil war, and Switzerland remains religiously divided. Thenmountaineers of Valais or the Grisons are as rustic as thennnGenevans and Baslers are sophisticated. During the Franco-nPrussian War of 1870, the First World War, and even thenSecond, many Swiss strongly supported one belligerent,nmany the other. Most Americans associate Switzerland withnFrench-speaking Geneva, but actually Switzerland is predominantlynGermanic; during the First World War, mostnSwiss sympathized with the Central Powers, at least at first,nand during the Second, Hitler exercised a great pull with hisnearly political and military successes and his appeal to all thenGermanic tribes to come “Heim ins Reich” (home to thenReich). There was even a bit of anti-Semitism, but thenConfederation courageously followed the lead of FrenchspeakingnGeneral Henri Guisan and presented a unitednfront against Nazi threats as well as enticements. Duringnand after World War II, virtually all Swiss adopted annanti-Nazi, anti-German attitude even to the point of soundingnostentatiously self-righteous. At least some Swiss intellectualsnmaintain a similar attitude today towards the UnitednStates and our military involvements, such as Vietnam,nCentral America, and the SDL Swiss politicians in generalnappreciate American firmness vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.nAmerican foreign and economic policies since WorldnWar II have been dominated and rendered foolish by a kindnof illusion of invulnerability. Not only do we allow virtuallynall foreign powers to attack us, literally or figuratively — ournenemies because they are our enemies, our supposed alliesnbecause we don’t want to lord it over them, Third World aidnrecipients because our gifts are not supposed to be bribes,netc. — we also allow our own leaders — Congress, media,neven administration bureaucrats — to do so. Switzerland, byncontrast, is obsessed with the idea of its own vulnerability,nand this is one of the two principal reasons why ethnic,ncultural, and religious pluralism in Switzerland does notnhave the disintegrative consequences that it does in thenUnited States. The second reason lies in the fact that Swissnsociety, despite the inroads of agnosticism, atheism, existentialism,nmaterialism, and militant secularistic humanism, hasnpreserved a deep, residual Christian orientation, particularlynevident in the Swiss version of the Protestant work ethic. (Asnindicated above, Switzerland now has a slight RomannCatholic majority, but it maintains a stronger Protestantnwork ethic than any other Western nation. While Germans,nAmericans, and others demand 35- and 32-hour worknweeks, the Swiss a few years ago rejected by popularnreferendum a proposal to cut their working week to 40nhours. At the same time, three-week paid vacations are thenminimum in Switzerland, and most employees get four tonsix weeks after attaining a modest degree of seniority.)nAs Gaspari and Millendorfer point out, a viable socialnunit can function without compulsion, in freedom, onlynwhen there is “an accepted common model and … a basicnconsensus about the way to structure a fulfilled life.” InnSwitzerland, there is such a consensus both on nationalnpurpose and on individual fulfillment. As indicated earlier,nthe individual Swiss cantons have much more sovereigntynthan a state of the United States. Der Bund, la Confederation,ni.e., the Swiss federal government, has anclearly perceived and agreed upon mission: preserving Swissnnational interests against all potential threats. Neutral Switzerlandnis more heavily armed for its size than any other freencountry except Israel, and despite all their diplomatic polish,n