Here's an interesting frame for the difference between America, Germany, and Sweden: every society has a different relationship to "the triangle formed by reverence for the Family, the State and the Individual."
Americans favour a Family-Individual axis… suspecting the state as a threat to liberty. Germans revere an axis connecting the family and the state, with a smaller role for individual autonomy. In the Nordic countries… the state and the individual form the dominant alliance.
Here is Reihan on this topic. Here is my earlier and very directly related post on Sweden and the Swede as individualist. Does anyone have a link to the Pippi Longstocking paper itself?
Here is Bagehot again:
(Before you scoff, you should perhaps know that the French–a conservative and statist lot–have a very complicated relationship with Pippi Longstocking as a children's book. For many years, the only French translation available was a bowdlerised version, that played down Pippi's wilder, anti-authoritarian side. There is a moral in there somewhere.)